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Computer Ethics: Different Types Of Censorship

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 3250 words Published: 2nd May 2017

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A Censor is “A person authorized to examine books, films, or other material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable.” There are three different types of censorship;

1. Moral Censorship

2.Military Censorship or Political Censorship

3.Corporate Censorship

Moral Censorship The most commonly known type of Censorship, is Moral Censorship. Moral Censorship is used in Four different ways; to omit Sexual explicitly, Violence, Racial Comments, and Curse Words. It is mainly used in Music, Movies, Books, at School, and on TV.

Ratings are used to determine what is appropriate for their audience. For example, Movies can be rated G, PG, PG-13, R, or X-17. They are used to deem who would be interested in watching the film, or who shouldn’t be watching it. In a G rated movie you can trust that there will not be any nudity, curse words or extreme violence.

In Music cuss words are bleeped out or removed all together on kid CDs or on some radio stations. Certain things are censored so the public can enjoy them.

In School books some things are politely evaded or vague, such as the topic of sex. Though in biology they leave nothing for the imagination. It just goes to show that how much censorship is used, depends on the audience.

Military Censorship and Political Censorship Military and Political censorship both deal with deleting information, trying to control large groups of people, and uses of propaganda. In countries where censorship were used, deleting and changing information was their bread and butter. Such as in the Soviet Union, under Stalin’s rule when photos, history, and even the weather was changed in a way to control the people. The Internet Police in China totalling more than 30,000 members, are constantly changing search engines such as Yahoo, and Google. In Cuba the internet is even illegal!

In wartimes censorship is taken to the extreme and propaganda can be seen everywhere. Emails from the war home, online diaries, or blogs have to be searched and things erased from their writings. Sometimes only a few words can be read, usually just an “I Love You”, is all that will get by these vast searches.

In the U.S. they scan the emails of suspected terrorists for information leading towards an attack. In a way these types of censorship can be both good and bad for people. You can relax that you are behind walls, but are you safe from those within?

Corporate Censorship The business today of hiding stars, incorrect commercials, and deciding just what is acceptable on the internet is still a big topic today. Such as the T.V. debate between Johnson and Salant. Though you may not think it deals with Censorship on the internet, in a way it does. Johnson’s side was this “Many broadcasters are fighting, not for free speech, but for profitable speech.” Salant on the other hand said the commercials were not wrong and Johnson was 100% wrong instead. Since many commercials and advertisements are seen on the internet Johnson’s and Salant’s debate comes up often.

Sometimes thought, people just can’t censor what happens on live broadcasts, but punish them instead. Like at Sports games where the fans, players, and coaches might start a fight and they have to call security or pull out a yellow or red flag.

In the arts suggestive elements are removed or condemned from being seen on some Websites. Images blocked with black strips or pixilated views help keep identity and images unseen from public view. Corporate Censorship is a way to show things to the public, but also keep things away at the same time.

Public Filtering In Religion, it is common knowledge that the Bible was changed through out bidding at the of Nobles, and Kings. It was a way for them to control the people through a different route than just laws and punishments. Today, public filtering can be seen in libraries, schools, some work offices, and internet cafes. 21 states have laws to filter the web in public places. The Federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) “provides for three different types of funding:

1) aid to elementary and secondary schools;

2) Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants to states for support of public libraries;

3) the E-rate program that provides technology discounts to schools and public libraries.”

The libraries and public places that are a part of the E-rate, and LSTA must filter out obscenity and things which are harmful to minors. Usually in order to view things that are not permitted to minors you have to put in a password in order to view the internet.

Admins and ModeratorsIn the world of fast communication and millions online, it is hard to keep it in check on the internet. Because people can copy & paste, post derogatory images, curse on child protected sites, trolls etc. Admins and Moderators are put to use.

There have been many complaints about the copy & paste issue. So sites have installed systems that make it impossible to copy & paste from their site or print. But there are still loop holes in the system, you can take pictures of the screen, do it at certain time, or even hack in to the network to steal images. But most people see it as harmless so not too many laws are against it. Admins are always careful to list where the images come from and site who spoke what, on a different page, or at the bottom of the page it is cited on.

People who post nudity or provocative pictures are usually unallowed to come back on the site and their images are deleted as well as their Username and Passcode. Swearing is the same way, you receive a warning, or if there are enough offenses you are removed from commenting ever again.

Trolls and Spammers are different, they are usually anonymous and repeat the same thing over and over again or try to sell something or say really mean things about a user or sometimes a person people don’t even know. Flame Wars are on the otherhand, between two or more people in a heated argument and when hurtful things are said to one another. The Moderater usually comes in at this point gives a warning to the two for all to see and then deletes the whole war, they can also do it in private and just delete them if they are unwilling to discontinue the war. Admins and Moderators are also in charge of the safety and privacy of the users on their site.

