The Instigator
jvava
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
JacobAnderson
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points

Internet Censorship

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
JacobAnderson
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/25/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,153 times Debate No: 41226
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

jvava

Con

First round is acceptance.

I am arguing that Internet Censorship is something that our government should not look into - and that our people should not support - because it is a violation of free speech.

Good luck to whoever accepts. May the better debater win!
JacobAnderson

Pro

I accept this debate. I have debated for internet censorship recently (although my opponent forfeited mid-debate), so I will be using some of the same sources and arguments that I used in that debate. I cannot be striked for doing this as I will be using my own ideas and my own words.

As my first point, however, I would like you to point out that the First Amendment calls for free speech, yes. It grants the freedom without government interference, but I will bring up why this is not very useful in the debate. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 1
jvava

Con

Internet censorship is a violation of free speech.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

This is the first amendment of the US constitution. It states that Congress cannot abridge the freedom of speech, or of the press.

To define what exactly the press is, "In Lovell v. City of Griffin, Chief Justice Hughes defined the press as, "every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion." The First Amendment's Freedom of the Press Clause has been extended to media including newspapers, books, plays, movies, and video games."

Pulled from http://en.wikipedia.org....

Remember, this case was decided in 1938, before the Internet. However, since articles are found both in newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, I think it is safe to say, that, if he was living today, Chief Hughes would include the Internet in that list.

The censorship of information is a violation of free speech. Say, the military did something immoral or something corrupt occurred in the US government. The people would surely be mad if they knew what was taking place - but, alas, they don't. But, according to the First Amendment, "and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Now, blocking information from the people goes against the Constitution - since we have the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the government is blocking these grievances from us, then they are violating the Constitution. Confusing, I know - but what I am saying is that by hindering the truth from us, the government is not letting us know what is going wrong, and is blocking our ability to petition based on their acts.

The government isn't allowing us to know what they are doing, and are therefore hindering our ability to complain. This is a violation of free press and the ability to petition the government.

Nations that have Internet censorship suffer human rights abuses.

If you look at a map of countries that have medium to large amounts of Internet censorship, you will notice that these nations suffer from a lack of free press, free speech, and that their governments are typically corrupt.

Let's take China as an example.

"Second, King and his team found that Chinese censors focus on posts that refer to, instigate, or are otherwise linked to grassroots collective action such as protests, demonstrations, and even apolitical mass activities, and that the regime seems comparatively more comfortable with criticism of the government."

This was pulled from http://www.theatlantic.com....

This act may be legal in China, a country that is ruled by the Communist Party, but it would be completely illegal in the US. Why?

"or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Internet censorship prohibits the spread of information, which prohibits the right of an individual to complain since they do not know the truth. The constitution provides us the right to protest peacefully - something that is censored in China - and provides for free press, something else that is violated by Internet censorship.

You can argue that we censor things such a child pornography and that protects the rights and privacy of the victim. Yes - but child porn is illegal. That is why it is erased from the web. The press is not illegal, and that is why it is not wiped out from the web - if the press was illegal, then there would be no newspapers, magazines, etc.

My stance on Internet censorship is that it is a violation of free speech, free speech, and our right to protest the government - three violations of the constitution. Nations that heed to Internet censorship often suffer political oppression and human rights violations, so why would we want to follow their path? Why would we want to join them?



JacobAnderson

Pro

My opponent has stated that internet censorship is a direct violation of our rights as stated by the First Amendment.
However, you must know that all rights of Americans can be revoked once they are infringing upon another's rights. By knowing this, the government as a unit has its rights to its secrecy, as it also has its reasons. Yes, we can petition the government in hopes of creating a better government, but we cannot demand that they show every action that they have taken in the past or will take in the future. It is a violation of the government's privacy and because the government is the basis of this nation, we cannot overrule them.
Also, interestingly enough, there has been an incline of Americans that believe the First Amendment offers too much liberty to the individual [4].

