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The Impact of Internet Censorship on Society

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In the Internet world of 10 years ago, people were still mainly browsing the static page provided by the publishers controlled network. Now, with the advanced development of the Internet, people comes to a private and new chapter. Numerous and unimaginative informations are provided for them. Interactively, everyone has the right and freedom to share their thoughts upon anything in the Internet. Meanwhile social opinion and social outcry that can be trigger is as fast as the information. However, with the advent of internet censorship, individuals and organizations are under control or suppression of what can be accessed, published, or viewed on the Internet enacted by regulators, or on their own initiative. The continuous actions of Internet censorship affect not only the individual but also countries. This essay proposes that the negatives of tight censorship outweigh the positives.

To clarify the aim of internet censorship, it is used to prevent or minimize dissent and protect the existing social system in general. There are some aspects, such as, disinformation, pornography and Internet violence, which have poisoned the public sphere. Misinformation and disinformation as concepts are correlated to online information sources. Viewers need to make distinction among web information sources when confronting questionable content. Likewise, the transmission of pornographic through different forms on the Internet, such as images, videos, games, and now the spread of pornographic information on the Internet is becoming more and more serious. From the report of pornography of statistic in 2017 by White, over 30,000 people are watching porn at any given second, 40 million of US people are sexually involved with the internet, 8% of email (2.5 billion), 25% of all search request (68 billion) and 35% of all downloads on the internet involve pornography.  

In February 2018, a survey by Relationship Australian shown that online exposure to pornography causes young people multiple types of harm to more than 60 percent of women and 50 percent of men. Men (29%) were more likely than women (20%) to report that young people’s online exposure to pornography leads to unrealistic expectations of sex, while men and women were equally likely (8%) to report young people’s exposure to online pornography increases risky behaviour such as sex at younger ages and unprotected sex. Under such bad results, the necessary stringent controls are needed by the general public. Again, as the spread of pronography content, internet violence usually go with it. Internet pornography using the Internet as a medium to induce sexual harassment and sexual harassment to internet viewer, thus causing adverse social impact. There are criminals who take advantage of man and woman who watched online sexual websites. Honorof reports that there is new email extortion scam which claims they have webcam footage of the victim on the website, as well as whatever provocative material they were viewing. Criminals threat that either the victim pays up in Bitcoin or their friends will see it all. Other types of cyber violence including deception, cyber-trespass and cyberbullying threats the public life as well. 

In China, while the same many pornographic websites and forums are banned or blocked, in fact, the Government is more concerned with political and social security censorship. China has long been known for its strict online censorship system. Chinese Internet freedom level is considered “not free” from the survey data. Li claims that China has established the world’s most extensive and complex network censorship system, and the Internet plays a role in strengthening the Communist Party’s control over society. More and more content is considered sensitive. Some controversial topics, for example, homosexuality, is subject to a large number of restrictions in China. Contents related to homosexual topics, scenes, or language are considered to be “going against the healthy way of life in China” and therefore are banned. Moreover, the scrutiny of sensitive words about politics such as ‘Taiwan’, ‘religion’ and ‘human rights’ is more stric. Li indicates that the harder test is to identify the roundabout approach that Chinese Internet users use to escape a tight censorship system when talking about current politics. Therefore, the public does not have a wide access to sufficient information to address these contentious issues. 

Along with such Internet environment that is different from elsewhere, a generation of Chinese is growing up. At present, the impact of the growing up of this internet system begins to emerge. Li points that some young Chinese don’t know what Google, Twitter or Facebook are. The environment creates a gulf between them and the rest of the world. And, accustomed to local apps and online services, many seem unconcerned about understanding what are been censored on the Internet, which allows Chinese Communist Party to build an alternative value system that competes with Western liberal democracies. Since the censorship system is controlled by the government, it is possible for the government to exclude statements and information from the opposition authorities. This makes the public feel hard to distinguish domestic situation. Chinese previous strict censorship of the Internet has now advertised its vision of a government-regulated Internet. Similarly, Some countries that advocate people’s rights, such as Western Europe and the United States, are considering the limits of the digital world. The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 that becomes law in the United Kingdom. Service providers have to keep a record of all the websites under the law. It also requires companies to decrypt data on demand and gives government security services the power to citizens’ computers, tablets, mobile phones and other devices. Jim Killock, the director of Open Rights Group, described it as the “most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy” in the interview. It more or less removes people’s right to online privacy. The state has unprecedented powers to monitor and analyse the United Kingdom citizens’ communications regardless of whether we are suspected of any criminal activity.

Censorship of the Internet has hindered the free flow of information. There may be fears that excessive government power will infringe on social democracy. Meanwhile, platforms give authorities power to manipulate some event. Facebook is a worldwide popular online social media. It had 2.27 billion monthly active users as of the third quarter of 2018. But there is a scandal that happened in 2018 had shocked the public. In the early 2018, Davies revealed Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign used Cambridge Analytica data based on research spanning tens of millions of Facebook users, harvested largely without their permission, to boost his surging White House run and gain an edge over Donald Trump and other Republican rivals. Political candidates illegally access data from the population through some authorities, which is the evidence of concerns about abuse of power on Internet censorship and violate social democracy on the other side.

In conclusion, the use of pornography materials is possible to cause serious negative consequence to individual physical and mental, especially to young age groups. While the prohibition of pornographic content and cyber violence is a benefit of internet censorship, the real problem of Internet censorship may go far beyond the scope of rights. On the other hand, as the mass of disharmony, tight Internet censorship can be a protection measure.

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The Impact of Internet Censorship on Society. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-impact-of-internet-censorship-on-society/
“The Impact of Internet Censorship on Society.” GradesFixer, 30 Aug. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-impact-of-internet-censorship-on-society/
The Impact of Internet Censorship on Society. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-impact-of-internet-censorship-on-society/> [Accessed 22 Sept. 2022].
The Impact of Internet Censorship on Society [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Aug 30 [cited 2022 Sept 22]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-impact-of-internet-censorship-on-society/
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