What is internet censorship and why it exists

What is internet censorship and why it exists

University of PretoriaMore on the report of prepared by University of Pretoria in South Africa and its findings on the reasons for internet censorship existance.
According to Wikipedia,  censorship is “the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body”.
Meta-censorship is another form of censorship in which any information about existence of censorship and the legal basis of the censorship is censored, rules of censoring are classified, and removed texts or phrases are not marked.
The University of Pretoria says that: “Internet censorship as a form of censorship is still under-researched”. It varies widely based on country, culture and context, and may range from child pornography to gambling as well as censorship of dissident content.
Although motivations for Internet censorship differ from country to country, Cohen (1997) identifies a number of concerns common to many countries that lead to censorship, namely:
  • National security (weapons’ making, illegal drugs and protection from terrorism)
  • Protection of minors (abuse, forms of marketing, violence and pornography)
  • Protection of human dignity (incitement to racial hatred or discrimination)
  • Economic security (fraud, pirating of credit cards)
  • Information security (malicious hacking)
  • Protection of privacy (unauthorised communication of personalised data, electronic 
harassment, spamming)
  • Protection of reputation (defamation, unlawful comparative advertising)
  • Intellectual property (the unauthorised distribution of copyrighted works such as music, 
software, books, etc.)
More on the ways how to counteract internet censorship in our next blog. If you are affected by internet censorship or plan to travel to one of the countries that limits the internet content, don’t forget to install Le VPN.

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