At Home Filtering at home is usually done by parental controls on the computer, and does not allow people to visit certain sites or do certain things. It also puts a time limit for individuals on the web.

There is also something like a Modem Officer. If it sees that you are accessing sites that are illegal or you are a sex offender and talking to others with not so innocent conversations, they alert the authorities about your actions.


In Computer Ethics, Privacy plays a big part in keeping the peace between people. In today’s world people share many of their thoughts, but they also like to keep some things a secret. And it is the duty of those on the internet to respect that choice. People worry about;

*Internet Anonymity


*Ways to keep their privacy

*Websites that may jeopardize their privacy

*And what the Government does to keep their privacy

Either way, people care about what others see. So they build ways to keep themselves safe by building walls on the internet and on their computers.

Internet Anonymity To go by a false name or simply leave the name blank or “Anonymous” is one of the easiest ways for people to not find out who you are. If a website asks for a picture when you leave a comment, you can leave it blank and go by a name known to be used by anonymous users like “Jane Smith”.

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By keeping your identity a secret people can not know who you are. Though sometimes the IP address can be seen, which is basically a computer number that you are using, most people will have not clue who you are. Thats why most scammers try to be anonymous. But it also risks that people will not be able to trust you.

Like on Ebay, if you have too much anonymity on yourself or products people may not buy your wares because they fear you are fake. Either way Internet Anonymity if meant for people’s identity to be a secret.

Hackers People who try to find out your name, phone number, address, IP address, and other information that you have not given out with your permission, and then use it for their own, or their company’s gain. These people usually break through your security codes by their mean of software, and learn about you to blackmail, harm you physically, steal your money, or stalk.

People who are hackers generally keep to themselves, unless they are trying to get information from someone. The underground market of hacking to businesses so people can learn about their customers or victims is a dangerous tool worldwide. Hackers are paid to either be a part of the law or against it. Those with the law, hack someone system, usually a criminals, to find out what they have done in the past or what they are planning to do in the future to protect people.

Those who hack for wrong, are hacking for their own benefit or their companies and seek victims rather than criminals. Hackers can be just about anyone, without you knowing, and fool you into thinking they are somone else. People who try to message you on the internet using your friends name so they can steal all your money from the bank, is just an example of what they can do. Hackers are dangerous and helpful, depending on what side of the law they are on.

Websites that Post Personal Data Sometimes the information we give to others that should remain private, we give out ourselves. Most of the time without us even knowing it. Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and the new scare Spokeo.com are just a few of the places people can find information about you. The new british “Web Wise” is also a new thing developed by their government to track your interests for companies. It can be scary how much information about you alone is out there. Thats why, you should rely on Computer Ethics to post what should be given, and what should not.

Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and many more are examples of todays social Websites on the internet today. They do not have too many rules of who joins and they reveal a lot about your personal identity. On Facebook, they ask for your real name and information about you. They are updating their privacy system so that not as many people will be able to find things about you which are private. On Twitter your every thought or action is posted on the internet for all to see. Its a big step from the Pony Express over a hundred years ago.

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A big concern today is about a Website called Spokeo.com and others like it. They find out all the information they can about you on the internet and then post it all on one site for the World to see. Your Name, Phone Number, Address, Interests, Hobbies, School, Work and much much more. Many people have eliminated their profiles on these websites. But many do not even know they exist. People can find out whatever they want about you from these Websites, and you would not even know they knew. To some its the sheer lack of security that scares them. Others just don’t care. Either way the people have a choice if they want their information on there or not, or if they want the Website to be discontinued permanently.

Ways to Keep your Privacy In order to keep yourself safe on the internet, there are some things you need to do.

*Keep your Internet Viewing safe

*Keep your Computer safe

*Keep your Personal Information safe

When people go on the internet, they are shot into a pool of millions of people of all walks of life. In order to keep the sharks from attacking you, there are some things you should do to keep your Web time safe. The first thing you might want to do is type your name into a search engine, you might be surprised what pops up!

Another thing you should consider is surfing with a Proxy. It keeps your identity a secret and its hard for people to find anything out about you. Also, avoid registrations that ask you for your Social Security Number, your Credit Card Number, your Phone Number, Address, or any information you wouldn’t give to a stranger.

Don’t let strangers use your network, put your router in the middle of your house and away from windows so they won’t be able to connect. Avoid Flame wars some people hold grudges. Even if your joking, remember they can’t see your face or hear your voice so they won’t be able to tell.

