Internet Pornography: Freedom of Press or Dangerous Influence?
Sexual morality has declined in America today. The immoral life can be seen all around us. We see it in drugs, alcohol, movies, magazines, gangs, teenage pregnancy, pre-marital sex, and society as a whole. A person can walk into almost any convenience store and purchase a magazine depicting naked women. After considering the increase in rape and molestation, sexual harassment, and other sex crimes over the last few decades, and also the corresponding increase of business in the pornography industry, the question that comes up is does the media, especially Internet, cause undesirable social consequences with specific reference to pornography and violence?. The Internet is a method of communication and a source of information that is becoming popular among those who are interested in the information superhighway. The problem with this world we know as Cyberspace, the 'Net, or the Web is that some of this information, including pornographic material and hate literature, is being accessible to minors. The vast majority of information on the Internet is entertaining, informative, and educational. Nevertheless, the "Net" can have a dark side. The Internet is seemingly unregulated at present. This means that unlike any other form of communications available today it is open to abuse and misuse in a myriad of ways. The unregulated flow of information that the Internet provides creates concerns with parents and politicians. It started by way of messengers and scribes, evolved through the presentation of newspapers and radio, brought us together with television, and now serves us world-wide via the ever-popular Internet. It is the mass media, and even from the earliest days of its existence, it has contributed reality in ways that both enlighten and enrich society, and ways that deteriorate and perplex it. It is not a surprise to learn, then, that the mass media is the most powerful source of information we have, and nothing else in nowadays world influences public perception quite as heavily. Unfortunately, however, most of what is broadcast or transmitted in the news today is with reference to the chaotic condition of our planet, or something else that society as a whole sees as detrimental or damaging. But the news on television is not the only type of media taking the criticism of society. One of the drawing features of the young Internet was its freedom. It's "...a rare example of a true, modern, functional anarchy...there are no official censors, no bosses, no board of directors, no stockholders". It's an open forum where anyone can say anything, and the only thing holding them back is their own conscience. The purpose of the Internet is to promote learning and to promote easy access to other resources available on the Internet. Millions of people worldwide are using the Internet to share information, make new associations and communicate. Individuals and businesses, from students and journalists, to consultants, programmers and corporate giants are all harnessing the power of the Internet. This flood of information is a beautiful thing and it can only open the minds of society. With the explosion of the World Wide Web, anyone could publish his or her ideas to the world. But no matter how great and significant the effects of the Internet in our lives might be, there are some quite considerable consequences and drawbacks. An extremely important issue is child pornography. Computer technology is providing child molesters and child pornographers with powerful new tools for victimizing children. The result is an explosive growth in the production and distribution of illegal child pornography, as well as new forms of child predation. Research carried out at Stockholm University identified 5651 postings of child pornography in four discussion groups. Children around the world are being sexually assaulted, molested and...
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