Censorship On Social Media

social-media-censorship
(Source: Google Images)

For now, let’s get a few definitions out of the way.

Free speech(noun): The right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint.
Censorship(noun): The system or practice of censoring books, movies, letters, etc

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CITY HARVEST CHURCH TRIAL

chc
(Source: Google Images)

For the past 5 years, a certain court case in Singapore had captured the attention of the masses.
Read about it here.
Type “city harvest church trial” in your search bar and many unbiased reports can
easily found online from state and independent publishers.
Yet despite the wealth of news anyone can retrieve from the internet,
it is strange that the church had chose to have their own news coverage on citynews.sg.
Their reason given was that they wanted to provide an unbiased report for their members.
UNBIASED.

Recently, the court convicted all the 6 accused and something interesting happened.
Deleted post by citynews.sg
After reading the above report, you will realise that the news disseminated to the church members
had been highly sanitised, unbalanced and CENSORED.
Even on their Facebook page, negative comments on their posts are regularly deleted.

Is this information censorship to enforce obedience and control?
Is there freedom of speech and common sharing of knowledge?

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INFORMATION CENSORSHIP

How-Many-People-use-the-Internet-in-2014
(Source: Google Images)

Internet Live Statistics

With high numbers of internet users and different social upbringing, it can be safely assumed
that there will surely be dissenters. But what happens when social media is controlled and
the people loses their voice to speak up or to share what they really think?

.

Knowledge is power, and transparency is the remedy to the darkness under
which corruption and abuse thrives.
-Laura Neuman

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What happens when dissenters and opposing views are regularly purged?
Within the church mentioned above, the members only tend to hear the good parts.
Even state media had been censored on their social media site.
Censored and controlled information should not have a place in modern society.


(Source: YouTube)

When organisations perform information censorship, they basically take away the freedom
to explore fresh ideas and areas. The rest of the people also loses access to the information.
Progression is slowed or halted because conformity then becomes the norm.

Social media gave the people a place to voice out their thoughts when they couldn’t before in the
pre-internet era. Thus it would be reasonable to think that this ability to voice out your opinions on
social media would be well-accepted and be seen as a gateway to further societal progress.
If we are to progress, we need to be able to make better, informed choices.
And to do that, we need full access to information.

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Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.
-Rosa Luxemburg

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So is information censorship on social media ethical?
I think not.

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(440 Words)

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References

Twitter abuse: Easy on the messenger. (2014, January 24).
Retrieved November 9, 2015,
from http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/24/twitter-abuse-abusive-tweets-editorial?CMP=twt_gu

Greenwald, G. (2014, October 1). Why privacy matters.
Retrieved November 9, 2015,
from http://www.ted.com/talks/glenn_greenwald_why_privacy_matters

Kelion, L. (2013, October 7). UK jumps up internet scoreboard as digital divide grows.
Retrieved November 9, 2015,
from http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-24426739

Revis, L. (2015, July 22). Social Media & Censorship: Freedom of Expression and Risk.
Retrieved November 9, 2015,
from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/layla-revis/social-media-censorship-f_b_7837398.html

CHC slammed for ‘secrecy, culture of insecurity. (2015, October 23).
Retrieved November 9, 2015,
from http://www.singaporelawwatch.sg/slw/headlinesnews/71824-city-harvest-church-trial-what-the-judge-said.html#sthash.hDJPzKne.dpbs

Carter, J., Calland, R., Neuman, L., & Roberts, A. (2002, November 1).
Access to information: A key to democracy.
Retrieved November 9, 2015,
from https://www.cartercenter.org/documents/1272.pdf

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5 responses to “Censorship On Social Media

  1. Hi Edward!

    Good to see another post regarding Internet censorship. Great minds think alike don’t we? However, both of us have some different viewpoints. While I focused on Internet censorship protecting its population and the extend of information revealed to its people, you have demonstrated that censorship is taking away freedom to explore and fresh ideas being created.

    We have both come to a point of agreement that ‘freedom of speech’ is that main argument. We should be granted with freedom to do anything, because the Internet should always be transparent. After putting in deep thoughts, I’ve realised that people are the ones causing the problem, not the internet. Thus I would like to leave you with a question that I’ve yet to have a conclusion.

    How does one know if a piece of information should be censored or not? For example UFO – whereby NASA has kept unrevealed/censored but from my perspective I think people do have the rights to know what’s happening around their world!

    (165 words)

    Siew Woon

    • Siew Woon,

      I totally agree on the first statement. Great minds do think alike! 😉

      I went to read your blog and I agree on your stance too.
      There are times where censorship is beneficial.
      And you did raise a very good question.
      How do we know if a piece of information should be censored or not?

      If I have to come up with one, I’ll say “MORALITY”.
      What is moral and immoral?
      What is acceptable and true?
      What is frowned upon?

      In the Victorian era, it was socially unacceptable for women to show their ankles.
      But modern times? Who will seriously cover their ankles?
      If they had internet back then, i’m pretty sure photos of ankles will be censored.

      So the way I see it, censorship should be done on what we deem immoral in modern society.
      Eg: Child pornography, pro-polygamy articles, cat eating etc.
      Maybe 100 years later, these will become acceptable. Who knows?

      We all have the rights to information but when the information can potentially lead to crime, violence and immorality… then yeah, it should be censored.
      But information censorship to enforce conformity and control? No.

      Edward

      • Hi Edward,

        Thanks for the prompt reply. Your answer to morality was a great one indeed and I can’t agree further for the evolution of technologies which prompt changes on Internet censorship.

        Perhaps let’s discuss this 30 years down the road and see if there’s any changes to our problem! (:

        Siew Woon

  2. Pingback: Reflection: Topic 4 – Internet Censorship | eat good ice-cream

  3. Pingback: The Origins of The Internet | CARPE DIEM

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