The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Internet Censorship is a pointless exercise

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/26/2012 Category: Technology
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,396 times Debate No: 24448
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




I challenge someone to debate that it is not pointless to try and censor the internet.
Only serious debaters please.


As I am against the status quo, I should get the BOP, but traditionally pro is the one making the claim. So I think the BOP should be 60% mine, 40% his.

As PRO never made definitions will provide one: Pointless -- Having no sense or purpose.

My opponent must prove there are no good reason for censorship, and that it therefore serves no purpose. And would likely have to argue it is ineffective so it has no sense. Also, if any censorship my opponent is for (e.g. illegal child porn etc.) he loses as it is a form of censorship. So he is arguing for a COMPLETELY FREE internet.

I will break into two contentions which show that censorship is effective (so it has sense) and that certain censorship are just and should be implemented/continued (so it has purpose.) Although I hold the BOP, mostly, my opponent has to fulfill the WHOLE definition to win the debate, whereas I must prove either a) its effective or b) it is just. Though I would prefer both ;)


C1: Censorship is effective

Censorship is effective. Now for example if you wanted to ban a specific website, like youtube, you can use a process called IP blocking. Youtube is run under a very specific server which is rarely changed (as are most websites) so if the government makes it so any person in that country cannot access that IP address, it is highly unlikely anyone in that country can access that specific website.[1] Another example is pornography. Many countries actually ban these websites, so they get machines that pick up on certain user comments, words, or video type etc. The government could a) tell the owner to close the website, or b) use an IP block (most common). So banning specific websites could be very effective.

Another way to specific websites is banning domain names. This is essentially the wording between periods. Like would be Wikipedia domain (I had to google that to understand that). As there are many different sites under one name (like sub categories) it may have many different IP addresses. So lets assume Wikipedia has many IP's, which I assume it does, if the government wanted to ban Wikipedia they would use a domain name ban which would ban all websites that had the domain name of "Wikipedia". If one entered this website the page would rad "invalid IP" or something along those lines.[1]

Another technique is packet filtering. Which, "Ceases transmission after or takes away access if triggered by uses of keywords."[1] For example, if I had a website called "Internet Censorship is a pointless exercise" the government would likely close the website.

There are many other ways to censor the internet effectively,[1] also for pornography banning its production and its internet access would be effective. But based on this information we can see these ways of banning certain items alone are effective. But their effectiveness rises if we couple them together. Using all 3 of these methods means people trying to access youtube would have to go through many tough firewalls and hacks to enter the system, something most people would not attempt. Also having monitoring (e.g. they know where the system is being breached) would serve as a deterrent. Most censorship is actually fairly effective, whether it is just will be dressed next.

C2: Censorship, and why it is [sometimes] just

I do not believe that we need full censorship. That is a breach of freedom of speech. I do, however, believe some censorship is just. And if I even prove any censorship is just I fulfill my BOP.

Sub Point a: Censorship of porn

There are many problems with pornography, chiefly being many porn actresses are coerced into the business. Most people agree it should be illegal, and certainly is immoral, to be essentially a sex slave without consent. Consent is actually a branch of right to property, as one can argue ones body is ones private property and they should be able to do whatever they so wish. This is recognized by the state as abortion is currently legal. I would also like to note this applied to any type of fornication, anything that breaches this consent is viewed as rape. So if I prove many porn actresses are coerced into the business it is a version of rape (which is illegal, and to be consistent with the law porn should therefore be banned, too.)

Many people where physically abused like they where slaves. Many porn stars report this experience. For example, many porn stars entered not acknowledging many scenes where involving slavery etc. Others said they did not even want to be involved. Many where beaten, drugged up, and therefore forced against their own will to enter the business.[2] Others where raped on the set. For example one testifies to expecting a vaginal scene which turned into an anal one which she yelled no multiple times. This is considered a rape. Further, the majority of the porn industry is full of women that where forced, coerced, threatened into the industry. And in refusal to do many scenes they are drugged up and forced to participate.[3]

By any modern sense of the word this is slavery, rape, and to be consistent with the law it should be censored and its production banned.

