Sunday, 3rd March 2013
SHOULD CONTENT ON THE INTERNET BE CONTROLLED? – The Apple iCloud is well known for restricting certain content to its iCloud service; in particular to pornographic content.
Apple have, like all internet business, have a strict set of rules which are known as their ‘Terms and Conditions’ and heavily restrict any form of pornography. In fact Apple’s terms are so strict that it once refused the uploading of a book on the Hippie movement in the 60’s as it contained images of naked people.
There has been furious debate over the free access to online pornography in the UK of late with parent groups calling upon the Government to force Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) to block all pornography content unless an adult specifically requests that the block be removed.
On the face of it, and considering studies that clearly show the damage being done to our children by being able to view almost any type of pornography, this would seem like a sensible move.
There are some countries, such as Iceland, that are in the process of creating new laws that will forbid anyone, of any age, from accessing online pornography. Iceland already has stringent pornography laws that make it illegal for anyone to produce or publish pornographic material and the new internet laws are expected to be an extension of the existing laws.
Pornography is always going to be a highly debated subject, especially when there appears so much of it on the internet; but what about other content that some groups find offensive?
The internet carries a vast amount of information. Google alone estimates that its index carries over 1 trillion pages of which grows by millions of new pages per day. You can find almost anything, from making a bomb, baking a cup cake to learning how to survive in the wild. If you name any subject the chances of you finding information on the internet pertaining to the subject can be found with relative ease.
So should content on the internet be controlled? If so what sort of content should be controlled? It could be argued that all references to Christianity should be removed as Muslims find it deeply offensive and visa versa.
What about removing all content to online medication and pharmacies? Think of all the junk emails we receive on buying everything from weight loss remedies to sexual enhancing drugs.
While we are at banning porn, religious and medication information, what about doing away with news websites and their content, such as Meebal.com – how many of us are incensed with the amount of bad news and are sick and tired about what our politicians are up to?
There is a huge amount of content on the internet that I find deeply offensive but would I choose to close them down just because of my opinion? In regards to my belief of Freedom of Expression and the Right to Free Speech, I think it would be wrong of me to insist on any such action.
There are many laws in place that do restrict certain information from being published on the internet, although even these are often all too easy to find. If we are to restrict information, that is cherry pick what should and should not be published, then it should come about through ‘Majority Choice’ that is let our Governments hold referendums so that society is able to determine what may and what may not be published.
On that note… we must remember that the choices we make will affect others that disagree. Yes, it could be argued that a majority rule should be upheld in a democratic system, however in our fight to restrict certain material it will, in my view, violate the rights of others.
There appears to be only one solution and that is to let people make their own choices as to what information they view. If that information is deemed illegal then that individual should face the consequences; or do we introduce a system whereby our governments strict and dictate the information we have access to?