Is censorship alive and well or just alive on the Internet?

9 09 2009

In preparation for OneWebDay coming up, I figured I would post my perspective regarding censorship online:

It seems that the issue of censorship is a perennial thorn in the side of numerous authoritative bodies such as government. However, now that the world’s populations are becoming increasingly interconnected, the flow of information is hurtling forward at full speed. The Internet is at the heart of that progression. Being such that it is, a medium morphing in multiple directions, it contrasts the traditional media platforms that only allow singular, unidirectional communication.

For this reason, the Internet must remain largely free of authoritative constriction. The open sharing of information should be allowed as long as there is no immediate, egregious determent to the larger human condition. Here lies a tremendous benefit of open communications. Communities, particularly large ones such as those comprising the Internet, regulate themselves. Differing opinions will exist. Disagreement will live on. However, in this sense, censorship is not present by restricting information. Instead, it allows information to be presented in manners where it can be accessible to those seeking it. That is critical, choice. The option should remain. The open flow of information is there but dependent on a users desire to explore.

Instead of a decision being made by a far-off government authority, it should be an individual decision. Without this freedom, problems will multiply as more people make their way to the Internet. Who is to say they have been granted control over content online? How have they come to this realization? The power grab that would result will raise the stakes in detrimental ways. The equilibrium stemming from free information flow remains delicately balanced between the competing factions of control and expression. If the balance shifts in either direction, people will be cast into one of the polarized positions. Debate will be fierce. Meanwhile, information dries up and new perspectives on issues will be silenced. If that is allowed to happen, censorship will not just be alive on the Internet but prospering.

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One response

12 09 2009
Janna

Great observations! I especially liked this: “The equilibrium stemming from free information flow remains delicately balanced between the competing factions of control and expression. If the balance shifts in either direction, people will be cast into one of the polarized positions.”

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