My opponent has also stated, "Nations that have Internet censorship suffer human rights abuses."
While I cannot find a source on how internet censorhip correlates with abuse of human rights, which my opponent has yet to do as well, I did find a map of internet censorship, source [5]. The quote my opponent has used was almost refuted by my opponent themself as they proved that it was legal in China, therefore not restricting human rights. Because it was legal, it would mean that the people do not have the right, meaning there is no right to oppress. We cannot base other countries with the rights of America as that would be extremely biased because we are one of the most free countries in the world [6]. We must look at all countries individually, and because my opponent has stuck to China, a country where my opponent agreed gives strict rules, we can see that China's government has not oppressed ungiven rights.

Let's be honest, I literally copied and pasted this from my last debate. But since the debate has been nullified and incomplete, I find it just to use these arguments again.

Content is already censored:
Some content on the internet is already censored, for example, a pornographic website. This does not meant that people cannot find their way around the censored materials in order to view them, it just means that there are efforts in which the government/website creators make in order to follow certain rules, legal or moral. YouTube, also, blocks content for certain age groups, but, much like anything else, people find a way around it by creating fake accounts that reach the age limit set on the video.

Content is censored for a reason:
Pornographic content, for example, is censored for everyone under the age of 18. This is because at 18, people become a legal adult and can enjoy all rights other adults have, other than drinking of course. But why is it limited to people under 18? Why is it not censored for people under the age of, say, 25? Porn glorifies regular situations and deteriorates the values of actual sex, and can often lead people to sexually please themselves. According to [1], porn nullifies the real world experiences as it fills the minds with more erotic/exotic situations. It is staged to glorify the situation, and will often lead to less pleasing experiences first hand.
Violent material should also be censored as it will desensitize humans, esp. young children exposed to this material, leading them to have no emotions when committing a harmful action against another. Studies may show that video games, although not internet, may actually cause violence in teens and children participating in them [2]. Video games give people the experience without the consequence, while the internet would give neither experience or consequence, leading people to believe that, "If it's on the internet, it must be okay to do." Four year olds are beginning to pick up bad behavior they have viewed on (CENSORED) tv [3], so imagine the consequences of a child getting a hold of uncensored material on the internet.

Sources:
[1] http://theresurgence.com......]
[2] http://www.howstuffworks.com......
[3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk......
[4] http://www.theblaze.com...
[5] http://gizmodo.com...
[6] http://www.heritage.org...
Debate Round No. 2
jvava

Con

"However, you must know that all rights of Americans can be revoked once they are infringing upon another's rights."

Yes, that is why felons do not have the right to vote.

But, how does looking up information on the Internet (except in the case of child pornography) fringe upon someone else's rights? The Constitution gives us free press, free speech, and the right to organize and protest if the government does not meet the needs and wants of the people. By disguising the wants and needs, they are infringing upon our rights to free speech, free press, and the right to organize.

"It is a violation of the government's privacy and because the government is the basis of this nation, we cannot overrule them.."

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..."

This is pulled from the Bill of Rights.

We have the right to alter or abolish the government if they "destroy" or take away our rights. I have argued the by introducing Internet Censorship, the government is taking our rights to free speech, free press, and the right to organize. If they do take away our rights, we not only could overrule them - we have the right to.

Also - the government does not have a right to privacy. I have searched the Internet for a while now and have found no source that claims the government has a right to privacy.

"Also, interestingly enough, there has been an incline of Americans that believe the First Amendment offers too much liberty to the individual..."

May I remind you that the poll you showed me fluxed incredibly year-to-year. In 2002, that number was 49% to 47%. A year later, that number decreased to 34%.

Although that source is interesting, I do not think it is something that should justify taking away or suppressing the First Amendment. After all, 34% is far from the majority.

"While I cannot find a source on how Internet censorship correlates with abuse of human rights..."

They are not aware that their rights are being abused; that is why the government restricts their ability to get online, so that they cannot see what others have around the world.

Take North Korea as an example. "South Korean police have identified 43 pro-North Korean websites that have foreign-based servers. The police report that these websites encourage hostile attitudes towards South Korea and western countries, and portray the DPRK in a positive light."

This was pulled from an article discussing North Korean Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org...

The reason North Korea bans websites that portray the DPRK in a negative light is because they discuss their Human Right abuses. North Korea only permits pro-DPRK, government-run websites because they do not discuss their Human Rights abuses.

