The Web is a Dark Place

by Strawberry on February 10, 2017 - 12:46pm

 

As the internet becomes more and more advanced, and internet espionage is more apparent in governments in today’s society, the want and need for internet censorship becomes more popular. Censorship laws become so restricted to the point where the freedom of people are also being restricted. According the virtue ethics people should have the right to publish anything they want or even say anything they want, but with the censorship laws that are become stricter, the freedom of the people is diminishing. This constant want for privacy on the internet has led to the creation of TOR (The Onion Router). TOR is a browser that is used to conceals user’s identity to make them virtually untraceable. It may seem as if this browser solves the problem of online privacy, but the problem with being completely anonymous is that this is the source of many online illegal activities. Examples of these illegal activities are, drug-trafficking to most of the world, forums storing child pornography, an online webcam site (called red rooms), where users can watch people being tortured until death, etc.

With the creation of this browser many moral dilemmas have risen. The main one is that which is more important, the privacy of the people or restricting all the illegal activities that are going on? According to virtue ethics, one should live in a place of privacy without being constantly watched. The government only really has 2 different option on what they can do, either make TOR a public browser and track all of these illegal websites, or leave everything as is. In 2013, a very popular drug/weapon trafficking website was taken down by the government and in 2014 the worlds largest torrent website was seized by police (1). Since this has happened, the issue of private browsing has become a more topic of interest.

My solution would be to moderate everything on the internet. I believe that it is more important to crack down these websites instead of leaving an entire portion of the internet anonymous. I believe that if TOR is left anonymous for longer, more and more websites will be created and will become a darker and more messed up.

 

 

(1) Kottasova, Ivana. "Pirate Bay shut down and raided by Swedish police." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.

Comments

The internet has created numerous issues regarding the liberty of expression. As it is very well-said in the post, due to the exponential growth of internet users, different governments started practicing internet espionage on their citizens and this is also allowing them to obtain a certain quantity of information. The governments also practice this method for a matter of security and well-being. Individuals can post their opinions and diverse facts on the internet and this is actually good and problematic at the same time. It is most certainly seen often for the discrimination of different genders. Even with the faster communication, increased accessibility and awareness-raising brought by the feminism online, individuals can still post negative comments on the internet and use hate speech. In the United States, a fake account was made by a student from Penn State University by inventing the identity of a mother looking for a “feminism tutor” for her son. The man in question used feminism as a way to harass women and therefore many ideologies and concepts can be represented in an undesirable manner. The online harassment and the unwanted representation of a doctrine are few of the many reasons to why the governments practice espionage on their citizens and causing an issue with the liberty of expression.

Graham, Ruth. “I Talked to the Kid Whose Mom Used Craigslist to Find Him a Feminism Tutor, and It Got Weird”. Slate, . Web. April 20 2016.

Unknown.“Networked feminism”. Wikipedia,< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Networked_feminism>. Web. January 18 2017.

Great article, brief and to the point. Your article brings attention to the increasing debates over a person’s right to privacy with accordance to the internet. The rise of government surveillance, and the increasing restrictiveness of censorship laws, are striping people’s right to privacy and freedom of speech. Approaching this with a gender perspective: the censorship and monitoring of people on the internet helps to lower the amount of discrimination and hate speech done on the internet. The hashtag “GamerGate” is a classic example of where the use of censorship would have helped. #GamerGate was created in defense of the journalistic integrity and ethical practices concerning video game review. While it sometimes used for the purpose it was created for, #GamerGate enabled the harassment of many women, by men, in the video game industry. To facilitate the harassment of the victims of #GamerGate, which were a vast majority of women in the video game industry, doxxing or the dumping of personal information onto the internet was and still is fairly common. About a third (the lowest number of all the statistics) of the internet is porn. A lot of the current porn is orientated towards men and the dominance of women; men are subconsciously being taught the sexualization of women. In turn, this gives rise to the current rape culture in society today. Men are taught, through porn, that women are sexual objects and therefore unsolicited sex is completely normal. Without censorship and surveillance people are fee to do as they please but it comes at a cost. Censorship and surveillance help to control the many hurtful things on things on the internet.

