Why a filter won’t work (for non-computer users)

12 07 2010

I thought of a way to explain why a filter won’t be any good in stopping certain content from being seen, and this is it.

People who don’t know much about the internet often confuse the internet for a corporate media, which it’s not.

When you publish a magazine or newspaper, or produce a movie, those are first read or watched by a panel of censors who decide if the article is fit to print or watch, if it’s a movie then they give it a rating.

But webpages are created by people at home, people like you and I who are sitting in their loungerooms and bedrooms, who have an idea in their head and set about writing it down, as I am now.

Once the content has been created, as this article will be after I read it through to check spelling errors etc, I will hit a button marked “publish”.

Ten seconds after I do this, the page will be readable by anyone in the world.

Then I can notify friends via Facebook, Twitter or plain old e-mail.

By the next day, 500 or more people may have read this article, and by the time any censor board becomes aware of it, days or weeks may have passed.

Add to the fact that thousands of other webpages and articles could have been generated during this time, from anywhere in the world, further slowing the time it is seen by a review board.

Finally, by the time the article is read, and blacklisted… everyone has already read it, the horse as they say, has long since bolted.

The filter is a pointless affair, a sugar-pill to make the public feel safer… but it really won’t help anything.

If a page is blocked, there will be ways around the filter to read it anyway, or
the person who made the original webpage can simply make a new one elsewhere
which won’t take much longer than 30minutes to do.

Wolfie!

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One response

16 07 2010
Lyceus

I disagree, in the context that censorship is moving now from the “whack-a-mole” game of censor a simple word, to censorship a people, group or even a whole page. So if that people trigger the alarm, they will visible to only a part of internet after a given moment. Like happens now in China, Iran and more countries.

This happens since long already, as you enter to yahoo, google, you tube, bbc … they redirect you to a zone and content that they believe is “important” from you. As if you, living in Australia are not interested to see some news from Brazil, Mexico or Ireland. Those pages already believe that you want only and only local content, not matters you like that or not.

Censorship is mutating into more hideous variants nowadays.

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