Liberal speech: Internet





Liberal speech: Internet

            While referring to liberty of speech on the internet various forms and mediums are considered such as video, audio and writings. When posted on the internet such mediums usually have global access and consequently have the potential to influence more. I have always supported the projection and protection of internet speech subject to few conditions. Past observation indicates multinationals controlling the internet’s operations have the tendency to restrict speech in accordance to anticipated economic consequences. For instance, an internet provider may restrict access of certain video services with aim of directing the consumers to other desired video services. Some companies restrict access of certain religious or political resources through their servers aiming to maintain a specific demographic group of economic importance.

On the other hand, internet speech has resulted to mass political movements that have toppled regimes consequently vulnerable governments restrict internet speech. It has also led to top-class political secrets and strategies being exposed on sites such as wikileaks. Additionally, liberal internet use has seen vulnerable portions of the community such as children exposed to pornographic and other sexual literature. There are individuals and companies complaining of copyright infringement due to uncompensated access and use of their information on the internet. This makes the issue of internet speech multifaceted and difficult to place boundaries of control.

Certain restrictions are obvious infringements to the first amendment where freedoms of expression as well as religion are breached. For instance, three years ago it became known a company that was providing internet in America had restricted access to the King James Bible via its lanes. Additionally, companies are known to slow down by directing data requests or packets they consider unfriendly to internet lanes they deem slow. Companies such as Apple until recently did not allow their devices to access certain applications made by their competitors on the internet.

I prefer the restrictions put on the internet speech to be culturally then economically-based since the above examples indicate monetary reasons are most valued. Restrictions should focus on ensuring information is accessed on an individual’s request unbiased. This means the customer/consumer is allowed the freedom to choose what nature of speech they access without subtly being steered to other speech forms. This is because restrictions infringe on the consumer’s right of choice by decreasing the available options. Further  more, internet speech when liberal guards empowers individuals by providing information critical in making better decisions commercially, political and socially. Since the internet is currently, the prime source of information restricting speech would be equal to suppressing freedom of expression, democracy, religion as well as basic human rights of self-autonomy and choice. However, freedom denotes a certain degree of responsibility thus such as the case of alcohol certain restrictions on use and exposure of certain information is important. This protects vulnerable groups such as children from exposure to pornography or users with ill intent such as financial defrauding or social predators from taking advantage of the access available on the internet.


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