Internet Censorship is a way to disguise human rights abuses in nations such as North Korea and China.

"The quote my opponent has used was almost refuted by my opponent them self as they proved that it was legal in China, therefore not restricting human rights."

Slavery was allowed in a few countries until very recently. Just because it was legal, does that mean that it was not an abuse of human rights?

In the same way, just because Internet Censorship is permitted in some nations, does not mean that it is not an abuse of human rights.

"Some content on the Internet is already censored, for example, a pornographic website."

Child pornography is illegal, on the Internet and in other media, because it is an abuse of one's rights. However, information should not be blocked from the Internet, since we have the right to free speech, free press, and the right to organize, laid out in the Constitution.

Internet Censorship is an abuse of our constitutional rights; nations that have Internet Censorship are trying to hide that their citizens' rights are being abused.
JacobAnderson

Pro

"By disguising the wants and needs, they are infringing upon our rights to free speech, free press, and the right to organize."
This statement is on the confusing side.
1. How do they disguise the wants and needs (of the people, I'm assuming)?
- People's wants and needs cannot be disguised, therefore not a violation of freedom of speech. I am going to have to ask you to expand on this idea if possible.

"Also - the government does not have a right to privacy. I have searched the Internet for a while now and have found no source that claims the government has a right to privacy."
Because neither of us have found a source to support these claims, this argument can either be nullified or continued on assumption. I will agree to void this argument unless evidence is brought up by my opponent. I just thought it was common knowledge that the government has its rights as well as anyone else, but I guess that the people who serve to protect us, the people of the Government, do not recieve the same rights as any non-federal person.

"A year later, that number decreased to 34%."
As I have given a source for my side and my opponent has not, we will accept my statistics as the most valid until my opponent proves otherwise- using a reliable source.

"Internet censorship is a way to disguise human rights abuses..."
The whole basis of your argument is that internet censorship is a human rights abuse, but in this statement, you said that internet censorship "[disguises] human rights abuses." Which is it? Is internet censorship a human rights abuse or does it disguise a human rights abuse? Answer carefully, however, because either way you anser, some part of your argument may be negated.

"Just because it was legal, does that mean that it was not an abuse of human rights?"
Human Rights- a right that is believed to belong justifiably to every person. Let me note the use of the word "believed." Human rights is a concept that people give to themselves, however, in the instance of slavery, it was "believed" that slaves had no rights, that slaves were not humans, that they were property [1]. I know this sounds ridiculous, but in this analogy, I feel it is appropriate to ask, Is it justifiable to give your house rights? This is what the people thought about slaves, they were property undeserving of human rights. As times changed, however, and people suggested that they were humans, they got rights with the 13-15th Amendments.

"Internet Censorship is an abuse of our constitutional rights; nations that have Internet Censorship are trying to hide that their citizens' rights are being abused."
Once again, you have stated that internet censorship is NOT a violation of human rights, but instead, a DISGUISE of human rights abuse. With these faults in your debate, I would normally ask that all arguments of your be nullified, but this may be an honest mistake. I suggest that you state your concrete opinion, otherwise I will have no choice but to yet again bring it up in the final statement.


Before we continue, I must give a definition of "Internet Censorship" as my opponent has not done so. I apologize for this being late in the debate, but I just realized that censorship is not only on a governmental level. Internet Censorship is defined as followed, "Internet censorship is the control or suppression of what can be accessed, published, or viewed on the Internet. It may be carried out by governments or by private organizations at the behest of government, regulators, or on their own initiative. [2]" Now while I do admit that it says private organization, it is not only the government who can censor the internet, so by revoking internet censorship, are you not revoking the peoples' rights of the private institutions?

And my final question is this, Why do you accept censorship of television, yet you are highly against censorship on the internet?

Sources:
[1] http://www.pbs.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
Debate Round No. 3
jvava

Con




"By disguising the wants and needs, they are infringing upon our rights to free speech, free press, and the right to organize."




What I meant is that Internet Censorship hinders our ability to speak the truth, organize against or for the truth. It hinders the ability of the press to print the truth.


