British public ignorant of creeping censorship:
©Tideswellman December 1st 2013.
I believe that the internet should be completely unfiltered and uncensored. Only this way Only this way can users of the internet be seen to be authentic. Only this way can we be truly free to express ourselves publicly and truthfully.
There has, of late been a clamour for internet censorship, across a number of platforms.
Censoring Social Media
We are always hearing about how social media is responsible for someone being bullied, or how some terrible fake rumour is being spread, and whilst those things are terrible in themselves, as individual or even collective incidents. Social media is not responsible.
How do you curtail social media? Social Media is just people using computers to send messages to each other instead of writing it down on paper or having an in depth conversation the way that people used to 10-15 years ago.
Right now, the internet makes it easier for people to communicate. Which I happen to think is a good thing.
Websites and apps are computer programs, and they do not make people do things. Bad decisions make people do things, bad parenting and abusive home lives make people do things.
Blaming the Internet is a cop out, blaming Social Media is a cop out.
If one kid bullies another, over the Internet, blaming the Internet is just plain dumb. It’s like blaming Ford or Chrysler for car crashes.
“Ford and Chrysler don’t cause car crashes, bad drivers and bad driving cause car crashes.”
I’m not trying to be insensitive here. I’m just putting down a marker against all moral crusaders who say that the Internet should be censored.
The Internet is freedom, true freedom. The freedom to connect with who you want, the freedom to write your thoughts in a blog and share with anyone who is willing to read it, or listen to you speak in a podcast, or watch someone dance and sing in a video.
“The Internet is a gift to humanity. it can be used for good or it can be used for evil.”
I think Society is at serious fault when it starts blaming tools. There are those who have vested interests to protect, and the Internet is eroding the high towers they have built around those interests.
Governments are scared of the internet
Governments are scared of the internet because it’s allowing the little man to to have power. The Internet has empowered political radicals to organise themselves, quickly and easily and to garner support for their ideas.
Governments are scared of whistleblowers, and the ease of how jaded, disillusioned public servants can expose the corruption and hypocrisy that is rife in society.
Topics such as Cash for questions, Political lobbying, payoffs and back handers, insider dealing, War Mongering to Stimulate Arms Deals, Bankers Bonuses, Election fixing, Suppressed Technology, oh yes, and covert spying. This is what governments and many in power don’t want you accessing. This is Freedom.
Book companies are scared of the internet
Book companies are scared of the Internet because it allows creative authors to publish their books that they made popular via blogs, and the big publishers don’t get a sniff, not a god damn penny. This is Freedom.
Music publishers are scared of the internet
Music publishers are scared of the Internet because it allows people to share music online without paying them the outrageous sums of money, for records and CD’s. Anyone who thinks the Anti File-Sharing lobby is about the musicians and their royalties is missing something. This is about the big bucks.
Any thinking musician will release their music for free and if it’s good it will find an audience who will like it, share it and make the artists wealthy, based on talent and how they interact with their fans…Big record companies get cut out of the loop. This is Freedom.
Wake up to defend Internet Freedoms
All of this goes on and we are become complacent.
There are those demanding that porn should be censored. Or that people be sued or jailed for tweeting something inflammatory.
There are those who think that whistleblowing is treasonous and should be punishable by lengthy jail sentences. Instead of believing in the old adage “who watches the watchers?”. The media seems controlled by those seeking to deflect criticism and scrutiny of those in authority who abuse their power.
Then there are those people who say ” If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear“.
This, my friends, is the opposite of freedom. This is the very erosion of what it is to be human, and to be different and individual, this is the beginning of the attempt to create sterile, homogenous human culture.
Sleepwalking to Censorship
If we allow Internet censorship in the UK, then we are endorsing what goes on in China or the Middle East where citizens are not allowed to make choices for themselves.
“We are sleepwalking into censorship.”
Last year, the first real Internet censorship steps were taken when the Bit Torrent website Pirate Bay was blocked in the U.K. Many Internet Providers such as Talk Talk have also .blocked access to other File sharing Websites.
It doesn’t change anything though, the people who used the Pirate Bay and other such sites, know how to get around the block, just like kids in high schools know how to get around Facebook filters in school.
How does censorship protect anyone?
Censoring the Internet doesn’t protect anyone, if anything, it weakens the very people it’s meant to protect, because they become naive to the proper way to use the Internet.
Denying kids access to social media is like denying them candy. They will do anything to get at it, simply because it’s illicit.
Dont’ Blame The Internet, Educate Yourself
Remember that with freedom comes responsibility.
We need to teach our kids how to report bullying. How to disengage from bullies and trolls on the internet. We need to educate ourselves and our children about what to do if they find disturbing images or websites online.
“If you don’t know what your kid’s looking at online , that isn’t the internet’s fault, it’s your fault.”
There are lots of steps that parents can take to ensure that their kids are safer online. I don’t mean filters, or snooping, which are of course options. I just mean talking to your kids about what is appropriate behaviour, what to do if they feel uncomfortable with something they find or see online, and having an open door policy where they can discuss things, instead of feeling judged.
Politicians don’t know SHIT about the Internet
Remember the Alaskan Senator, Ted Stevens, who referred to the Internet as a series of Tubes? Of course he was speaking metaphorically, but seriously, Politicians don’t know shit about the internet. So we need to stop listening to them spout about it.
I laughed out loud when I head the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron say that Porn should be an “opt in” when signing up for an internet contract. This is so simplistic, what is that going to do? Apart from play to the baying mob of ignoramuses who think that by somehow stopping access to porn in one building limits a child’s access to it everywhere.
Blocking Porn Online – Imagine these scenarios.
1) What happens when “Family A” blocks porn but their kid views it on a friends mobile?
2) What happens if “child A” sees a porn magazine
3) What happens when “Family A” blocks porn but the children get sent it via Instant message from Kid B whose family haven’t blocked porn?
Blocking Porn online is a “Poorly thought through Proposal”
Has David Cameron considered that porn or to use its real name, sex, is everywhere? Will he be requesting that stripcubs cover their entrances with hoardings, or that big city prostitutes dress more modestly?
Adults don’t have to look at Porn. They do have a responsibility to discuss with their kids what is appropriate to view online, they SHOULD also ask themselves whether they ever looked at porn and ….get a grip on reality.
The whole thing is a cynical attempt to win votes, it’s a nonsense, and a non starter.
Pretending porn, violent imagery, sexting, or hate speech doesn’t exist isn’t the answer. Outlawing, banning or blocking isn’t the answer either, because that just drives it deeper underground, making the dangerous material and those who peddle it even harder to identify. We have seen how the War on Drugs has panned out.
Anti Terrorism is no justification for Censorship
I say this because I want to know where all this censorship starts and stops. Define terrorism. Thats a university essay topic in itself.
In the 1980′s the UK Government used to censor the words of Sinn fein leader, Gerry Adams. Today, they censor websites and journalists and bloggers, or seek to.
Anyone seeking to expose the dealings of the state can be deemed a terrorist, David Miranda, Dominic Green and in the U.S Bradley(Chelsea) Manning and Gary Mckinnon are prime examples. The boundaries are blurring and we simply accept it. We do nothing.
Perhaps you don’t agree, and that’s your right.
You can even reply to my article below, debunking my every point, and that’s your right. Let’s not erode those rights.