Task 2: Internet Regulations

We were posed the question: should the internet be regulated and  should an age rating system be brought in for online content….my immediate response was ‘HOW?’. The internet is so vast, so accessible and spans all across the world. How could one regulatory body possibly monitor the entire internet?  It would be virtually impossible, as well as being terribly time consuming.

I personally believe the internet should be an arena for free speech and creative media. Thanks to the internet we are able to receive up to date news, scandals and even traffic news via twitter and Facebook. We can educate ourself about just about anything. It’s brilliant!  4od and BBC iPlayer mean people can catch up on their favourite TV shows too. This means filmmakers and broadcasters’ media texts will reach a wider audience. The internet also benefits musicians too, providing free publicity for them too.

 I am well aware of the dangers out there on the world wide web, some material out there is totally distasteful and unnecessary but people need to take responsibility for what they find, there is a little cross in the top, right hand corner and if they don’t want to see something, just click off the page. Child restrictions on the internet when they are in place do an effective job of blocking websites that could offend/harm children and it is also the parent’s responsibility to monitor what their children are viewing on the internet. It also occurred to me that since filmmakers can get done for their films containing obscene content why can we not just have every internet user to sign a contract agreeing that anything they upload on the internet will not break obscenity laws and if they do it is at their  own risk with the penalty being a fine? It’s just a thought….

The internet is an amazing thing and to be honest, I don’t think our generation would be able to cope without it. Without suppressing our freedom of speech, regulating the internet is an entirely unrealistic concept. Organs of authority will always ask for more power, even if we were to give a regulatory body the job of regulating the internet would this just be a slippery slope to strict restrictions.

After watching BBC Three’s ‘The Anti-Social Network’, in which Radio 5 presenter Richard Bacon takes on the role of ‘Troll hunter’ after he receives quite serious online abuse targeted towards himself and his family. In the programme he learns the struggles of revealing who these cyberbullies because they use pseudonyms and that it takes a lot for the police to track these bullies down. If we are better educated about how we can protect ourselves from these online trolls, we won’t need to have anyone patrolling the web for our safety.

Leave the internet as it is, it’s fine! 

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