Censorship Is Halting Our Golden Age Of Exploring Social Issues Freely On The Internet

Censorship Is Halting Our Golden Age Of Exploring Social Issues Freely On The Internet

Because mass censorship has never had any negative consequences.
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Today we are living within the golden age of free speech, aided by the influence that the internet exerts on our population, not only as a nation but on a global scale. In today's networked society, seemingly anyone can publicly post, share and broadcast live their opinions and ideas — actions that would be regarded as impossible 100 years earlier. Our society has grown into one that flourishes under being united digitally, but now, our community is being threatened due to a growing issue: censorship.

Censorship is formally defined as the suppression of speech, public communication or other material that may be considered offensive, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions. A tricky definition, as opinions and ideas fluctuate within a population, and not everyone has the same beliefs. Therefore, a larger body determining what's "appropriate" is nothing but a red flag for concern.

As a result, our public body is seemingly becoming more and more opinionated and fragile to the ideas and opinions that used to start philosophical debates and spark movements. The influx of more ideas, all towards the betterment of society, are becoming censored — silenced. Though the internet's vast spread gives everyone a voice, it also backfires to give punishments to users for speaking. African American writer Ijeoma Oluo, called out racist hate speech on Facebook and promptly got suspended from the social media site. Laura Moriarty, another writer, faced intense backlash on Twitter, for leaking from her unpublished novel (set in a world where detainment camps for Muslim Americans are a reality) in which her savior-narrator is white.

Censorship used to only be about protecting the public from obscene material: full nudity, cursing and so forth. But now, it has become more about shutting down voices of those who challenge society rather than for protection. This is where the problem lies, as the new generation is increasingly relying on the internet as a source of entertainment, communication and education. By shutting down these voices, we are only promoting the growth of conventional ideas to remain controversial, taboo and unsolvable.

It's no longer an issue when children are exposed to these ideas and beliefs, but how they are exposed to them. In a real-world scenario, you interact with others around you, and though you may disagree with them, you treat them humanely. But on the internet, an avatar isn't a person anymore; we are objectified. It is easier to share and promote harmful sites and information behind an avatar than in-person. Even today, it is almost near impossible for children to use the internet without becoming exposed to something that would be considered dangerous or harmful in the news. In a sense, censorship is corrupting our golden age.

Censorship is the enemy of social progress because it silences its opposition: those in the interest of changing life's strict regime. For example, when the Abolitionists were working to abolish slavery, many of its members were censored to stop from spreading the idea of freedom. The Women's Rights Movement was heavily censored too, using the writing of feminists against them. Both of these movements were positive but hindered due to society's inability to accept and approach each situation. Placing a block on these people was easier than changing society's long-standing ways.

A common argument for censorship is that it protects the innocence of young users on the Internet from its dangers and upholds the social harmony, therefore protecting the large population on a grander scale. However, though protection may be morally correct, it itself not precisely effective. If someone willing is able to, all that is needed to find anything illegal is a web browser and new window. It's illogical to assume that censored information is locked tight away from the general public because leaks and the resharing of information are always a possibility. Killing the host does not guarantee the death of the rest of the virus. For example, Jake Paul's recent incident of mocking a dead body in a vlog he posted online resulted in his account termination by YouTube, but his influence and delayed response to delete the video resulted in mass sharing and re-uploads of the video, not only on YouTube's platform but across the mass social networking sites of the Internet. If a child should want to, finding and watching Paul's deleted video is not impossible.

Leading to the question: because the internet can sometimes be dangerous, should the entire Internet be even more restrained and confined within the growing box around it? No, it's illogical! Just because a few individuals use the Internet for the wrong reasons does not mean it should be revoked from the masses. It is used to find new places, explore new locations on Earth and test the abilities of mankind. Because of the internet, information is available to more people than ever before — allowing creativity and innovation to reach new heights and levels.

Who are we to stop that? But more importantly, who are we to try to?

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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When God Gives A Girl A Brother

He gives her a best friend.
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My brother is only 18 months younger than I am, but he's also at least a foot taller than me. Growing up with someone so close to my age has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Yes, there was a time when I thought every single little thing he did was annoying and his feelings towards me were mutual. Yes, we still get into arguments and disagreements. But for the most part, we enjoy each others company. When God gives a girl a brother, He gives her...

1. A listener

I always have someone to talk to. No matter what, when, or where. Some of my favorite moments are spent chatting my brother's ears off while he absent-mindedly nods and continues to play x-box. Sometimes he just listens and doesn't say anything. Sometimes he gives me long replies. He always knows just how to react to what I am saying to him, which is why I tell him almost everything.

2. A protector

When I think about the man that my brother has become, it seriously brings tears to my eyes. He's so big!! How did this happen? I can remember when I was little and could boss him around and he would actually do whatever I said. Now I'm scared that if he hugs me too hard, I might break in half. My brother cares about me, and lets me know it. I'm so thankful to know that he is there for me no matter what and would do anything to keep me from harm.

