Censorship of inappropriate material has been an issue with every form of mass media. Now the new and upcoming Internet is becoming the focus. Software makers and service providers are choosing what the public should see. Does this seem right? How can a stranger choose what another person or their family sees on the Internet? Parents and adults should choose what they and their children are exposed to on the Internet.
Among all the great things on the Internet there are some things that parents may think are inappropriate for their children to view. There are also many things they should be exposed to. Currently, censorship software on the market censors too much. The software filters sites for “naughty words” which are decided by the software maker and sometimes the consumer. However, the software cannot distinguish when the word is used for a different meaning. When a web page with words such as “centerfold” is accessed, it will be blocked from view when it may possibly be referring to a picture of a car or instructions on making a paper airplane.
The U.S. government is trying to step in and control a worldwide media. They are trying to pass a bill to ban certain types of content and completely control other types on the Internet. However, they are not getting very much cooperation from some other countries. They allow service providers to use censorship software when the provider holds a local monopoly. This gives customers, including responsible adults, no choice about what they want to see. Adult material and other potentially good educational resources are blocked with no action of the consumer.
More and more everyday adult web sites are taking action to keep children out of them. Even so, no matter how much a child’s browsing is censored, they will still view the material elsewhere, whether it is at a friend’s house or a not so well censored site. Parents should be the ones who choose what their children see. If they feel it is necessary to sit with there children when they are on the Internet that is still a better course of action. Tell the children what they should not look at online. If they do not feel like a rebel doing it they are less likely to do it.
Software makers and service providers should not be the ones to decide what people see on the Internet. Different parents think their children should be allowed to see different things. A person that may not even know you or your family cannot make the choice for you. It is a great toss-up, would you like your children to be blocked for good information, or see something that someday they will see anyway?