The internet is a very important factor in life in the 21st Century. It’s almost impossible for many people to imagine life without it. How would we exist without memes, images, videos, social media, downloads and streaming? The internet is an ever-present source of information that is accessible to everyone. But is it really safe to let the internet go on without some forms of controls or censorship? There are two sides to this argument. Does the Internet need Regulation? The debate for an uncensored vs censored internet has been going on for a while. Since the internet became publically available, to be precise. At it’s most basic level, the internet is a network of connected computers across the world. It is the information superhighway. Every day, corporations make revenue off the internet. Freelancers and online part-timers make their livings of the internet. Schools and universities educate students through the internet. Platforms like Facebook make billions off using the internet for ad targeting. But that’s just the Light Side of the internet. Much like The Force in Star Wars, the internet has a dark side as well. The dark side of the internet is a scary place to visit. With no international regulations adequately policing the internet, it’s a free-for-all situation. Cybercriminals are always on the prowl on the internet. They use malware to try and steal your personal information. They may misuse your credentials and even your digital identity. Even multi-million dollar corporations are not safe from these people. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The shallow web, or the part of the internet we can access from a typical web browser, is only a small part of the web. The majority of the web is the so-called Deep Web. Even visiting the dark or deep web can compromise your internet identity. That’s not to mention the horrific content there. Everything from pornography to snuff films to pedophile social platforms. The internet is a dark, dark place to be. Which forms the basis for arguments for regulation. In this blog, we look at: The Argument for a Censored Internet The Argument for an Uncensored Internet Read on to take a look at the major points put forward by both arguments. The Argument for a Censored Internet So we now know that the internet can be a dark place, which can traumatize “innocent” users. The people who argue for a censored internet put forward many points to consider. Some of them include: Sexual, violent or disturbing content is harmful to most people and needs censorship. Censorship assures the safety of personal data. Unsafe or harmful sites should be blocked. This should prevent sensitive data from ending up in the wrong hands. Censorship prevents minors and young children from harmful websites and malicious software. Red-area websites are a prime candidate for censorship. They offer traumatizing content like actual rape or murder footage. This type of content can have a severe impact on a person’s psyche. Censorship will ideally disable these websites and make them inaccessible. Cyberbullying is a real problem, thanks to the anonymity of the internet. A strong censorship framework can actually save many people. At least from suffering the harmful effects of cyberbullying. People in favor of a censored internet say censorship does not mean a loss of freedom. Instead, it only maps out the digital landscape with a set of ethics. The Argument for an Uncensored Internet Many people are strong supporters of an uncensored internet. They cite several basic rights to freedom that should also exist in the digital world. Some of the arguments put forward by this group include: Censoring taboo topics only makes it harder to understand them. It becomes difficult for people to access knowledge or information on them. It is only a small step from censoring questionable material to censoring vital information. Governments would have complete control over what information people can access about bardot prom dresses. Censorship is a possible violation of many basic human rights. These include the right to free speech and the freedom of the press. It also cuts at the fundamental freedom of association. The only parties with a right to censor content for young users are their parents. Active filtering and supervision by parents are enough. At least when it comes to protecting their kids from inappropriate material. It may even become impossible for future generations to stage resistance. There will be no means to rebel against totalitarian or fascist governments. Both sides present arguments that have, at the very least, some merit. But everyone agrees that using the internet safely is in everyone’s best interests. Look into some browsers with advanced privacy options. That way, at least you’re anonymous and safe when you are browsing. Invest in good anti-virus and use internet ethically. In the meantime, let’s wait and see if internet regulations come to pass or if it will stay as is.