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Was reading Chloe’s post that more than 80% of the Chinese population said yes to the filtered content. Well, since I’m researching on Iran, the perspective that I’m offering is least to say, in Iran’s point of view… Internet filtering in Iran is almost as old as Internet itself, where previously, it had been concerned over the politically sensitive content and the pornographic sites… I gathered that in Nov 06, the SCCR handed down a decree that sites publishing “false information”, or comments that threatened the “unity of the country” would be banned, meaning that just about any site can face the probability of getting banned so long as it is deemed unfit by the government.

Apparantly, this hasn’t gone down very well with the Iranians. Many see this as “inept and over-prescriptive filtering“, which I tend to agree. To a large extent at least.. I feel that the “protecting our people from content that could potentially corrupt young minds” thing is a whole lot of crap. I believe that majority of us are mature and discerning enough to make a judgement call ourselves and having someone to tell us what not to do is just gonna create more of the rebellious streak in us. And to the minority that needs their impressionable minds looked after, thats just part and parcel of life. Evil lurks wherever Good goes.. thats a fact of life, thats history and if young impressionable minds could cause crimes, murders and wars centuries ago, I don’t think internet filtering will be of much help to these poor souls anyway… but thats just my point of view…

Setting my POV aside, this issue however, draws a fairly interesting comparison when you put it side-by-side China. The Chinese are obviously saying YES (then again, the recent Sichuan earthquake hints at a NO) but the Iranians are saying NO… to essentially the same thing…  But reading through the different articles online, the same old feeling hits me… Why bother if its a right or wrong? What matters most is obviously what the people of the nation wants. Do they want internet filtering or not should be the crux of the question, not whether it is right or wrong, should or shouldn’t, need or needn’t.

If it is what the nation’s people want, then its obviously a right, should and need, vice versa. I mean, yes, to a certain degree, some people might not know whats good and bad for them, but I would think majority of the people do. We keep talking anout how culture shapes our thoughts, our actions and our beliefs, so shouldn’t we let it shape how the internet should or should not work for us? Shouldn’t we be leaving these decisions for the people to decide, as a collective whole, as a nation instead of imposing our views and expectations on them?

Just a thought…

August 2020