Censorship: An Obstacle for True Democracy

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Censorship has been used by governments and influential groups throughout history as a tool for political and economic gain since ancient times. The Romans thought censorship was necessary to shape the morals of society to match up with government ideals. During the 1500's the Catholic Church banned certain texts that conflicted with the established religion from being read. In these times the idea of censorship was viewed differently that it is today. With powerful organizations limiting information it was often impossible for an average person to obtain literature or hear ideas that vary from state ideals, they probably didn't even know that their information was being censored. We live in a different age today, information is more…show more content…
In order to understand the significance of this study you first need to understand how Chinese internet censorship works on social media sites. Social media sites in China such as Sina Weibo, which is similar to Facebook or Twitter in most places in the world, are required to follow the Public Pledge of Self-Regulation if they wish to continue to operate in China, meaning that the IT companies themselves play a huge role in the Chinese censorship. The Harvard funded study by King, Pan and Roberts analyzed millions of posts before and after they had been censored. They found that for the most part critical views of the Chinese government werent often being censored. On large it was any social media post that related to social mobilization or action that was removed from the 1,400 social media sites that they covered in the study. Meaning that the CCP draws a line between what will seriously cause instability and near harmless criticism. This study makes it incredibly clear what is getting censored on Chinese social media sites and why. Although small in comparison to the level of censorship in countries like China or North Korea , the Dutch have had issues with governmental internet censorship laws. The Netherlands, along with other progressive European countries like Sweden, Denmark and Norway, pass legislation meant to block child pornography.
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