Reflective Summary (Censorship On Social Media)

Censored
(Source: Google Images)

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Comment 1: Crystal Moh
Comment 2: Ong Tian Yi

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In my previous post, I wrote about the dangers of social media censorship and
how it takes away the freedom of speech and free access to information.
Marketing-wise, this removal of information leads to consumers being incapable of
making informed choices.
I believe that only when consumers have full access to information and knowledge of both the
positive and negative aspects of a product or service, can they make the right buying decision.

Crystal wrote about the issues pertaining to false information generation and how it can
mislead buying decision.
It got me thinking about the need for those targeted organisations to address the false information.
In which case, they might require information control and censorship in order to mitigate
any dangers that might arise as a result of it.

Tian Yi wrote about aggressive advertising and how it might lead to issues such as brand insecurity, revenge campaign, backlash from customers etc.
It would seem that if negative comments were left unchecked on their social media pages,
it would take root and result in a cascading effect where more negativity is generated.
In such cases, censorship might also serve to curb any potential problems from arising.

Both of them raised the topic of negative and false information which might be harmful
to the organisation.
In retrospect, I was wrong to insist that all information censorship is harmful.
If censorship is done properly and with the right intentions, it can help maintain the health
of the organisation.
Of course, I have to reiterate that censorship done with an intention to control information flow,
with the sole purpose of enforcing obedience and conformity is still a practice that cannot be condone.

Is censorship unethical when brought into the context of businesses?
It would seem that this is a line not so easily navigated.
When does censorship become wrong?
And when does it become an absolute necessity?
I believe that it all comes down to the intentions of censorship.

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(327 Words)

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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?

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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