To further your reading, the link posted is about the topic of #Gamergate

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamergate_controversy

Short and concise! Well written. Your article brings forth to the many controversies created by the advancement of the internet. The advancements of internet impede on citizens’ privacy as the government uses the network to collect data’s on everyone. For instance, the event with Edward Snowden back in 2013 led people to consider about internet privacy and espionage. However, on a gender point of view, the advancement in internet brings forth to both advantages and disadvantages. Network expansion allowed ideas to spread faster such as feminism. On the other hand, it creates room for discrimination also. This is similar to “Gamergate.” Its creation was to defend journalists while they review video games such as GTA. Although used for its primary purpose, #Gamergate is used more often to ease women journalists’ harassment by males. Harassment techniques range from sharing personal information to sending death threats. One of the possible reasons for all the harassment might be since men are taught, since very young age, that they are superior to women. Men are subjects, whereas women are objects. This can be seen in pornography, advertisements, songs, and so on. In this case, to an extent, we can understand why the harassment towards women happens, yet it is unacceptable. Internet censorship and tracking could prevent discrimination while impeding on people’s rights. IN this case, which one is more important?

The following link have more information concerning #Gamergate:
http://gawker.com/what-is-gamergate-and-why-an-explainer-for-non-geeks-1...

The following link have more details concerning Edward Snowden:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden

Interesting read! I tend to agree with your points about how internet moderation is important however, in addition to the points that you have made, I believe a strong case can be made for looking at this situation from a gendered perspective. In today’s society, a lot of activism for a wide range of causes can be found on the internet. One predominate activist topic, for both positive and negative reasons, is feminism. The fact that anyone can hide behind a computer and express their thoughts anonymously is a very beneficial tool to every person who is worried about being harassed or abused because of them, but sometimes these situations do arise.

Most notably, in 2014 a rise in online Feminism emerged after a series of world events revolving the mistreatment of women. For months at a time, Twitter was flooded with trending hashtags such as #WhyIStayed, #YesAllWomen, and #ChangeTheRatio. This strong sense of community on the internet that empowers women to tell their stories in an environment where they can express themselves in a safe and protected environment has proven to be very beneficial in raising awareness of certain social issues.

Unfortunately, with this rise in awareness of feminism and feminist ideologies also comes a rise in anti-feminism. There is a large community of people on the internet who use the anonymity and the protection of the internet to harass and bully the people who express their beliefs online. Examples of this can be found most notable in the Gamergate scandal, which involved a group of women who were continuously harassed by the online community for speaking out about inequality in video games, and in a particular situation in California in which a man would create fake social media identities in order to harass women.

From a gendered perspective, complete internet privacy would be beneficial to a certain group of people because it would create an environment where people can speak out about their experiences with absolutely no fear of harassment. Contrarily, allowing the internet to be thoroughly monitored would be very beneficial in reducing online harassment of all sorts. It is just up to the government to figure out what is more important.

If you are interested in reading more about this subject, I have attached a link to an article about Gamergate to get you started: http://www.inc.com/magazine/201504/david-whitford/gamergate-why-would-an...

Great post! I enjoyed reading and I agree with your opinions on censorship. It is scary to think that there are forms of extreme censorship where people’s freedom of expression is restricted. We as a society are meant to move forward as a whole, not backwards by limiting people's opinions. I believe publicizing and revealing the identity of illegal site users will partially be benefitting but will not eliminate illegal online activity as a whole. Individuals who are involved with these sites will continuously find another route to attain what they want.
From a gendered perspective, feminism today, seems to be largely connected by technology and social media. The internet has become a space for social activism and an important outlet in bringing gender equality and social justice issues to light. Although the internet has served in the increase exposure and acceptance of feminism, women repeatedly experience online hate, threat and harassment by not only men but women as well. For example, online feminists will subject “non stereotypical” feminists to hate and online criticism. Additionally, the #gamergate movement has wrongly targeted women such as Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian for gaining popularity in a male dominant industry. Gamergate followers victimized these women by doxing, (the exposure of private information online), sending rape threats and death threats. It is a misogynistic movement where members perceive successful women as an attack to a dominantly patriarchal field. Censorship of privacy in the situation of Sarkeesian and Quinn would therefore be beneficial for the protection of women. But, the underlying reason why women need this additional protection is because of the patriarchal lens some individuals are confined to. The sexist ideology that women are secondary to men therefore needs to be changed in order for privacy protection to be a success.

