Even those who believe in pure freedom of speech will usually agree that libel and slanderous statements against private individuals should be censored and subject to legal enforcement for violations. No one should be in the business of destroying the good reputation of moral law abiding citizens.
Libelous and slanderous statements or lies against public officials and celebrities are deplorable, especially if they come from the establishment media. Even in public media the anything goes philosophy does not seem appropriate and some censorship is necessary. If the speech is moral then there should be no censorship of it. But who is going to define what moral free speech is and who can be trusted to enforce it?
Censorship by the powerful and monied class is especially corrosive when there is immorality in the leadership of entertainment, business, and political institutions. Powerful celebrities sometimes do practice sexual abuse and sometimes gender exploitation because they think they will get away with the behavior and whistleblowers are often ruthlessly financially destroyed or blacklisted for trying to divulge the corruption.
Criminal and fraudulent behavior and scams, child pornography, incitements to violently overthrow the government, terrorist recruiting, death threats on the internet, exposure of minors to very deviant violent sexual behavior or pornography, and trying to ruin the good reputation of an individual in the media with unproven libelous and slanderous videos are the major areas which definitely need censorship.
The internet and phone lines have been free for so long that criminals and scam artists are rampant and the security of phone lines is in jeopardy with “scam possible” messages on phone lines that don’t seem to go away. It actually is beginning to seem that scam artists are so powerful that freedom from them or exclusion of them from your home is becoming a losing battle.
I am not convinced that “hate” speech should be censored since there are so many things which humans can hate. There are individuals, ethnic groups, nations, criminal or immoral behavior, and illegal substances which some humans hate with a passion. Should this hate speech be censored too, and if so, to what degree? The borderline between “I don’t like a lot” and “I hate” is sometimes very broad and it is almost impossible to discriminate verbally between the two.
Who will censor this? Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, etc. will have to do this and yes, many may be unjustly censored, especially deviant political ideas and extremes, but the deviant ones should be able to go to other less well known websites and spew their radical views there. When the deviant websites begin to reach a much broader audience then they will have to censor their own websites too or their reputation will remain in the toilet.
Ultimately it is the youth of a nation which needs censorship from criminal, immoral, and deceptive practices. If the internet is going to be the primary source of information and entertainment then the internet will have to be censored as a public utility by someone. China is already censoring the internet to a large extent and I believe it is just a matter of time before the United States also is going to have to begin censoring the internet in a much more aggressive style than at present. Perhaps the real solution is to create an internet for minors with optimal censorship and an internet for adults with minimum censorship.
The only certain thing is that big money will continue to play a dominant role in censorship procedures and will try to make sure that their information will be prominently displayed before the public. Who will counteract the power of big money on the internet? Few to date are fulfilling that important role of monitoring the censorship of big money and making sure that small reputable businesses have a fair playing field on the internet.
I personally bemoan the fact that I can no longer easily get quality pictures and videos to share on my blog website. There are fewer and fewer websites which offer basic trustworthy online picture editing or resizing for free. Yes, plagiarism and theft of intellectual property was rampant in the old internet but the new internet is becoming a world where minority views and efforts are easily suppressed by big money and censoring search engine algorithms.
How much will the internet be censored in the future? It is hard to predict how intense the censorship will be other than the fact that there will be more of it. The little internet user will be more oppressed than ever and it will be almost impossible trying to make some money with videos and written content unless you are a celebrity to begin with.
Criminal and immoral activity on the internet must be minimized and fake news and fake facts should be policed to some extent. Trust in a website means that the website has a good reputation and we should never reach a point where no website on the internet can be trusted anymore, since society will disintegrate into dangerous chaos and instability.
Sexual promiscuity and some drug use rampantly promoted in the entertainment media is devastating the stability of family life and harmonious male female relationships. The credibility of establishment media is being assaulted with some success and they no longer have a sterling reputation. It seems that alternate media is the wave of the future since mainstream media is fast losing its credibility and with it moral trusting consumers.
How the internet will look in ten years is debatable but we can definitely look forward to more censorship and more breaches of security by unscrupulous hackers. In the meantime, try to enjoy the treacherous tumultuous ride!
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