Do you think the internet should be 'policed'?

  Forum Editor 20:15 11 Apr 07
Locked

Should public-access sites be made to remove offensive material - derogatory references to say, teachers, made by pupils, or should it be a case of a free internet, devoid of interference of any kind?

  Kate B 20:20 11 Apr 07

Absolutely not. It's unworkable because it puts the onus on - well, who? - to do the policing. That's the main reason ICANN decided not to go ahead with a .xxx top-level domain: it would have put them in the role of content police, which is not within the organisation's remit.

Policing of the content on sites is down to the site's owners; and it's up to parents to keep kids away from inappropriate content.

  Curio 20:20 11 Apr 07

Yes. Dealt with by individual Nations

  Bandy 20:21 11 Apr 07

Who is to do the 'policing' and to what standards, decided by whom, also who is to police the police.

I'm nearly as terrified of the idea as I am of some of the things I find on a 'free' internet.

  Kate B 20:23 11 Apr 07

Given that there's a general dislike of what's often referred to as a nanny state, I can't see anyone liking the idea of a government policing websites published in that country. And it would cost the earth: you'd need a zillion more public-sector employees. Completely unworkable.

  riiverstock 20:27 11 Apr 07

If they could do it,then they would police it.

But they simply can't cope with net volumes.

  Kate B 20:28 11 Apr 07

Who's "they"? Some governments would police the internet - and already do; look at China. But there's no way a western government would want the hassle and cost of doing so.

  Curio 20:29 11 Apr 07

I just answered the question

  Al94 20:30 11 Apr 07

Absolutely - it wouldn't be acceptable in print and should be no different on websites. We already have "zillons" of public sector employees - maybe we could make them work efficiently for a change!

  riiverstock 20:33 11 Apr 07

"they" being anyone of the money making agencies,be it private or public.

  anskyber 20:33 11 Apr 07

Are you drawing a distinction between policing and censorship?

I love the idea of a free internet, until that is I ask myself how free do I really mean(?) I have a natural distaste of others deciding whether I should be able to see or read certain things, I want the choice including the choice to ignore.

My starting point is therefore a free internet, but I am dragged back to the nagging question of how free. There are, for me at least, some things I would be happy to see removed from the net, child pornography is an obvious example and there are other things as well. My political views are reasonably settled but I would be unhappy if my political opposites did not have a voice.

So yes to censorship, but as little as possible; no to policing which is immediate and direct and 1984. Frankly, as a past bureaucrat, I would not trust them.

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