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Censorship And Internet

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Censorship and the Internet

The Internet is the fastest growing and largest tool for mass communication and information distribution in the world. People use the Internet for communication, expressing their opinions, or obtaining unlimited information access. Nowadays, the issue of wether is it necessary to have censorship on the Internet is being argued all over the world. Censoring the Internet can protect children from strangers, filter unpleasant material and prevent young people imitating negative behaviour. However, it is apparent that filtering the Internet is against the freedom of information, anti-educational and it is difficult to develop people's ideas and views. This essay aims to discuss the issue of restricted information on the Internet. It will be argued that censorship of the Internet interferes with people having a broad range of ideas, views and experiences.

It could be argued that Internet censorship might protect children from interacting one-on-one with strangers on the Internet. Children are innocent, so they often trust stranger who they talk with via the Internet. According to National Opinion Poll (2000, cited in Allbon & Williams 2002:1), for the sake of receiving free samples, gifts or information or even to start up a friendship, one third of 7-16-year-old Internet users would give out their home address. Furthermore, a study by National Academic Press (2002:3) indicates that chatting with strangers is the potential harm to children because online chatting might lead to real meetings between children and strangers. Some serious consequences might threaten children. Countering this, children need more freedom because the age in which parents want to protect them is passing./ children's age growth,parents would better give them more freedom on internet acorrding children's own will rather than protect them compellingly.

In support of this idea, Buckingham (2000, Cited in Quigley & Blashki 2003:3) stated that parents cannot isolate their child forever from the society. Parents should have the confidence to prepare them to face problems, to deal with it and to become more active participants in their right. If children were protected by the Internet censorship, they would not have the opportunities for collaborative study with other people via the Internet and making friend. Hence, children do not need to be protected as they are old enough to know right and wrong.

Another aspect to be discussed is the material. Those in favour of Internet censorship claim that it can block out objectionable material. There are many unpleasant materials such as hate speech and overt racism, violence and pornography. Researches by Allbon et al. (2002:3), these unpleasant materials are easy to be accessed by accident or design; many young Internet users feel unpleasant because they have accessed inapposite material. However, it can be seen clearly from MORI (2000, cited in Allbon et al. 2002:2). Parents were convinced that their child has never been upset by something seen on the Internet because they trust that their child can use the Internet sensibly. A majority of young Internet users were against the censorship of the Internet. "No, I don't [need protection] because I feel we are going to find out [about violence and pornography] sometime, so why not now?" quoting by one 14-year-old (Allbon et al. 2002:3). In addition, it is difficult to do research if blocking material. Most people believed that the free speech was far more important than blocking unpleasant material./ most people do uphold that free speech was much more essential than blocking



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