The Internet emerged as one of the fastest growing and biggest tools for communication and distribution of information. It can be used to deliver information quickly at anytime to anywhere in the world at an affordable cost. In the last decade, there has been a major concern about damaging Internet content from violence and sexual material to reaction against the government. There is a great controversy as to whether or not we should censor the Internet in order to stabilize and maintain the order of the society. This paper will present some arguments on the reason why censorship of information on the Internet is a necessity for government in order to maintain the society order.
II. Censorship and its history
What is Internet censorship and how it came to our society? Let's take a look back to the past, whenever new technology comes in, the government always tries to control and regulate it. There were many cases in which the US government censor different type of communication. The first case was with the US Postal Service, next, the government tried to censor phone calls and now there are laws for Internet use. The first report about government censorship was in 1864 when a poster master found out a big amount of nude pictures was being sent to the Civil War troops. After that, laws have been passed to ban sending "[any] obscene book(s), pamphlet(s), picture(s), print(s), or other publication(s) of vulgar and indecent character" through the US mailing system. The second case was involved with Anthony Comstock who measured to have literature in America censored. There were many classics, which have been "racy" or deemed "offensive" have been banned from publishing or even recalled and destroyed. These issues are just some cases, which drew people back to the day when communication was first censored. Since we have discussed a little bit about the history of censorship, we will move to talk about the Internet censorship, its reasons and consequences.
III. Reason for Censorship of the Internet
To begin with, censoring the Internet is a necessary step that we need to take in order to protect the future of our child's generation. The rocketing development of the Internet allows children to access to a huge amount of unauthorized information and it is a real threat for future society.
If a child in the age of 8-11 does a search for something on the Internet, that child will easily become a victim of pornography since they just innocently click on the sport or celebrity picture, which are hidden pictures contain pornography. In the survey from Internet Pornography Statistics shows that the average age of pornography exposure to our children is age 11 and more surprisingly, about 80% of children 8-16 have viewed hard-pornography while doing homework ("Statistics - Youth"). This is an emergency figure, which needs special intention from parents and school. From what I have researched so far, the more children get addictive to pornography, more consequences the society gets. According to Donna Rice Hughes (1998), there are three main consequences involve in child pornography which is always a concern to parents: First is that "exposure to pornography threatens to make children victims of sexual violence", in other words, pornography's relationship to rape, sexual violence and child molestation; secondly "exposure to pornography frequently results in Sexual Illness, Unplanned Pregnancies and Sexual Addiction". In her survey, she also points out that "In the United States about one in four sexually experienced teenagers acquires a sexually transmitted disease (STD) every year, resulting in three million cases of teenage STDs," in addition, another study from her research reveals that "among 932 sex addicts, 90 percent of the men and 77 percent of the woman reported that pornography was significant to their addiction"; Thirdly, "exposure to pornography shapes attitudes and values of a person," that means the pornography links directly to a child's development and identity.