TED Conversations

Student , Korea Science Academy


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Are citizens "ALWAYS" good?

Just at TEDGlobal 2011, Rebecca MacKlinton mentions citizen-oriented evolution of internet. Also, she mentions several news with censorship by government.

I generally agree that the future of the internet should be citizen-oriented, but I have some questions about the role of government.

That include "Why government censors internet(and other media)?"

There IS a political reason for censorship, but there is a reason for protecting citizens from the public threat, or immorality.

If we assume that citizens are producing contents in the internet, is citizen's right to access contents in the internet ALWAYS guaranteed despite they produce public threat? What is the acceptable area for public good(or threat)?


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    Jul 13 2011: I've always seen the internet as really the only borderless way to connect everyone on the planet (at least for now.) Once states start tailoring their citizens' internet experience to match their agenda, you lose that global continuity that makes the internet such a powerful tool for international organization and communication.

    I think the reasons for governments censoring the internet is very obvious, even to the citizens. I also think this creates an atmosphere of distrust between the citizens and the government. What are they hiding from me and why?
    • Jul 13 2011: I totally agree with you that censorship by government is to often. I think one possible reason is that "beyond every formations of government has the exclusive parties of people". Political party is the one significant example of "exclusive parties".

      From this, we can think censorship by government is censorship by political parties. The governing party censors some critics to sustain their political life. I think that is the reason why government censors, especially critics opposed to government.
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        Jul 13 2011: Just to clarify, you mean that whatever political party is in office has the power (and exercises the power) to endorse their viewpoint while suppressing opposing ones through internet censorship, right?

        I live in the U.S, so I am not really too familiar with explicit government censorship. That being said, the internet has a way of self-censoring itself so that you only see what is consistent with your set of beliefs. I think this is dangerous because it is important to expose yourself to viewpoints and ideas that are not necessarily in your "comfort zone" in order to be truly well-informed.

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