Too much of something good is bad, they say. But I’ve been wondering, is there such a thing as too much information?
It would be tough going through life ignorant of the world around us. It is through information that we base our choices on. Most of the things we do are based on our own knowledge and experience, from distinguishing a good act from an evil deed to weighing options by considering the pros and cons. Well, you get the point, right?
Anyway, my thoughts have led me to the subject of the Internet. In this day and age, the Internet has become the primary source of information. A hundred sets of encyclopaedia could never compete with the information you can find online.
Most people hold the freedom of information very dearly. But that doesn’t prevent anyone, including the government, from introducing bills that aim to censor the Internet. If you ask me, I don’t see the point in censoring the Internet. I mean, sure, I get it that they would want to shut down certain websites, like pornographic ones and those that belong to terrorists and other extremists. However, everything isn’t that simple.
Let me explain some more. There are a number of reasons why Internet censorship is a sensible solution. However, the way I see it, there are only three main reasons: political, protection of social norms, and security reasons.
Of all the above reasons, the first one irks me the most. Censorship for political reasons mainly occurs in countries where the rulers try to hold on to their power. They see censorship as a way to prevent the people from knowing too much, withholding information from the ordinary laymen so as to prevent any uprising. Of all the reasons, this one I find to be most petty.
On the other hand, censorship due to protection of social norms can be reasonably justified. Take child pornography for example. Everyone would agree that this matter should be taken seriously; hence, the censorship. But what about subject matters like religion and homosexuality? Should they be censored just because one’s religion or sexual belief doesn’t agree with that of the majority? Isn’t that the same as restricting rights?
Last but not the least is security reasons. Now, this one I find to be quite valid. However, it must be taken into consideration that most forms of censorship fall into more than one category. Thus, giving authorities excuse for extending the censorship. If that were so, wouldn’t it be the same as censoring the rights of people to access information?
We must never forget that everything has its pros and cons. I acknowledge the benefits that Internet censorship can give. But in my opinion, the dangers of such actions carry more weight, thus my opposition to the subject.
Speaking of the Internet, it is a complex system. I read something about search engine optimization or SEO. It is quite interesting, really. But I will have to learn more about it.