Tuesday, September 1, 2009


The censorship of online information is on the rise, showed in part by the recent close of The Pirate Bay.

While this article does not express direct concern about that incident, several countries are covering up what appears on google and on the internet in general. The question that arises from this practice is whether or not a government should have the ability to keep politically dissident sites; or even World news about certain events from the people that inhabit the country. I believe that the internet should be a free source of information and that people should be able to choose, on their own, what they should and should not be able to know. In some countries, it may not be all that bad, such as South Korea censoring news about North Korea. As an example of going too far, the Chinese government has censored a good portion of any kind of news about them; to prove how bad this truly is, go to images.google.cn and type in tank man. Not a single result shows the man who stood up to the tanks, as the Chinese government feels that this would endanger them. Be that as it may, should any country keep one of the most valuable resources, information, from the people that voluntarily choose to inhabit their country?


I go by schlondark online.


Scrubs said...

I think that some censorship is okay but, totally censoring a country like North Korea is crazy! We as Americans have the right to know what is going on in the country that we built. Basic, simple censoring of swear words, for instance, on a television show is ok because they're trying to protect the innocence of the American children. Most kids can fill in the blanks on there own anyway. But for those that are still young enough to not know what that word means I support them "bleeping" it out.

Brendan Fahey said...

But, Scrubs, the very act of censorship defeats the goal it tries to achieve!

As you said, most kids can probably fill in the blanks in a T.V. show, so what are you doing? You're teaching kids that those words are "special" and that usage of them WILL get noticed. By trying to keep kids from saying certain swear words, you only encourage them to do so simply for attention.

The same applies to information, at least within the United States. As soon as you begin to say that people aren't allowed to view information on a certain topic, most Americans would want to find out why, we would want to find out what is so awful about it that the government tries to "protect" us. It is simply in our nature.

Censorship on all levels is not only wrong, but it is counter-productive. The only time information should be withheld is if to release the information would endanger American lives, such as releasing the location of our SSBN Ballistic Submarines, or the names of undercover CIA agents.

The problem is that, while it is in OUR culture to seek forbidden information, it doesn't necessarily apply to everyone else. Take China for instance, someone displaying loyalty to the CCP would be much more richly rewarded than someone who uncovered information discrediting them. It will take a movement within China to counter the control of internet information. No matter how wrong we think it is, there's not much we can do if the country doesn't allow it. The people in the country have to demand the information themselves.

I will agree though, we should take China and especially North Korea as examples of the negative effects of censorship and make every effort that we as Americans are privy to every little piece of information there is out there.

Two problems I have with your post, though, Schlondark. Firstly, it was my understanding The Pirate Bay was NOT simply a source of information, it was a place where people were able to access copyrighted information (which is NOT censorship) for free. Secondly, I DID go to images.google.cn, I typed in tank man, and I got several pictures of Tienanmen Square (the photo). When I typed in Tienanmen Square, nearly every picture was of that incident as well.

Perhaps you can speak to those two issues?

Where the Wild Things Are said...

I think on the internet, there should be certain cites you can go to if you want to find uncensored "bad" things. Like I'd be worried if people took out all the censoring what I'd find if I typed in some things. I wouldn't want to see EVERYTHING on the topic just the informational stuff.

upright funk said...

I am opposed to censorship completely. Censorship is only someone trying to make someone else compromise their message. Yeah kids will find out what it all means sooner or later, so why not show them that nothing is bad, and eventually, nothing will be bad.