Heres a link to additional information about feminism online !
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Networked_feminism

Very Interesting point of view and analyses. I agree with the fact that the web holds a lot of different issues regarding every internet user’s privacy. The government unfortunately overtook some parts of the web and appropriated the internet s something they could use to discover what people seek for, which can be also called espionage. By increasing surveillance, the government is basically destructing people’s privacy and their freedom of speech.
A better understanding of this problem will be see with the approach of a gender perspective, where the use of censorship would have helped. The hashtag #Gamergate is one of the best example where censorship helped thousands of feminist in the video game world to overcome the hate they were receiving all over the world trough the internet. The hashtag was created to support and defend, those ones that were trying to give personal reviews on video game ethical concernings. The hashtag problematic was often seen in the feminist socials groups of the internet world.
By looking at this issue from a gender perspective, Internet privacy would definitely be better for some groups of users that like to have the right for freedom of speech although monitoring the surveillance of the web can be helpful to stop the bigger problem of the internet which the online harassment that can go up to cause death for the ones bullied. The government should find a balance in between to make the web a healthier and safer place for its users.
To give more information to your reading, the link posted is about the topic of #Gamergate
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamergate_controversy
https://techcrunch.com/2014/09/25/gamergate-an-issue-with-2-sides/

This is a well-constructed argument that is definitely quite debatable. Discussions around censorship laws versus private browsers are often filled with controversy and dispute, but you handled the notions of moderation gracefully, while providing reasonable solutions.

Although your opinion may seem unpopular since it restricts some online privacy that people have grown accustomed to, I agree that there needs to be a way to limit the number of illegal websites. From a gendered point of view, some of these websites slow down the feminist agenda due to their distribution of pornography in its current state.

To this day, pornography is a highly debatable topic amongst feminist; the discussions started during the Second Wave of Feminism and developed into a heated set of debates called the Sex Wars. The anti-porn feminists argued that this medium promotes violence and aggression against women due to its demeaning depictions of women and promotion of the rape culture. Radical and lesbian feminist, Andrea Dworkin, claimed that pornography resulted in the dominance and humiliation of a woman’s sexuality for the pleasure of heterosexual men. Since many are not formally taught about sex, porn becomes a learning tool and Dworkin argued that this teaches men to be abusive while women are to act as submissive objects.

On the other hand, sex-positive feminists were in favour of pornography. Although current porn had undeniable problems, they argued that legislation on this medium would be an attack on free speech; porn was a way for women to explore their sexual avenues and determine what they found pleasurable. Closing these opportunities would limit women’s liberation, which included sexual liberation as well. Thus, just as speech cannot be controlled, this should not be either; instead, they wanted to make it better.

This gave rise to feminist pornography, which is deemed equally pleasurable material, but complicates the notion of who is involved. Unlike current porn, it does not create fetishes and is not solely made for a heterosexual male audience. By complicating body type, power roles, the narrative, gender, sexuality and race, this becomes a political project that combats the systemic inequality that exists in current porn and ensures safe and consensual sexual activity.

Although this is a growing industry that is taking a step in the right direction, it must compete with current porn. While the material is equally pleasurable, the cost of paying actors and ensuring safe and consensual conditions forces this porn to cost money while current porn can be found for free online. In addition, with the Internet, pornography has become more mainstream and has developed into a global industry; however, revenge porn and porn addictions grow proportionally as well, giving the medium a poor connotation and preventing feminist porn from gaining popularity.

Overall, from a gendered standpoint, I agree with the notion that some Internet censorship should be exercised to reduce the consumption of current porn found for free online or on websites that allow the publication of revenge porn. Feminist pornography is equally pleasurable material, yet offers diversity and safe material to remove notions of violence, abuse and dominance in sex. If you’re interested in the discussions around toady’s feminists pornography, the following is an article by Russell O'Connor posted on Everyday Feminism: http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/09/feminist-porn/