Sunday, December 14, 2008

Censored: A Human's Right to Information & Discovery

Upon reading the article "Youtube faces ban in Kuwait over Islamic content," it got me thinking about all of the websites and programs that Omantel has conveniently blocked here in the Sultanate. No, I'm not strictly talking about pornographic websites; I'm talking about your average informational websites, such as celebrity gossip pages,, etc. If Kuwait can ban Youtube because of the content of a few videos, then how long will it be until the "governmental powers that be" find out that every 18-30 year olds' favorite site, facebook, harbors groups such as the widely dissented "f*** Islam," among a slew of other religiously and personally offensive groups. One argument is that it is for the moral well-being of the impressionable youth to ban such vagrancy in cyberspace. My question to that argument is therefore, how does blocking such content save the minds of these "vulnerable" youth? My opinion is – it doesn't. If you are comfortable with your own abilities as a parent to instill within your offspring a sense of morality and the difference between right and wrong, then you should have nothing to fret over. Furthermore, does not a counter argument strengthen and solidify the original argument? If this is true, then would not offensive material denouncing a common practice or belief, in fact, further develop said practice or belief, by addressing the questions brought up by the so-called "questionable" material, thus, making the practice or belief much more concrete? Sure, maybe I'm grasping at straws here, but should it not be every human beings' inalienable right to have equal access to information? And in a technologically-advanced, globalized world, is not competition that much more prevalent? Therefore, is it fair for governments to create a population less accustomed to competition and decrease an individuals overall ability to achieve success? Just some food for thought.

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