How much is too much?

“The most effective system of internet control is not the one that has the most sophisticated and draconian system of censorship, but the one that has no need for censorship whatsoever” (Morozov, 58). This was the first of many things that popped out of me in chapter 3 of The Net Delusion by E. Morozov. In the beginning of this chapter he proposes that rather than keeping strict censorship in Russia, the government chooses to keep young Russians out of politics in order to keep their authoritarian society. Does this noncensorship that keeps the citizens enthralled with “cheap entertainment” prevent the so-called radicalization that could overthrow a government? Do citizens want to have a revolution but are distracted by all these mediums? This question that Morozov poses is one I never considered because of this democratic government that our society is surrounded by.

In Morozov’s fourth chapter, Censors and Sensibilities, he argues that Wikis and social networking sites are helping to boost the activity of governments and businesses in certain countries (Morozov, 87).  This is similar to Eli Praiser’s concepts in The Filter Bubble, in which he explains that the power of an individual to constantly be connected and link to other websites at all times, leads certain sites to be able to be aware of our internet usage. I believe that it is possible the government and related businesses that Morozov mentions use this power that Facebook, Amazon and Google (and other sites like this) have harnessed to be able to monitor citizens and other individuals. 

What I contemplated while going through these readings is whether or not censorship is an issue in everyday society. Do we just not notice is as much because it does not exist in our societies, or does it exist and we are so unaware to that government and businesses get away with it without a hitch? At what level is censorship acceptable, and is there a tipping point where it becomes too much? 

This entry was posted in Winter 2012. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to How much is too much?

  1. ksoisson says:

    I know what you mean regarding censorship and how it seems to really be a grey area. I think it does exist in everyday society, just as something that might be more subtle. The thing that I find interesting and somewhat disturbing is the topic that we also talked about in class: the access that people (especially governments) have to our information. It is scary that governments can use the tools as monitoring devices. It may not be as big of an issue in some countries, but in countries where there may be stricter Internet laws and more monitoring, citizens may have to be more careful with “cheap entertainment” in which they are actually taking part.

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