Importance Of Internet Censorship

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Censorship can be viewed as an instrument for social control, a means through which the society at large or sub-groups within the society tend to limit and restrict views, opinions and information which are in contravention of their values and standards. Governments across the world are using this tool to prohibit or restrict contents which they deem should not be viewed by their citizens. Censorship extends to magazines, books, films and other forms of mass media. Internet is one such form of mass media where censorship has been rampant in the recent past. Internet censorship refers to filtering or limiting of the publishing of, or access to, information available on the internet. Internet censorship can be further classified in two types,…show more content…
Often attempts have been made to control or filter content available on internet ranging from ban on Pakistani daily Dawn in 1999 to the latest ban on 857 porn websites imposed by the DoT. Primarily, internet censorship is done for three main reasons; power and politics, security and social norms, and morals. Internet censorship, to a very wide extent, has suffered opposition from various forums and one such forum is social media. Social media itself has often fallen prey to internet censorship and such steps by government are reprimanded to a very large extent. The foremost argument of social media against internet censorship is that it curtails the very basic idea of freedom of speech and expression which is enshrined as a fundamental right in Part III of the Constitution of India. 2. SCOPE OF THE PAPER This paper analyses the reactions of social media to instances of Internet censorship in India. For the purpose of this paper, the researcher shall be examining three instances of Internet censorship in India and will be analysing the manner in which social media reacted to them. Social media in the given context shall include social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter etc, blogging sites like Legally India, and websites of leading newspapers…show more content…
People questioned the banning of social media and contrasted it with Urdu print media and telephonic services still open for use. They contended that instead of banning websites like Twitter, government should rather look for ways of nabbing people who are trying the destabilize the communal harmony by spreading such rumours on online forums. Others, while accepting the cons of social networking sites, tried to put forth the point that the same can be used to trace out essential information pertaining to criminal elements and IP addresses of such reprobates. According to various reports, government was planning to ban Twitter absolutely in 8 States, though later the plan was not implemented as the PMO was of the view that “water can’t be switched off to an entire colony just because few taps were giving bad water” and it stressed on the point that these networking sites do form an integral part of communication in a country wherein around 146 million people are active on such
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