Sex, violence, explicit language, drugs, . . . Some people consider these subjects to be extremely inappropriate, while some people find nothing wrong with them. Still others do not think twice when they read about sex crimes in the newspapers, or when they hear Bart swearing at Homer on The Simpsons. Most people do not feel one way or another about this allegedly inappropriate material because it has become a part of life in the 1990’s. Those few who would choose to act upon their dislike of this material try to censor it, be it on television, in movies, on the Internet, or anywhere else. Although people have a right to decide for themselves what is and is not inappropriate, censoring material pertaining to these subjects would be unfair to those people who enjoy it. Therefore, material on the Internet considered “inappropriate” by some people should not be censored.
There is quite a bit of material on the Internet that many people would consider distasteful, and much of this material can be easily accessed. Due to this fact, someone might unknowingly visit a Web site with this material and cause him- or herself mental harm (Liston 4).
This is not the issue, however. The issue here is whether this offensive material should be censored from the Internet. The fact is that it does not matter if a person enjoys this type of material or not because they are not forced to view it by anyone in any way. It is not the responsibility of the people who post such material on the Internet to worry about who will be looking at it. On the contrary, it is the responsibility of the people to decide if this material is appropriate or not. In 1968, a system of film classification was adopted in the United States, rating movies for violence, sexual situations, adult language, etc. (Konvitz).
... control the 'free attitude' displayed in material over the Internet. To keep explicit material off home computers, the government must control ... with many new outlets for debate and discussion. Censoring the Internet would fundamentally harm and destroy the quality that makes ... opportunities for engaging in and partaking of debates. Even people with disabilities, who are very often excluded from other ...
These ratings give people a better idea of how appropriate a movie would be for them. On the Internet, however, one would have a very good idea of the content of a Web site, even without a rating system. People would know what is on a particular site if they already knew how to get there. It is their responsibility to make their own decisions as to whether or not this material is appropriate for them. If people feel there is a possibility they might be very appalled by this material, then they can choose not to view it. If people are not sure about this material, or if they are in favor of it, then they take an acceptable risk when they choose to view it. Undoubtedly, this material should not be censored merely because some people cannot make rational decisions for themselves.
Moreover, the people have a right to know. This statement was the opinion of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence. He was said to have been “strongly against censorship of any kind, believing that people should have free access to all information” (Greenhaven 12).
Then, people could consider all of the information and make a more informed decision. The first amendment of the Constitution also states that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech and of the press. . . . ” All material or information on the Internet would be protected by this clause. Another law, the Freedom of Information Act, was passed by Congress on November 21, 1966. This law addresses more specifically the people’s right to any information unless it is a matter of national security, violates a person’s right to privacy, or deals with internal agency management (“Freedom”).
None of the allegedly offensive material the government would like to censor falls into any of these categories. Unquestionably, no matter how distasteful some material on the Internet may be, the censoring of this material would be unconstitutional.
... changing a lot education. Most young people use the Internet to access information to use in school or college and ... . Moreover, the Internet Internet has also provided the opportunity to study online, and having unlimited access to information of any kind, ... powerful and necessary tool. The Internet has completely changed communications, the access to the worldwide information, the way we work ...
In addition to being unconstitutional, the government’s attempt to censor inappropriate material on the Internet is very hypocritical. The government punishes people for “obstruction of justice,” or withholding vital information from an investigation (Liston 4).
This could be considered a type of censorship, because people who withhold information are, in essence, censoring information about themselves or others which may be unfavorable to their cause. The government considers this type of censorship “dangerous” (Liston 4) . . . but, how is this any different from censoring distasteful material on the Internet? The government becomes enraged when information is withheld from it, but has total disregard for people who enjoy this so-called offensive material. Would not some of these people be furious if they were suddenly prohibited from viewing this material that they find unobjectionable? In addition, looking back on past events, one may remember in 1933 when Adolf Hitler, leader of Germany’s Nazi party, held a massive bonfire of “Anti-German books” (“National”).
Although this is an example of censorship in the extreme, Hitler’s book-burning is similar to the attempted censorship of Internet materials. Hitler eliminated all books which expressed opinions other than his and his alone. In a like manner, government officials are trying to censor “inappropriate” material . . . but inappropriate by whose standards? The opinions of the few censors cannot speak for the millions of Americans, whether they find this material to be offensive or not. The government condemned Hitler’s actions, considering them to be “dangerous,” and rightly so. However, it now is attempting to do almost the very same thing: to censor information without the consent of the American people. Without a doubt, government censoring of supposedly inappropriate material on the Internet is very hypocritical.
In conclusion, allegedly offensive material on the Internet should not be censored. If the government is permitted to censor this material based on a few people’s opinions, the censors would clearly be in violation of the Constitution. Furthermore, the government’s attempt to censor this material is hypocritical; they denounce censorship in a few instances, but later seek to eliminate material labeled “inappropriate” to enhance the image of the government. If censoring this distasteful material is allowed to be carried out in this manner, what will be next? Books? Television? Movies? There is no way to tell how far the government would go if given the opportunity. Censoring material on the Internet is unconstitutional and hypocritical, and the effects are irreversible. It must be stopped.
... Gulf War, the US government used internet warfare to drop the "I- Bomb" on Saddam Hussein's information systems (Bourdieu 57). The ... but an alternative to society" (22). People run away from reality to the internet forsaking true interpersonal relationships. Annette Markham, an ... / she wants to be controlling the perception that other people have of them. This control breeds dishonesty and damages an ...