3. A dance partner

Another favorite memory is dancing to Juju on that beat in the kitchen while mom is cooking dinner (or dancing with us). Or any other time any other song is on... in any other place... LOL. My brother and I are different in a lot of ways, but we both have no problem busting a move together.

4. A Sonic date

"Hey, wanna go get a sonic drink?" "Yeah, if you're buying!" This is a typical conversation for us, and he actually really does usually buy my food! (With mom's credit card sometimes, does that still count?)

5. An example

Being the older sister, I sometimes feel like I have let my brother down in a lot of ways in that he is probably an example to me more than I am to him. He is incredibly smart, talented, and hard working. Kids FLOCK to this guy, and he has the most creative mind ever. Seriously, I'm so nervous that my future kids are going to like their funny uncle more than me. He's way cooler than I am, and I want to be just like him when I grow up.

6. Comic relief

If you've never heard a "Lane Prevett story," pull up a chair. I will be glad to make you cry from laughing so hard. There's no way you can spend time with him and not laugh. And that, to me, is the best kind of person to be.

7. A best friend

My brother is a lot of things, but my favorite thing about him is that he is my best friend. Yes, we aggravate each other. Sometimes he plays his music too loud, and sometimes I take up all the internet so that he can't play video games. But I know that he would do anything for me, and he knows the same goes for him.

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Sorry, Bella Thorne, But Whoopi Goldberg Has A Point

Nude photos leaked, a scandal on the rise

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It all started with nude photos. Bella Thorne decided to release photos of herself naked after revealing that someone had hacked her things and was threatening to post them. She took it upon herself and said "It's MY DECISION NOW U DON'T GET TO TAKE YET ANOTHER THING FROM ME. I can sleep tonight better, knowing that I took my power back."

Let me make this clear from the very beginning. Bella has taken private, nude photos of herself for a reason we don't know (Probably to send to her boyfriend). She then gets hacked and threatened but decides to show photos anyway of herself naked to show that she has control over the hacker. Phew, I'm already not understand this choice.

Many celebrities and other women have praised her decision to do so, but I'm not one of them, and neither is Whoopi Goldberg from The View. While talking about the situation on the show, she was quoted saying, "Listen, if you're famous, I don't care how old you are, you don't take nude pictures of yourself. When they're hacking you, they're hacking all of your stuff. So, whether it's one picture or a million pictures, once you take that picture, it goes into the cloud, and it's available to any hacker who wants it. If you don't know that in 2019, that this is an issue ... you don't get to do that."

Now correct me if I'm wrong but isn't she making a valid point? Technology now has the ability to do whatever it wants, and hackers can get a hold of anything and everything. Whatever photos you take and send through text or even Snapchat can and will be saved to phones or shared among other people. How many celebrities getting texts, photos, or even calls leaked to the media?

In response to Whoopi, Bella is stating that she should be ashamed of her views, that she is putting the blame on girls for taking photos and is sick and disgusting. Can I make this clear again, she is not shaming you! She is simply saying that people (Not just girls, guys as well) should be smarter with what photos they take, who they send them to and know where they could possibly end up. It's not shaming; it's not a lie; it is the exact truth.

In one of her quotes, Bella says, "So what a girl can't send her boyfriend that she misses photos of her that are sexy? Things he's already seen?". I'm sorry, but I find this sentence very problematic. No one is saying that you can't be sexy for your boyfriend, just be smart about it. Sure, he's seen you naked, sure you've had sex, but the rest of the world hasn't. Just because one person gets the right to see it doesn't mean everyone else does as well. Hackers are out there, they are real, and they are real for celebrities and Hollywood.

Now yet again, Bella is twisting this story into something that it isn't. Now in videos that she has made explaining her view, she suggests that Whoopi is victim-blaming and would say the same thing to someone who survived sexual assault. On Instagram, she said, "So, if I go out to a party drinking and I wanna dance on the dance floor, do I deserve to be raped too?". Now I'm sorry yet again, don't start going on a parade by throwing this into the mix.

You got hacked and someone was going to leak naked photos of you. You decide to leak them yourself because you are not letting a man control your life. Then you compared it to drinking at a party, wanting to dance and asking if you deserved to be raped by doing that? Okay, how are these two even being compared? I'm not going to get too into this but think about it. Taking private photos are risky now with hackers, anyone can get into it without a problem. It's 2019, this has been going on for years. You say a man can't control your life so you release them anyway. A woman being raped at a party where she has no control is different. You chose to take pictures with the risk of them being leaked. A woman does not chose to be raped just because she is dancing at a party. Sorry, there's a difference.

Sorry Bella Thorne, but Whoopi Goldberg is not shaming you, she is not victim blaming. She is simply saying the truth.

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