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Internet has grown vastly since it was introduced to public in 1991. It was started as a network and till now it has grown to such an extent that there is nothing in the world that we cannot find. There is nothing that we cannot find information about. If we want to connect to our friends and family, internet has made it so easy. If we want to shop something, there is nothing we cannot find on internet these days, we can just go online and buy it in a few clicks. If you want to travel somewhere, you can order a ride or book one from internet. Altogether, internet has made everything so easy and accessible for everyone. But with this amount of access, bad things come with it. Things that affect the user or the society as whole. To keep the users and society protected from those things, authorities use censorship, which is a protective measure to keep that content blocked and inaccessible by users. Censorship is important because it helps provide security, it restricts economic opportunities and freedom of speech but it also provides age restrictions which are very important in these times.
With the immense growth of internet all over the world, it brings security issues with it. There are so many security issues these days, like hackers. Identity thefts, spyware and viruses etc. Users need to be protected from all these issues and for that, censorship is used. Hackers are people who try to breach the security measure set by someone for many reason like get their information, steal from them or many other reasons. They use different methods for that. They use viruses which are programs created to enter a user’s device without letting them know, they come with different applications we download from the internet or the can slide in through some email. According to a research, there is a hacker attack every 39 second. Hackers stole more than 500 million personal records just in 2018 which was an increase of 126% from last year, which means every second 45 personal records are being stolen by hackers. Another huge security issue on internet is “Identity Theft”. According to a survey done by The Harris Post in 2018, in America alone, more than 60 million people have been affected by identity theft. The same survey done in 2017 resulted with 15 million people being affected. Government are spending a lot of money of cybersecurity and censoring, which protects us from getting hacked and stops people from committing cybercrimes. According to an article in Forbes, the amount of money spent on cybersecurity in 2021 will be more than $1 Trillion dollars. New researches are being done and the security systems are always being updated to provide better security and more privacy to the people.
A drawback of internet censorship is that it prevents many economic opportunities. Different countries have different cultures and different social morals. So they censor their country’s internet according to those morals and cultures. According to global statistics on internet censorship, 67% of all the internet users live in the countries which have some kind of internet censorship and 27% of the users live in the countries where arrests were made based on people’s social media posts. In countries, many websites get banned and are not allowed to function there, this causes them to lose a business opportunity. For example, China have invested a huge amount of money in creating a firewall called “Golden Shield Project”. This system monitors every bit of information that flows through China’s borders. China has blocked social media websites like Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google. These websites are few of the biggest website that exist on the internet with google being one of the most used browser. China have these websites blocked, which would have done a lot of business in their country as they have the highest number of population all around the world and it would have been good for their economy. In china people aren’t allowed to talk about their leaders or politics on social media forums which restricts them from freedom of speech. This way internet censorship has been restricting freedom of speech and many economic opportunities.
On one side blocking websites and censorship is causing those problems but on the other side this has some good affects too. Censorship is helping with Age restriction which is very important in today’s world. Now we all know the extent internet has grown to and the vastness it has. Everyone uses internet, from a kid to an old person. Everyone uses internet for many things. Now children are getting close to internet every day and the number is increasing. To keep those children protected from things that shouldn’t be accessible to them at their age, censorship is needed. Most social media websites use an age restriction of 13 year old. This is done to protect their privacy and it also saved them from being exposed to content which is for older users. According to a study, 59% of children these days have used some kind of social media network by the age of 10. Before the age 13, most kids aren’t developed enough to control emotions and don’t have ethical thinking. When they are exposed to content being posted on social media websites, it affects them in different ways. Understanding some posts on those networks for those young minds can cause problems and can put them in danger both physically and mentally. They can get exposed to hackers and other criminals which can easily take advantage of them because their mind isn’t developed enough to understand what is actually going on. For all these reasons age restriction and censorship is very important. It helps us protect children and their mind which will help them in getting a better future.
In the end, I’ll just say, everything has some good and bad effects. It depends on how we use it and how we prevent ourselves from the wrong use of something. Censorship may have some bad effects but it is there for the protection of all the users. It protects us from all the security issues and all the people that can take advantage of us, if there is no security system to protect us.
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