Censorship Of The Net

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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When you think of the first Amendment do you think of the Internet? Do you believe that censoring the Internet violates our first amendment rights? Some people believe that the internet should be censored because it is corrupting our children and our society, and other believe that the internet should not be censored and that it is other things that is corrupting our society. Due to the protection of the first amendment rights, censorship of the Internet violates our rights as American citizens. Censoring the Internet would not only be unconstitutional but it would limit learning and the experience that it holds. The controversial topic holds many different viewpoints. It is so vital to address because the Internet has become so big. Almost every teenager has either used, or seen someone use the Internet. This statistic alone puts this issue under a spotlight with many other controversial issues waiting to be solved.

The Internet is a realm of communication run wild. The communication may be mediated, but it is difficult to mediate what students find on the net. Horror stories abound of nasty bytes awaiting the unwary. But the Internet merely reflects the best and the worst that society has to offer, as opposed to a teacher's dream resource for the gifted student body. The value of the Internet is that it is not static or sterile world in which students can model idealized learning experiences. The Internet is not a database of "information" awaiting retrieval, nor is it a realm of "ask the specialist" types eager to help a grade eleven-biology project. It is a virtual reality, a reality similar in many ways to our own physical one. It has many of the same benefits and dangers, valuable experiences and enjoyable diversions. Part of the skill required to make...