What is Internet Censorship?

Internet censorship puts restrictions on what information can be publicized or viewed on the Internet. Governments and other organizations commonly use internet censorship to block access to copyrighted information as well as to harmful or sensitive content. However, internet censorship can also be used as a propaganda method to promote specific religions and political agendas.

In the beginning, the Internet was monitored by the Internet community rather than by governments or official organizations. The goal was to avoid government interference in order to promote freedom of speech and lack of prejudice. Though these initial sentiments were admirable in theory, governments and other bodies have been increasingly monitoring the Internet after concluding that self-monitoring was no longer adequate to solve emerging issues. Several examples of these issues included the increase of criminal activity on the Internet, the evolution of the Internet as a social phenomenon, the diversity of Internet users, and the advent of various political doctrines on the Internet.

To conclude, internet censorship exists to

  • prevent individuals accessing copyrighted information.
  • stop people from viewing harmful or sensitive content.
  • promote particular religions and political ideas.
  • control Internet-related and Internet-communicated crime.
  • monitor the billions of people on the Internet with varying opinions and preferences.

Thus, internet censorship acts as a viable method by governments and official organizations to manage what their citizens can view.