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Essay about Technology: Internet Censorship

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Internet Censorship
A somewhat famous politician once said, "Censorship, like charity, should begin at home: but unlike charity, it should end there" (Luce). The 21st century is a lot like a technological renaissance in the fact that there is so much creativity, so much dissent, and so many people unsure of how to respond to the new interconnectability. Whether it is a simple image, or an entire program, the internet has made life much more simple, and that much more difficult to regulate. Unlike physical interaction, the internet allows users to connect to one another across the globe, sharing practically everything.
While this is seen as a net positive by the consuming masses, especially people in the United States, in other countries, such as Russia and China, politicians see it as a threat to their positions. Instead of taking measures to improve themselves, most of the politicians in this position take to the offensive and have everything removed. This causes a schism, not only between the creator and the governing body, but also with the masses aware that the objectionable material has been removed. This ham-fisted attempt at damage control not only causes doubts in the people that hear about it, but also affirms the truth of whatever subject the creator has brought to light. Censorship stifles creativity of the individual and the citizens in the following regions; Europe, the United States, and China.
Europe has always maintained a hit and miss attitude towards censorship. One of the most famous incidents in European culture is the 399 BC execution of Socrates for “corrupting the youth”. Another notable example is the Nazi German burning of “un-German” books in 1933 across Austria and Germany (Ritchie). The book b...


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...article had suggested a law-based approach to governance in China. Tuo Zhen, Chinese propaganda chief, instead edited the article on the front page, praised the Communist Party of China, removed references to reform, and oddly contained factual errors about an ancient Chinese ruler (Montlake).
In conclusion, the internet is an impressive architecture, capable of allowing information, art, and ideas to be exchanged across the world at a breakneck pace never before seen in history. Censorship stifles that creativity and causes nothing but issues on both sides of the censorship wall. Whether it be from Europe and their blocking of supposed material, to the United States attempted measures, to Chinas questionable success in blocking unwanted material, none of the censorship seems to have any sort of benefit, only driving a divide between government and its citizens.


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