This decision, therefore, should be left up to the citizens. With all the
controversy over this issue, a bipartisan legislation, with its members looking
merely to satisfy his or her constituents (in effect, getting re-elected) is not
the right way to go in finding a solution. Rallying for a national vote is.
Corey is an unofficial member of the
libertarian party, and, as a matter of fact, loves controversy.
Censorship--around the World Wide Web it's considered a dirty word.
What is it about censorship that makes it so terrible? Is censorship wrong?
Yes, censorship is wrong, but something still needs to be done about
the accessibility of indecent materials on the Internet.
It is natural to look to the First Amendment in situations like this.
As the Constitution clearly states, "Congress shall make no law...abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press." Simple enough, right? Wrong. When
people began complaining about obscene materials on the Internet,
Congress' immediate response was, "Regulate it!" Thus, the Communications Act of 1996. This act
was meant to bar the display of indecent materials on the Internet and World
Wide Web. Primarily, the bill was a catch-all for child pornography and other
such "deviant materials." Needless to say, the response was not positive.
Internet blackouts and annoying blue ribbon campaigns began to pop up on every
site across the Web. Newsgroups were flooded with angry messages. It
wasn't long before the act was already overturned. So, the government's
master plan to make the Internet safe for little kids was foiled. The question
is: Was this a good thing?
Censorship of any kind is wrong. The existence (or lack thereof, rather)
of censorship is what separates the United States from police-states all around
the world. Big Brother is not watching at the moment. He's busy trying to figure
out where to go with his next junket. However, something should be done to
make sure that little five-year-old Billy can't get a glance at a stray breast
while surfing across the Web. Who, then, does this responsibility fall to if
the government won't take it? The answer is: the parents.
It is the parents who should be looking out for their children on the
Internet. In my opinion, a child under the age of twelve has no business on
the Net in the first place. However, it happens. The parents need to make sure
their children don't access the indecent material through whatever means
possible. Already, there are several "SurfWatch" programs that are available
to help bar porn sites from a browser that would help the efforts immensly.
Responsible parents can stop children from reaching the wrong kind of
website or ending up on the wrong kind of chat line. Just like it is a parent's
responsibility to keep children out of R-rated movies and off 1-900 sex lines,
it is their job to keep kids away from indecent Net materials. The people who
post these materials have every right to do so. Personally, I might not like
to see it, but it is their business to do so. Anyway, when a child
ends up on a site entitled "Celebrity Nude Pics," it's probably not an accident
in the first place. If you're a parent who is concerned about your child
gaining access to pornographic material, it's your job to make sure he or she
doesn't. Don't demand the government to do something that you are
too irresponsible to do yourself.
Jess has sworn never to include a blue
ribbon on any of his pages.
Censorship is not a topic that should be approached lightly. It
is what my Econ professor would call a 'normative question,' meaning there
is no right or wrong answer. Virtually everyone believes in some form of
censorship; whether it is parents wh
o want the web censored or Bill Clinton who wants to censor all the info
about his illegal activities from the news broadcasts. I think that there
is definitely good in some censorship. I think that it is a good idea to
censor bomb-making information from the general public. Call me crazy,
call me a prude, but that's what I think. Ben Franklin once said
"All things in moderation" or something to that effect. So it is with
censorship. A ‘Big Brother’ type of society from George Orwell’s
1984 is definitely too far one way, and total anarchy too far the
other. In order to maintain a free society, we must decide what should
and should not be censored, as contradictory as that sounds. The
founders of our country declared in the First Amendment that "Congress
shall make no law...abridging the freedom...of speech, or of the press."
Many people see this as a license to say or print whatever they want.
However, the point of our Constitution is to "insure domestic
tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare,
and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity." This
takes precedence over the First Amendment when the freedom of the press is
abused to spread information that has strong potential to cause harm to
"the general welfare." It is whether or not the material has
potential to cause harm that should be debated. Take the CDA for example;
pornography does not have the potential to cause serious harm. I feel it
is fully appropriate to restrict sales to those over 18, but
the CDA is a joke. The Internet is the purest medium of communication
that has ever existed. If a parent doesn’t want their children to look at
porn on-line, then they should be parenting! A computer is not a
baby-sitter. They need to spend more time with their children, and get a
program such as Net Nanny or Surf Watch. There are dozens of alternatives
to protect your children from smut on-line, rather than turn to
Seth knows how bad 1984 scares Jess.
[back to verbosity]