Keep in mind when you are surfing the web if you wouldn’t want your family to see what you are looking at. That is a good sign of bad Websites. If children want to search the internet first put on a trusted parental controls device.

To keep your computer safe remember these things. Be careful of what you download, “Some programs include adware that will report your surfing habits back to a third-party company that will then use that information to send you ads (spam).” Downloads can also be a way for people to hack into your system. “Keep all software current (including your Web browser) with automatic updates. Use firewall, antivirus, antispam, and antispyware software from a source that you trust and watch out for fake alerts for security software.” When you have friends or family over, make sure folders and things that have personal information are hidden from view. Especially if there are people you don’t know, at your house.

Be aware of Phising Scams, these are criminals who ask for sensitive information like your password, bank account number, or anything that you wouldn’t tell a stranger. These people will sound friendly and usually ask through email or instant messaging.

Also make sure children know what not to tell someone they don’t know. Never let children talk to strangers online, and if you feel someone is asking you too many personal questions report them to the admin of the site, or if someone tells you they are coming to visit you and you don’t know them, call the police. To keep yourself safe, you must always be aware that people on the internet are not always kind and may have secret motives. It is the same as telling a child “Don’t talk to strangers, even if they say they know me.” With your bank account or other information.


When a person has done something that requires a fee or special permission, they usually issue a copy right. Intellectual Property, Copyright Laws, and Plagarism will be discussed in this section.

Intellectual Property The people responsible for Intellectual Property is WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) the “Convention Establishing the WIPO” relates that rights belong to;

1. literary, artistic, and scientific works

2. performances of performing artists, phonograms, and broadcasts

3. inventions in all fields of human endeavor

4. scientific discoveries.

Intellectual Property are the creations of human thought, and intellect. They are usually protected by a Copyright, in which WIPO is internationally responsible for.

Copyright Laws The laws of Copyright state that only the owner of Intellectual Property may do the following with the work:

1. reproduce it

2. prepare derivative works based upon it

3. distribute copies of it to the public

4. perform the work publicly (if applicable)

5. display the work publicly.

“The WIPO Copyright Treaty” states that these rights belong exclusively to the owners of the Intellectual Property. The idea’s for things are not protected by copyrights, but only the completed product. As such people who “Beat Others to the Punch” will mor likely succeed than those who’s idea it was in the first place. “The Copyright Law, does not protect ideas, procedures, systems, or methods of operation. For information over a Communication Network (like the Internet), Copyrights protect all the dealings. But only to those who want a Copyright.

Some instances with Copyright are hard to know which is right and wrong. With Caching and Audio Players that can download songs from the Internet, the laws have to be changed periodically. Caching is “Copying and Storing of Webpages”. It can be done on your browser, with frequently visited websites, or on google. It becomes a problem when it stops others from reading new and improved parts of the website.

The major problem though with copyright lately is the MP3 player, and Ipod battle. Where people can download music online for free, which is not legal. WIPO states that home use of copying the music is legal but selling pirated copies is a crime. It also says this about Copyright Ownership which oftens comes up in these debates.

1. Who is the natural author? Who produced the work?

2. Is the creation a work for his/her employee?

3. Is the creation a work for him/her as a specially commissioned work?

4. Is the person a joint author of the work?

5. Has the person obtained a valid license to use the copyrighted work?

6. Are the rights that the person has obtained recognizable and enforceable under the current law?

PlagarismAnother Copyright issue that keeps coming up is the Crime of Plagarism. Plagarism is when someone steals another person’s intellectual property and claims it as their own. Plagarism is a major offense in school, as well as the Work Force. Thats why bibliography’s and quoting where you got the information from is so important. It can stop you from getting a bad grade or even worse, getting sued and losing all of your money. Plagarism is a very serious crime in the entertainment industry. In the movie “Singing in the Rain” a woman Lipsynchs to another woman singing behind the curtain. After it is found out, the woman lipsynching loses all of her credibility and fame. As such Plagarism plays a vital role in today’s Entertainment Industry for the fans to know that whoever is singing, acting, playing, dancing, etc. is who they think it is, and its something that they did not steal from someone else.

Though in some instances Plagarism takes on the form of Fandom. Such as a band called the “Roaches” copying the world wide phenomenom the “Beatles”. It is not considered Plagarism if someone gives their permission, and they remember to tell where their Intellectual Property came from. Copyright plays a vital role in Computer Ethics today, and makes it a priority for everyone to know where their Intellectual Property is coming from.

With the world being connected by computers it is obvious that we need rules to live by. By having laws about Censorship, Privacy, and Copyright, we can assure our lives our safer by our nation following these laws.


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