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What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Internet Being Censored in Hong Kong?

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Internet freedom in Hong Kong 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the internet being censored in Hong Kong?  


The last decade has witnessed a particular development of information technologies.The Internet has then spread to a worldwide phenomenon and became an essential part of many Hongkongers. Today, People are connected together with instantaneous communication, allowing them to see and hear ideas or items that were simply not possible before. Meanwhile, the prevalence of sophisticated Internet activities have been rising consistently in workplace. Internet censorship is particularly implied in some countries, such as North Korea, Singapore and Mainland China, which is used as a percolator to block users from accessing typical harmful information, uphold copyright laws, and reduce the incidents of identity theft on the internet. However, it has been argued that internet censorship may also restrict press freedom and omit useful information. These essay will discuss both advantages and disadvantages of the internet censorship in Hong Kong. 


Internet censorship could definitely protect children from pornography information. It is widely believe that the internet is saturated with violence, obscene and pornographic website, that feature sexually explicit material. Some reveal destructive suggestions, such as encouraging eating disorders, child abuse and suicide. Based on the 2013 online safety survey, there were 11% of 9-16 year olds children have encountered sexual images on the internet in the past 12 months. (NSPCC,2013). Although it is complicated to reveal the number of inappropriate material for children on the internet, Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) validated that there are numerous harmful information there. By censoring pornography and certain types of images and videos on the internet, children are less likely to encounter this inappropriate material. Moreover, government could censor material that is insulting to a particular religion in order to maintain Hong Kong harmony. In this way, internet censorship is an effective way to protect society as a whole by monitoring from offensive and damaging material. 


The implement of Internet censorship could tell the public that the online information is beneficial and reliable, however, might limit the freedom of speech and the press, and undermine the publics’ confide in the online system. Johal (2004) considers it as a damage. Individual netizens may lose their voice and may find it is more challenging to share their views on the internet. By preventing free access to information, it is fostering ignorance in Hong Kong. Hongkongers are more easily controlled by special interest groups, that imply censorship to maintain their power. Meanwhile, citizens might not against government oppression even though the government implies unreasonable policy. As a result, censorship limits a citizens' ability to advance in its understanding of the world. 



The next benefit, which is also a driving force for the implement of internet censorship, is that such policy could uphold infringement of intellectual. Infringement of intellectual property is one of the many issues in Hong Kong. With a free and open Internet, it is argued that stealing intellectual property is easier. According to the International Telecommunication Union, approximately 74 percent of Hong Kong's 7 million residents enjoy high-quality Internet access. It is widely acknowledged that netizens want to fully utilize the function of sharing through the Internet and download movies and music files illegally in minutes. By providing a certain degree of censorship, the government can protect the intellectual property rights of innovation companies and against both locally and abroad intellectual property theft (King, Pan, Roberts, 2014). It is subsequently uphold intellectual property and support movie producers, directors, actors, and crew. 



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