24 Aug How Internet Censorship Affects Society
Countries censor the internet to restrict sharing content they deem inappropriate for their people. Governments aim to prevent cybercrime by controlling the internet, stopping the spread of fake news, and safeguarding copyrighted information.
However, internet censorship may not always work for the masses’ benefit. Enacting clauses that limit the viewing and publishing of content may violate people’s rights.
Is Internet Censorship Legal
Internet censorship obstructs citizens’ freedom of speech and rights to access information. Under the First Amendment, internet censorship violates people’s rights.
Unless the prohibited information is pornographic, obscene, and politically unacceptable, the government must not involve itself in regulating how and when we access information online.
Censorship Goes Against People’s Freedom of Speech
To rule unopposed and neutralize humanists’ efforts, some governments go overboard and prohibit the sharing of political content. The obsession with staying in power makes some totalitarian governments restrict the publication of certain news. You’ve heard cases of people arrested and arraigned in court simply because they shared sensitive political data.
Internet censorship creates fear among civilians, ensuring they can’t voice out the ills in society. While censorship may block the spread of harmful information, it also leads to the loss of useful information that can empower communities. When people only access the info the government wants, they become ignorant and less concerned about the truth.
In this era of advanced technology, you only lack access to censored information at will. IP masking tools like proxies can grant you access to prohibited information.
Censorship Empowers the Ruling Class and Disadvantages the Masses
When the issue of internet censorship emerges, so many questions begging for answers arise. Since the government gives a particular group the power to implement censorship practices, it empowers this subsection more. In normal circumstances, such a group will likely not follow morals and constitutionally-authorized laws. The agency may not have the power to publish the wrongdoings of the government machines behind their existence.
Also, the control and manipulation of published content have become a topic of discussion. Will the same government not question the agency if they expose their wrongdoings? Most regimes use internet censorship to manipulate the masses. The censorships authorize citizens with money and power to influence what other citizens say and see. In other words, these controls delegate powers to the moneyed and powerful in society.
Citizens living in countries that censor the internet don’t have to be in the dark. They can use residential proxies to access restricted content anonymously. Residential proxies provide the necessary protection and anonymity for people to access censored news and publications.
Censorship Restrains Advertising Opportunities
Internet censorship immensely affects those in the corporate world. Yes, industries and businesses suffer significantly when a government censors online content.
Governments leave companies at a disadvantage by limiting access to social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It simply hinders the growth of such businesses. That’s because it limits the companies’ ability to reach a broader client base.
Countries that have outlawed social media platforms force citizens to rely on other less popular social media platforms. Like a global village, the internet connects businesses to clients from different parts of the world. When a nation bans these social media platforms, it leaves companies with a limited client base. Therefore, internet censorship brings established and small businesses more harm than good.
Internet Censorships Deplete Country Resources
Internet censorship is an expensive exercise that eats deep into a country’s resources. The expertise and technological materials needed to censor the internet cost a fortune.
The government has to hire more workers to aid the implementation processes and secure costly technical infrastructure and systems to make the censorship work realizable. To control information access, some countries may disrupt internet connections altogether.
The costs of implementing internet censorship are not worth the value they deliver to a country. Think of a country like South Arabia that invested millions of dollars in censoring Facebook Messenger, Skype, and WhatsApp, costing $465 million of its GDP. Similarly, think of a country like India, which implemented internet censorship at the cost of $968 million of its GPD.
Some level of internet control is understandable, provided it’s conducted within a country’s stipulated legal boundaries. However, once censorship becomes a tool of manipulation and a way to shield criminals, enabling them to continue terrorizing a country, it’s not always worth it.
Under the legal frameworks, internet censorship can prevent the spread of fake news that can trigger fights and crime. It can also restrict the media from selling any information for sensation.
But as you have read above, the disadvantages of internet censorship surpass the benefits. Most countries censor the internet and social media to manipulate unsuspecting citizens. The good news is that even in countries with such restrictions, people can still access the information they want using proxies.