Internet Censorship in Africa
The Internet is available at a very minimal cost which makes the access to information and freedom of speech available at the same minimal cost. The information that is published over the Internet can be accessed globally. Anything from fixing a car to building a bomb, from pictures of family to pictures of little children performing unspeakable sexual acts can be posted on the Internet. All you have to do to access anything on the web is just click on your web browser and type in the web address or type in a keyword on a search engine and you will be automatically linked to sites that pertain to your search.
The Internet is unlike any other form of publishing. It allows you to publish anything you choose quickly and quietly. The cost involved to publish your thoughts and opinions, or to access other people’s thoughts and opinions is the price of a computer, a modem which already comes installed in most computers today and the low monthly cost of Internet service through your Internet Service Provider. If you want to publish your thoughts and opinions in a daily newspaper
for example, it will cost you millions upon millions of francs CFA to start up this print venture which may only reach thousands of people. If you can afford as little as three hundred thousand francs for a brand new personal computer and about thirty-five thousand francs a month for Internet service, you can publish your thoughts and opinions on the Internet and have them reach billions of people for a small fraction of the cost to publish the same information in a daily newspaper.
A web page can be set up so that it is unavailable to anyone who does not know the address. This allows for the publishing of things such as child pornography and instructions for making a bomb available without anyone knowing about it. If these things were published from your computer in this way, you wouldn’t even know about it. On the other hand, some of the information is published on sites that anyone can access without knowing the web address. Links can be set up to bring people to web pages that they don’t want to see and can subject them to immoral images and texts. Children can use the web to find pictures and text about subjects that are not suitable for their viewing by just typing one wrong word into a search
The problem that concerns most people about the Internet is the offensive material that is available on it, such as pornography. Since the Internet is open to everyone, children are very easily exposed to such immoral and offensive material. This is the main reason why societies seek to restrict access to information. The other reason is that cultures are different, with varying degrees of tolerance and as such, not all societies agree.
For Those Over 30
A computer was something on TV From a science fiction show of note. A window was something you hated to clean And ram was the cousin of a goat.
Meg was the name of my girlfriend And gig was a job for the nights Now they all mean different things And that really mega bites.
An application was for employment, A program was a TV show, A cursor used profanity A keyboard was a piano.
Memory was something that you lost with age, A CD was a bank account And if you had a 3-inch floppy You hoped nobody found out.
Compress was something you did to the garbage, Not something you did to a file. And if you unzipped anything in public. You’d be in jail for a while.
Log on was adding wood to the fire, Hard drive was a long trip on the road. A mouse pad was where a mouse lived And a back up happened to your commode.
Cut you did with a pocket knife. Paste you did with glue. A web was a spider’s home And a virus was the flu.
I guess I’ll stick to my pad and paper And the memory in my head I hear nobody’s been killed in a computer crash. But when it happens, they’ll wish they were dead.
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© 2020 Tezeh Collins