8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Internet Censorship

How do you feel about having limited access to certain websites and online content? When your school or company bans the use of social media in classes or during work hours, do you obligingly agree or vehemently express your disapproval? Internet censorship is a topic that has been received with mixed reactions, so if you’re also not sure if you agree or not with this idea, get to know the pros and cons to have a better basis on your opinion.

List of Advantages of Internet Censorship

1. It limits criminal activity.
Recruitment for terrorist groups, hacking into personal bank accounts, phishing, identity theft, and online scams are just some of the illegal activities that happen on the Web. Many people have fallen victims to these crimes and sometimes have no way to trace and capture the perpetrators. Internet censorship can help prevent these illegal activities because it can ban malicious content and keep a close watch on suspicious activity.

2. It helps protect children.
Kids use the Internet every day and parents can’t know what sort of content they are accessing 24-7. By censoring the Web, children will be freer to surf the Internet for their academic and entertainment needs while being protected from pornographic, violent, and other harmful content that can have a negative impact on them.

3. It strengthens online security.
Internet censorship can block harmful sites and allow only reliable and secure websites to be accessed. This means you can be safer when you share sensitive information online.

4. It sets standards for what should not be published.
Even professional members of the media believe that there should be a limit to what should and should not be published, especially if the material may be harmful or offensive. Censoring the Web can prevent content containing racist, discriminating, hateful, and violent messages from being spread online.

List of Disadvantages of Internet Censorship

1. It takes away freedom of expression.
The right to freedom of speech is prohibited once there is a limit as to what you can or cannot say on the Internet. The World Wide Web is where people can use a great level of creativity to express themselves, but censorship will take that away.

2. It limits access to important information.
With so many websites existing, it will be impossible to categorize each one as ‘harmful’ or ‘safe, or such. This means that there could be sites that are actually helpful that can be banned too. It can also promote ignorance about important events and developments in the world.

3. It is challenging to enforce.
Do security agencies and governments have enough funds and the workforce to implement Internet censorship on such a wide scale? Some countries don’t even have enough resources to assist their citizens with other important needs. Also, creating a uniform and consistent regulation will take a lot of time.

4. It allows the control of information for one’s benefit.
There will always be people who will take advantage of the power they have. For instance, if a government official knows he can control all content on the Internet, he knows that he can engage in illegal activities without fear that incriminating evidence could be posted online.

The Internet has undoubtedly been one of the most helpful inventions of our time. But it also cannot be denied that many people have used it for destructive purposes and have victimized many individuals in the process. Therefore, Internet censorship is needed, but the implementation must be done using methods that are truly beneficial and not harmful.