Freedom of Speech vs. Censorship on the Internet

Topics: Obscenity, Freedom of speech, Censorship, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Pornography / Pages: 9 (2113 words) / Published: Oct 9th, 2008
Freedom of Speech Vs. Censorship:
Children on the Internet
The internet is a very controversial communication device in today’s society. If desired, one could find information on nearly any topic they choose. Censorship and free speech is a widely discussed topic when dealing with the current freedom of the internet especially when dealing with young minds. Should the internet have censored topics which would be illegal to post and/or view freely by children? Should the internet be a free-for-all arena in which anyone could do as they wish without judgment of others opinions and views imposing on their own? So far in class and in the text Gift of Fire by Sara Baase we have seen many issues dealing with Freedom of Speech and the internet. Dealing with issues such as access of children to controversial material like pornography hate speech, and weapons making has increased the debate in society today. I pose to look into this debate and explain my thoughts and opinions on each side of the issue. Freedom of speech has been an integral part of the United States since the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech or of the press…” (Mount, 2007). However, this does not protect speech that harms the wellbeing, security, or welfare of people in society (Leonard, 2008). Therefore, should certain regulations be lawful to stop communication that encourages violence, obscenity, defamation, or possibly harmful outcomes still be protected under the First Amendment? This question has been posed in the many different forms of communication throughout the history of the US.
With the relatively recent rise and evolution of the internet, freedom of speech is closely being looked at to make out what is legal and ethical. The internet currently is a grey area when it comes to free speech in America and much of the world. While in the physical world people are usually wary of freely sharing



Cited: Baase, Sara. A Gift Of Fire. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc, 2008. Simmons, Charlene. "Protecting Children While Silencing Them: The Children 's Online Privacy Protection Act and Children 's Free Speech Rights." Communication Law and Policy 12.2 (2007): 119-142

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