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"John Kerry walks into a bar and the bartender says "Hey buddy, why the long face?" - Flofloomspaerhr

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  • Date Submitted: 01/10/2015 11:23 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46.9 
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computing and society
IT Matters
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Is Internet Censorship Justified?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, censorship is defined as the practice of officially examining books, movies, et cetera and suppressing unacceptable parts. “Unacceptable” here refers to content which is obscene, politically unacceptable or threat to society.

Many countries around the world practice internet censorship. Online censorship is tightly linked with authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, where content online is heavily tracked and monitored by the government. The top few countries which censor the Internet include Vietnam, Tunisia, China, Saudi Arabia, Burma and North Korea, where one might risk landing himself in jail if he is found to upload “inappropriate” content online. With censorship like the Great Firewall of China, Chinese netizens are deprived of access to many different “liberal” sites such as Youtube and Blogger where people express their views freely about practically any issue ranging from politics to economics to social and cultural. As such, rising dissent is observed among Chinese netizens as they are denied of the fair chances to view and express their views as compared to other netizens around the world.

Not only is internet censorship practiced on a national scale, but also on smaller scales such as schools and companies. In some schools with web filtering, sties containing sensitive words such as “Hitler” are blocked and denied of access. Racism, sex, and violence are often among the list of blocked key searches as well.

Although internet censorship impinges on the right of freedom of expression to a certain extent, it is not completely unjustified. Let us explore the pros and cons of abolishing and maintaining the practice of online censorship.

Why online censorship should be abolished

According to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the...


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