Let's say something corrupt took place within the government, but they censored all sites that told the truth and allowed all sites that permitted the lies that sound better but aren't true. People would not express their opinion on the corrupt acts because of the censorship; they are not aware of the truth and do not speak any negative opinion of the government. This limits our Freedom of Speech. The press could not print the truth, because the government does not allow the truth to be seen. This limits our Freedom of Press. And, because the government is making everything sound fine and dandy, people will not organize; this goes against our Freedom to Protest. This is the same thing that China does.


"Second, King and his team found that Chinese censors focus on posts that refer to, instigate, or are otherwise linked to grassroots collective action such as protests, demonstrations, and even apolitical mass activities, and that the regime seems comparatively more comfortable with criticism of the government."


By hindering the truth, the ability of the people to speak freely and protest is hindered; the ability of the press to print freely is hindered. The government tricks the people to believe that everything is okay, and that their wants and needs are being taken of.


They don't protest, speak against the government, or print anything against the government. This limits our First Amendment.


"...this argument can either be nullified or continued on assumption."


I agree to nullify this argument; I do not want to base my stance on something that is assumed.


"Is Internet censorship a human rights abuse or does it disguise a human rights abuse?"


Internet censorship is both.


It suppresses the spread of information to an individual - an abuse of human rights. Several prominent figures in the UN and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declare Internet Censorship an abuse of human rights.


“It’s a struggle for human rights, it’s a struggle for human freedom, and it’s a struggle for human dignity,” said Clinton.


This quote was pulled from http://broadbandbreakfast.com....


However, if it is being like the Internet in North Korea, then it disguises human rights abuses. The only reason it is in use in the DPRK is so that the people do not see what is flawed about the country, and its numerous human rights abuses.


"South Korean police have identified 43 pro-North Korean websites that have foreign-based servers. The police report that these websites encourage hostile attitudes towards South Korea and western countries, and portray the DPRK in a positive light."


Internet Censorship is a human rights abuse, since it suppresses a human’s right to information, but it can also be uses as a tool to disguise human rights abuses, such as in North Korea.


"Human rights is a concept that people give to themselves, however, in the instance of slavery, it was "believed" that slaves had no rights, that slaves were not humans, that they were property."


Taking away rights cannot be considered human rights. Since some are already justified to have them, taking away those justified rights cannot be considered "Human Rights". Taking away slavery did not hurt the whites directly because it did not damage their right to be free. Women's Suffrage could be considered humans' rights because it does not limit the rights of men.


Taking away rights for some so that everybody is on the same level is cannot be considered human rights.


"Internet Censorship is an abuse of our constitutional rights..."


In the United States, Internet Censorship is an abuse of constitutional and human rights, but in areas that do not permit their citizens this constitutional right, it is an abuse of their human rights. For example, slavery is an abuse of our constitutional and human rights, but in areas that do not permit their citizens this constitutional right, it is an abuse of their human rights.


"Why do you accept censorship of television, yet you are highly against censorship on the Internet?"


I never said I was pro-television censorship; my stance is the same as it is on Internet censorship. I support a parent's right to censor their child from watching certain things; but once they grow older, and receive all of their rights, they have a right to choose what they watch. You supported this earlier, saying,


"This is because at 18, people become a legal adult and can enjoy all rights other adults have, other than drinking of course."


You have a right to choose once you reach 18.


Internet censorship is an abuse of our constitutional and human rights. Vote for the debater who's argument is more logical.






JacobAnderson

Pro

I will refrain from asking questions as this is the last round of the debate and my opponent will have no means of answering them.

"Internet Censorship hinders our ability to speak the truth, [and our ability to] organize [either] against or for the truth."
This statement is both true and untrue. I say it is true because it may prevent us from either posting or reading something that may not be approved by the filtering systems that may be implemented (hypothetically). However, I say this is untrue because the internet is not our only means of spreading the truth. I believe a quote you used was, "The First Amendment's Freedom of the Press Clause has been extended to media including newspapers, books, plays, movies, and video games." This statement, specifically used in your initial argument, shows that we spread truth and the ability to organize either against of for the truth through mediums other than the internet.

