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Can you imagine a place where expressing your own opinion is not allowed? Picture not being able to research a topic of your interest. Can you imagine a place where you can get penalized for your choice of words? Can you imagine living in a society that prohibits you from expressing yourself the way you like? Well, if you live in a democratic society, you probably cannot imagine living under such strict laws. In a democratic society, freedom of speech is necessary because a democratic government is government run for the people, by the people and of the people. Freedom of speech allows us to express ourselves both publicly and privately. Censoring the Internet is a very complex issue that is open for debate.

Should the Internet be censored? Many people might agree on this and those are the people who have younger children online. Many parents feel that the Internet should definitely be censored because the Internet allows minors to explore sites that may be harmful to them; such sites might include pornography. Pornography is a big issue for parents because they feel that it exists all over the Internet. They are not mistaken; it is fairly easy to find pornography on the net. Nonetheless, you will not actually see pornographic entities unless you open up the site. Just like the Internet, pornography also exists in television and the movie industry. The fact is that if you want to see pornography you will turn on the television to the specific channel and choose to watch it. Many times people may receive pornographic mail, but unless you open the mail you are not exposed to pornography. Instead of censoring the net, there are alternative solutions. Parents and schools may purchase Surf Watch and Net Nanny instead of insisting on censoring the Internet as a whole. The problem is that the use of children in order to help the media censor the net is very easy. People have a soft spot for children, they know that they are defenseless and they need protecting, so it’s of better benefit to involve children in this debate, because everyone has the same image of a child.

Just like children, women also are considered to be weak and vulnerable, and unable to take care of themselves. Miller states that “The idea that women merit special protections in an environment as incorporeal as the Net is ultimately bound up with the idea that women’s minds are weak, fragile, and unsuited to the rough and tumble of public discourse” (105). Here Miller is bringing up the point that women are usually portrayed to be weaker than men are and they too need protecting from the Internet. Since women have this image of being weak, it is easy for them to use women as an example for censoring the Net. Although, there are many men who are as sensitive about certain issues as women, sometimes maybe more. “Yet, because Seabury is a man, no one attributes the attack to his gender or suggests that the Net has proven an environment hostile to men.” (Miller 104) Here Miller is showing us the biased responses that people have against men and women. Because Seabury was a man, nobody acknowledged that he was hurt or that he felt violated. Men carry around the role and the image of being strong, rugged and unfeeling. That is the reason why men are not used to prove a point that the Internet should be censored, because men don’t need protecting. In general the media will use whoever they want as an excuse to censor the net. But, what they are not considering is that they are stopping people that don’t need protecting from searching the Net freely.

“In an ideal world, virtual communities would acquire new members entirely by self-selection: people would enter an electronic neighborhood only if it focussed on something they cared about” (Bruckman 175). Amy Bruckman is stating that yes, there are communities on the internet that may not interest you, but that doesn’t mean that you will enter that community. It also applies when the room you selected was fine in the beginning and had a bad turn out, you don’t have to stay in that community but rather leave and choose another one. When someone is speaking to you in a vulgar way you can get up and leave instead of staying there to take the abuse. Just like when someone is using profanity or says something that offends you, you have the right to get up and leave and not pay attention to that person again. So, if you receive an electronic message that is offending to you, you have the right to ignore the person or just leave the room.

Can you imagine a place where expressing your own opinion is not allowed? Picture not being able to research a topic of your interest. Can you imagine a place where you can get penalized for your choice of words? Can you imagine living in a society that prohibits you from expressing yourself the way you like? Well, if you live in a democratic society, you probably cannot imagine living under such strict laws. In a democratic society, freedom of speech is necessary because a democratic government is government run for the people, by the people and of the people. Freedom of speech allows us to express ourselves both publicly and privately. Censoring the Internet is a very complex issue that is open for debate.

Should the Internet be censored? Many people might agree on this and those are the people who have younger children online. Many parents feel that the Internet should definitely be censored because the Internet allows minors to explore sites that may be harmful to them; such sites might include pornography. Pornography is a big issue for parents because they feel that it exists all over the Internet. They are not mistaken; it is fairly easy to find pornography on the net. Nonetheless, you will not actually see pornographic entities unless you open up the site. Just like the Internet, pornography also exists in television and the movie industry. The fact is that if you want to see pornography you will turn on the television to the specific channel and choose to watch it. Many times people may receive pornographic mail, but unless you open the mail you are not exposed to pornography. Instead of censoring the net, there are alternative solutions. Parents and schools may purchase Surf Watch and Net Nanny instead of insisting on censoring the Internet as a whole. The problem is that the use of children in order to help the media censor the net is very easy. People have a soft spot for children, they know that they are defenseless and they need protecting, so it’s of better benefit to involve children in this debate, because everyone has the same image of a child.

Just like children, women also are considered to be weak and vulnerable, and unable to take care of themselves. Miller states that “The idea that women merit special protections in an environment as incorporeal as the Net is ultimately bound up with the idea that women’s minds are weak, fragile, and unsuited to the rough and tumble of public discourse” (105). Here Miller is bringing up the point that women are usually portrayed to be weaker than men are and they too need protecting from the Internet. Since women have this image of being weak, it is easy for them to use women as an example for censoring the Net. Although, there are many men who are as sensitive about certain issues as women, sometimes maybe more. “Yet, because Seabury is a man, no one attributes the attack to his gender or suggests that the Net has proven an environment hostile to men.” (Miller 104) Here Miller is showing us the biased responses that people have against men and women. Because Seabury was a man, nobody acknowledged that he was hurt or that he felt violated. Men carry around the role and the image of being strong, rugged and unfeeling. That is the reason why men are not used to prove a point that the Internet should be censored, because men don’t need protecting. In general the media will use whoever they want as an excuse to censor the net. But, what they are not considering is that they are stopping people that don’t need protecting from searching the Net freely.

“In an ideal world, virtual communities would acquire new members entirely by self-selection: people would enter an electronic neighborhood only if it focussed on something they cared about” (Bruckman 175). Amy Bruckman is stating that yes, there are communities on the internet that may not interest you, but that doesn’t mean that you will enter that community. It also applies when the room you selected was fine in the beginning and had a bad turn out, you don’t have to stay in that community but rather leave and choose another one. When someone is speaking to you in a vulgar way you can get up and leave instead of staying there to take the abuse. Just like when someone is using profanity or says something that offends you, you have the right to get up and leave and not pay attention to that person again. So, if you receive an electronic message that is offending to you, you have the right to ignore the person or just leave the room.

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