Another reason to support its censorship is it increases crime, aside from the unreported problems in the industry which I cited. It is actually nearly a fact that pornography is addictive, and can cause many mental problems. Chiefly the problem is it causes males to become more aggressive and more likely to commit rapes. It is also observed that many sex offenders enjoy pornography.[4] It is also observed that many become accepting of rapes, more lenient to them etc. Also many of them become interested in animal pornography.[5] (ew) Another interesting, and disgusting, fact is that watching pornography increases the rate that juvenile sex offenders emerge. Most of these young sex offenders (in a study) where linked to pornography usage, and also showed a causation link. (meaning porn causes it).[6]

Sub point b: Jihadist websites

Based on the modern war on terror it would be internationally accepted to ban these websites. Whether you support this war it will likely not be repealed, and we're stuck with it. It is a fact these websites urge people to kill (terrorist ones do, anyway). Although many of us can intellectually ignore this hogwash, many simply cannot. This means this propaganda can make many feel guilty about being westerners, Christians, or Americans. This then means these websites breed domestic home grown terrorism. What other reasons would these websites exist other then to get recruits? This is a threat to public safety, regardless if the war on terror exists, and the state therefore should intervene.

Sub point c: Violent websites

Many websites have videos of murders, rapes etc. They are currently illegal. If people view them they are just encouraging more production of the product, as no views no website. More views there are now incentives to produce it. So the only way to clamp down on these terrible websites is to close them, ban them. If there are no views there is no longer economic incentive, meaning no incentive to do it at all. So IP blocking or Domain blocking would end the economic benefits, and no benefits no happenings. Banning its productions would also end, well, its production... mostly. So to end violence and murder on tape, censor it!!


Even if you disagree with whole internet censoring, support for any censorship is logical. If I prove it is effective, I win. If I prove it is just, I win. If I prove both, I win. I have proven these things. And thats all I have, my opponent to fufill the resolution must be against all regulation, which is impossible to defend. Vote Con.


[6] Becker, J.V and Stein R.M "Is sexual erotica associated with sexual deviance in males?" International journal of Law and Psychiatry, 1991
Debate Round No. 1


Hi, I am sorry about the definitions and about the clarity of the argument. I didn't really think that through!
I am arguing that it is easy to get past internet censorship, therefore making it pointless.
As I'm sure you know there are several things that can be used to censor the internet. The most used are DNS and packets.
DNS censorship is easily bypassed by changing your DNS. (1)
Packet filtering is even easier to bypass as all you have to do is go onto a proxy to bypass any filtering. (this works in almost every situation) eg.
These proxy sites even have mailing lists for when new ones are created, or you could make your own private one.
I also found this one pretty interesting:
There are successful projects such as this one which help people use their free speech in countries with heavy internet censorship.(2)
Thanks and sorry for my mess ups earlier.


C1: Effectiveness

I agree that there are ways to circumvent filtering. But with a restricted internet since birth, most of the population will not know how to circumvent those specific proxies. And even if they do, many of them would rather not take the risk. For example if we banned pornography and added a 3 year jail sentence to viewing it within that country many people would be deterred. As psychology shows more punishment more deterrence [1]. So not only must we look at the effectiveness of the actual law[s], we must also look into those factors as deterrence which add to effectiveness.

Also an IP block was never refuted, the website would have to change its DNS, change were it is based to change IP, then the people would have to bypass proxies and think youtube is really worth persecution. In other words if we implement all of these procedures, all of which are relevant to the debate, its effectiveness will exist. Also even if 5% of the population can still bypass these systems this means the other 95% either was deterred, the website never changed IPS, or the website did not change DNS. In reality the vast majority of people are not hackers, like I didn't know what a proxy was until recently, so chances are most people will not have access. Which would be effective in restraining its use and production.

C2: Cases where censorship is acceptable

Extend, point dropped.

[--Point brought up by my opponent--]

Free speech, this is assuming they are losing free speech, as stated certain censorship is not a loss of free speech. Like all rights, none are absolute. Censorship of threats to the president, for example, are not viewed a breach of free speech. Obscenity, threats, etc. There are multiple exceptions [2]. In other words moderate censorship is ok, nd therefore this point is invalid.


C1 - defended
C2 - My opponent dropped
My opponents case - Moderate censorship is totally acceptable

Vote CON

[1] Gary S. Becker, "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 76, No. 2 (1968)
Debate Round No. 2


LukeBithell forfeited this round.



C1 -- I showed the average person knows little of technology and only a small few could get access. Also other laws would ban its watching most likely adding other penalties, and add penalties to manufacturers of the product in that countryadding a deterrent effect; as well as shrinking it's production.

C2 -- dropped, still stands.

[--pros point--]

Freedom of speech, like all rights, has limitations so it's ok to ban some speeches on the Internet.

Conclusion - con wins
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
I will respond later
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bossyburrito 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con countered Pro's ONE argument, then proceeded to add many others of his own that Pro didn't address. Conduct for the FF.