There is a growing debate about censoring the internet. Some people think that the
internet is protected under the first ammendment and cannot be censored. Others think
that some of the material that is on the net needs to be filtered and regulated. The word censorship is defined as examining any material and prohibiting what is objectionable, according to Webster’s II dictionary. Censoring the internet is a violation of the first ammendment rights of every citizen in the United States. There are two general truths that some people feel are attitudes towards censoring the internet. The first is that very few people admit to favoring it. The second is that no matter who you are, in a matter of minutes spent surfing the net almost anyone can find something that they find to be offensive. In fact, some web surfers feel that the truly inappropriate things are inspired by one’s own religion. For example, the Nurenberg Files website showed pictures of mangled fetuses with the photograph, name, and address of some abortion clinic doctors.
If someone were to kill one of the doctors then an ‘X’ was put over their picture. This site may not harm a child, but it seems that the focus today is on what is inappropriate for the child to see. What about the adults? A site like this “clearly acts to corrupt and deprave the adults who take it seriously” (Brown 48).
Another reason for not censoring the internet is the psychological effects that it can have on a child. The filtering of the internet can tell a child that adults do not trust them to surf the net on their own. This can lead them to believe that they can not make their own decisions, and that a computer determines what right and wrong is. These filters also give off the impressions that the communities are unsafe and the school officials have not got the know how to do their job. Many teachers try to teach their students responsibility. This can be done in many ways, one of which is through the internet policy in our schools. By not censoring the internet and trusting children to make the right decisions they can get a boost of self-esteem that so many children need these days (Nellen 53). The filtering devices can obstruct a teacher in their quest to teach their students. For example, Ted Nellen wanted to use to obtain some information on the AIDS virus to help him teach his class. He tried to get information of the internet at the school he teaches at and found that to be impossible because the filtering devices that were installed worked (Nellen 53).
Another question that needs to be asked is who are the people that are determining
whether a site should be filtered or not? Just because they find something offensive does not mean that there is not some one out there who would find the site unoffensive. These people can filter what is put on the internet, so what is stopping them from doing this sort of thing in other areas of...