Censorship: Beneficial to Democracies?


Up until these past readings, I have always questioned the need for censorship on the Internet, specifically in the U.S., minus serial killers via Craig’s List, rapists, terrorists and such. The internet has been perceived by many including myself as a democratic entity within our technologically advanced society used to enable people to apply the first amendment in the Constitution through freedom of speech or in this case tweets. However, after reading Morozov’s critical analysis of authoritarian regimes lack of censorship in order to distance citizens from politics and increase their interest in entertainment and absurd shows like the “The Tit Show”, I have begun to realize why the need for censorship is important. Such acts are not actual signs of these countries democratizing whatsoever. Instead, they are one of the many deceptive techniques authoritarian regimes’ have adopted to deceive their citizens’ perceptions of the world and views towards the government controlling them.

It is not only the United States and Western countries that are consumed and constantly enveloped with non-sense considered “news” such as what Kim Kardashian is wearing, but around the world. This trend has become MIND BOGGLING to me as young adult who has a deep interest in foreign affairs and what is going on in our world. Although I find it saddening yet not surprised that Russians today are more interested in how to lose weight as Moroloz mentions in Chapter 3 rather than how to protect human rights while their government is engaged in such assaults on their own citizens, I was rather intrigued that this was not based on financial motives to boost ratings/internet views. Instead, the true intentions behind their lack of censorship is used to benefit the government’s need to keep citizens compliant under their control and prolong their time in office by distracting them with other issues. If governments such as Russia and China continue to manipulate the internet by endorsing entertainment bloggers to overflow the web and co-opt stints with search engines to produce propaganda to hide vital information from the public, what will be able to prevent such leaders from engaging in more invasive activities? Whose responsibility is it that their citizens are receiving fragmented information to disclose what is going behind the scenes? Leave authoritarian regimes to fiend for themselves?  U.S. or U.N. intervention?

There is a fine line as to what type of internet content is appropriate to publish or is just garbage that needs to be distinguished in order for democracies to implement in order to weed out the invalid information spread across the internet. Hopefully, other types of government will mock democracies step in making the internet a more credible source. With too much influx of material being published on the web, there will come to a point where users themselves will be unable to differentiate fact from fiction.

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