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Ethics Of Internet Censorship

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Introduction

The Internet as we know it is based upon the principles of being “free and open”. No single government, company, person, or entity known to man has complete and absolute control over the web (Google - Take Action). However, as with any medium of knowledge, there will always be those who wish to censor it, for better or worse. Censorship can be defined in many ways. In the context of the Internet, censorship may be defined as the act of suppressing or controlling the access and flow of information to achieve a means. This is a deeply ethical issue because the unrestricted flow of information can be a dangerous thing. However, it is also a philosophical issue pertaining to the concept of free speech.

Ethics of Internet censorship at a societal level

The ethics of internet censorship at a societal level depend on whether the society as a whole agrees whether censorship is morally permissible. Both sides of the argument often hold several key arguments. The pro-censorship side contends that censorship is necessary to protect society. There are usually several three key concerns in which this side presents.
The first is that censorship is necessary as society deems certain things to be socially taboo. This moral based argument includes various forms of pornography, racism, excess violence, hate crime, misogyny, abuse, et cetera. These are things that are commonly censored in other forms of media. The idea is that if society already accepts censorship of these things in various mediums, then the Internet should be no exception (McGahan). One such example is how various forms of pornography are illegal in different states.
The second argument is a legal argument that states the government is simply exercising its...

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