The internet has become quite popular as a method to communicate with in today? S modern day society. Retrieving information whether its purpose is for personal benefit or entertainment has been revolutionized by this medium. However the internet faces major problems with society? S generational hierarchy, as this information may not be intended for everyone in society to view. The internet has removed the walls from our homes allowing faceless people to communicate with us without regard to personal privacy or rights. Internet Censorship in today? Society has been beneficial by protecting our adolescent community from such things as pornography, malicious information, and child predators. Internet censorship using software or hardware has become an increasingly popular way to protect children from adult content on the internet. With such a saturation of adult content on the internet it is important that we take steps to shield our youth from this electronic underground. Censorship has been taken quite seriously by many public establishments such as schools, libraries and internet cafes. Many
Internet service providers now provide solutions for blocking this content at home. AOL was among the first to provide this service to parents as a free option bundled with their product. Commercially internet filters such as Net-Nanny and Cyber- Sentinel have also been available to parents assisting them in shielding their children from this threat. However there are some people who believe that internet censorship while beneficial in some cases, infringes on the rights of everyone. They give examples of cases where the surfer searches for the information, a common example being ? He virgin marry?. In this case the content is blocked because the search term used contained the word ? Virgin?. This is understandably a downside to internet censorship. On the other hand what they often don? T tell you is what kind of sites are also returned in the search results in addition to valid ones. An example is when a search was done for ? Puss cats? , something that could feasibly be searched for by a child, sites such as ? Hairy Puss Not Cats? And ? Classic Hairy Puss? Where contained within more valid search results.
Both sites contained explicit pictures on their index page, quite unsuitable for an adolescent audience. Censorship has also been beneficial in protecting our youth from malicious information that is likewise abundant on the internet. A common reference to this problem is if you wanted to make an atomic bomb the designs are on the internet. Arguably more dangerous than making an atomic bomb is how to make bombs out of common household chemicals. All one must do is search for ? How to make a bomb? On Google. A and they are bombarded with sites willing to tell them the secrets of explosives.
Bombs however are the least of the problems on the internet. The internet shares information on how-to make drugs such as methamphetamine, ecstasy, acid, and even cocaine. The problem of drug knowledge being shared across the internet is quite apparent in today? S society, as ? Meet? Lab seizures have gone up an amazing 577% since 1995 . Censorship of this information from our youth is undeniably important. In addition to the problems of adult content and dangerous information, the internet as become a home for a new threat to our adolescent community, online child predators.
This new bread of criminals has chosen to use the internet as a front to commit their crimes. Often they take the ruse of another adolescent in a chat room or other instant messaging medium. Using it to lure their pray out of their shell, and eventually try to arrange to meet this person in real life. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, One in Five internet users younger than 17 receive an online solicitation or approach, and one in thirty three an aggressive sexual solicitation involving offline contact or a request for offline contact .
Unfortunately there is no effective boxed solution to shield this threat from our adolescent community. This is why it is ultimately important for parents to take an active role in their youth? S internet activity. Providing censorship through supervision is ultimately the safest route in regards to this problem. The internet has become an awesome tool for retrieving information; however it contains problems that must be confronted. Censorship is indisputably important in retesting our adolescent community from the harsh underbelly that the internet conceals.
Boxed solutions to this problem whether it be hardware or software are a good start. However it is undeniably important for the parental community to take an active role in their children? S internet experience. Education of our adolescent community is needed, as it unavoidable that there will be times where censorship of this information is not available. Ultimately it is important for children to be safe on the internet; Censorship in its many forms will have an active role in this pursuit.