Many of us think that the internet is an opened market, free to anyone and there is an equal chance to every single user to reach his or her audience, that is not true. I did not know this till I learned about it in classes. There are certain search results that pay to be on the top of the search lists, also there is a chance that depending on how many “hits” this website has it will appear on the top of the list or on the bottom. Many things are censored to us because of our social sphere or what we like ourselves. I have previously mentioned about that bubble that we are trapped in because of our “actions” on the internet or what we do in another post. Ironically, the internet predicts and traps you so you become even more involved in what you love or want already, instead of being cultivated and understanding more about what you do not know. THe internet was supposed to be our way to having power, that an average citizen being able to do something, which does happen sometimes. THis was seen with the leaking of government information with websites such as Wikileaks.
I know we think we are trapped in this way, but I started looking at what other countries censorship is like. There is China, which has such a high censorship that even blogs that have sexual content are blocked since 2004 after getting attention from the chinese public. These blogs were created by mostly women telling the sexual affaris and experiences that they have had with different individuals. They achieved some celebrity like status. However, they were banned in 2004 as mentioned previously. Pornographic like material is also censored from search engines.
Not only is adult or adult-like content censored, but many keywords and important happenings were censored. For example the uprisings in Egypt would yield to the user little to no search results. Harmful or violent material, and gambling material is also censored. Facebook and Twitter were blocked in the later half of 2009 due to them having some harm on citizens and possible political commentary.
Big companies and content providers such as Yahoo, Skype, Google, etc. must abide by these rules that the government gives them. Many have termed this the “Great Firewall of China”.
China is not the only country that has such a strict rules for the internet and censorship. Iraq and North Korea also have similar situations with the internet. However, recently in the Middle East there was an attack on Israeli internet and Facebook accounts threatening to “Wipe Israel off the Internet Map”. This happened on April 6, 2013 with more than 19,000 Facebook accounts attacked by an anonymous group of hackers. Also more Israeli websites were attacked.” So far dozens of sites have been vandalized and hundreds of e-mail addresses and passwords have been released by the campaign, dubbed “Operation Israel.”
I found this “battle” really intimidating and uncomfortable to think about. Imagine users from different countries trying to attack your Facebook account as a way of “destructing” your freedom to use the internet. This takes internet censorship and restrictions to a whole new level and scarily enough gives you a view into a new kind of “war” that we could be facing in the future.