Censorship and the Internet: A Dangerous Precedent

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This essay will examine the effects of the internet on speech and the issue of censorship. There is no doubt that speech has proliferated globally with the internet. In most cases, this proliferation has been beneficial. Scholars are able to more widely disseminate research findings, students are better able to learn about the world, and diverse people are granted access to thoughts and to facts which were once inaccessible.


This essay will argue that the benefits of promoting free speech outweigh the costs of censorship.
As an initial matter, it is important to acknowledge that internet speech has impacted knowledge and liberty in positive ways. Internet speech, to take one example, is perhaps the greatest threat in the world to corrupt individuals and authoritarian governments. This is because it is no longer enough for powerful people and powerful governments to control media outlets in their own countries (Rodan, 1998: 68). Contemporary citizens in China or Thailand, where censorship is on the rise, can still find out what is truly happening in their countries. Thai citizens, to illustrate, can post news stories, listen to international news broadcasts, and exchange personal commentary on the internet. The truth is more likely to become evident when information is not censored.
On the other hand, calls for internet censorship are not receding; quite the contrary, there are those whom do and would like to censor speech which is deemed a national security threat, which promulgates ideas deemed contrary to public morals, and which ...
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