My opponent gives a hypothetical situation and states that this situation "limits our Freedom of Speech."
However, this situation of government secrecy does not limit our Freedom of Speech. If the goveernment lied to us, regardless of if we realized it was a blatant lie or not, would we not still have our rights to Free Speech against or for what the government has told us? We would, indeed, still have the rights to Free Speech whether we are speaking for/against the truth, for/against what we believe to be the truth, or for/against what we know to be a lie.

"They don't protest... This limits our First Amendment."
When following a quote about China, you cannot refer to America's First Amendment as it only applies to America, not China. Also, our First Amendment is not limited, it is our rights that (according to you) are limited. The First Amendment has not been changed or altered, meaning it has not been limited.

"Internet censorship is both [a human rights abuse and a disguise for human rights abuse]"
Note that I am not changing the meaning of his argument, but clarifying what it means. By saying that Internet censorship is both a human rights abuse and a disguise for human rights abuse is saying that an apple is a fruit and a disguise for a fruit. It cannot be a fruit and be a disguise for a fruit, and it cannot be a disguise for a fruit and be a fruit. I would like to note that this argument by my opponent that it is both a human rights abuse and a disguise for such be taken into consideration as one "fact" has to in fact be false, negating a chunk of their argument either way.

"Taking away rights for some so that everybody is on the same level cannot be considered human rights."
I would like to point out that in my argument, I did not state that taking away rights was considered human rights. I pointed out that, in his example of slavery, slaves were not seen as human, therefore undeserving of human rights. My opponent has failed to counter this argument but instead has danced around the subject, in a confusing manner, I might add.

"Women's Suffrage can be considered humans' rights because it does not limit the rights of man."
So under this, you have stated that humans are only granted rights when they do not limit others' human rights. This would negate another section of your argument that everyone is entitled to human rights as you have just set a limit onto when a human gets their rights.

Summing up another argument by my opponent, if there is no Constitutional right, there are still human rights that are abused.
Because you have set a limit on human rights (saying one deserves them only if it does not strip anothers' rights), I will have no idea of whether or not you consider these people to have human rights.

Extending on the limitations, do we take away the rights of a felon, even for a minor crime like harrassment due to their infringing someone else's rights?

I would also like to note that Human Rights has not been defined by my opponent throughout this whole argument. I, as the contender, not the creator of this debate, had to set the terms under which we are debating.

"I support a parent's right to censor their child... and receive all of their rights... right to choose..."
This would infer that you suggest that internet censorship DOES apply for people under the age of 18, in which they "receive all their rights." You have stated that all humans have their human rights, but in this quote, you stated that they receive their rights at the age of 18.

In conclusion, before I run out of characters, I have negated majority, if not all of my opponent's arguments while he has failed to do so to my arguments. I would also like to show that I have pointed out flaws in his argument and flaws in his logic. So, if my opponent wants a vote based on logic, then I may have to apologize to him.

Thanks for the debate!
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Betapoet 3 years ago
Betapoet
Con should of won this debate, if this was a truly democratic website, I should of been able to vote with out giving out my phone number and address. Regardless though, great debate and I definitely agree with con. No worries, we techies won't let them lock down or block freedom of speech on the internet ^_^. Keep spreading the truth Con don't be discouraged!
Posted by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
@Jonbonbon Why? Because your side didn't win a debate? Pro gave the better argument. Look through the votes, all but one of the voters fully agreed with Con.
Posted by Jonbonbon 3 years ago
Jonbonbon
Well just f*** DDO then
Posted by jvava 3 years ago
jvava
I am sorry for the strange formatting on my argument is round 4. I tried to fix it, but it wouldn't budge.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by torterra 3 years ago
torterra
jvavaJacobAndersonTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: The pro really gave evidence, and graduating with debate and partial law under my belt pro gave more convincing arguments
Vote Placed by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
jvavaJacobAndersonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I am against censorship. That said, pro made better arguments.
Vote Placed by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
jvavaJacobAndersonTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Congrats to both Pro and Con. I think Con was trying to show Pro about Censorship of the Internet, in terms of "protest", and freedom of speech. I think Con was on thinking more on the lines of Human rights, and moral values.
Vote Placed by Adam2 3 years ago
Adam2
jvavaJacobAndersonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate is close, but pro convinced me more. He managed to rebute con's points.