Censorship: An Obstacle for True Democracy

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Censorship has been used by governments and influential groups throughout history as a tool for political and economic gain since ancient times. The Romans thought censorship was necessary to shape the morals of society to match up with government ideals. During the 1500's the Catholic Church banned certain texts that conflicted with the established religion from being read. In these times the idea of censorship was viewed differently that it is today. With powerful organizations limiting information it was often impossible for an average person to obtain literature or hear ideas that vary from state ideals, they probably didn't even know that their information was being censored. We live in a different age today, information is more readily available and censorship is often looked at as a negative practice that limits freedoms. That said, it still exists today and can be viewed as an obstacle to true democracy. Even some of the most authoritarian regimes around today allude to the fact that democracy is desirable. In the 2012 EIU's Index of Democracy, North Korea is ranked 167th in terms of level of democracy (the lowest ranked country on the index). Yet they mention democracy in their countries official name, “Democratic People's Republic of Korea”. Those outside of North Korea might look at this as some sort of sick joke, but it highlights peoples desire for fair and democratic process across the world. North Korea is an extreme case for lack of democracy, as well as an extreme case of government mandated censorship, but censorship is not limited to the low end of the democratic spectrum. It comes many shapes and forms and exists in some level in the majority of nations across the globe. This paper will outline and analyze ... ... middle of paper ... ...urity Numbers in order to participate in online communities. Anonymity is seen as one of the fundamentals that makes an ope internet such an important tool for democracy. People at the lowest of the social structure can voice their opinions to the same audience as someone of high social standing, in short it's the words that are more important than who they are on the internet. Internet censorship has played a large role in politics since the 2002 presidential election. South Korea has strict rules on what can and can't be said in regards to elections and when election campaigning can begin. Fish Notes the public figures for the number of deletion requests and investigations involving the censorship of the internet has increased over the last 10 years. In Fish's conclusion he tries to reconcile these conflict involving one of the most successful democracies in Asia
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