Transparency: critical for politics, critical for development

In my usual manner of procrastination, I was searching through news sites and I came across an article that I found particularly alarming.

How would you feel if you found out that the availability of content online was being censored? Not only by a select few nations, but by the vast majority of nations and governments.

I was pretty shocked.

The internet is intended to be one of those areas for open communication, creativity, curiosity, and everything in between. It’s that safe space where you feel as though with enough research and time you can eventually find out the truth and learn both sides to the same story. Instead, its become this space of warfare between service providers and governments to determine what should and shouldn’t be available to the public.

The past six months have had over 1000 requests for content removal already.

To me, the internet exists almost as a global watchdog, its a tool or a mechanism for supervising the transparency of other parties. The internet is a way to monitor the transparency of other organizations (if we care enough to find out).

Who should determine what is offensive and what is appropriate? Is it the role of my government to determine what news I should and should not learn of? It scares me that learning about public issues and events is out of the hands of the public. It terrifies me that global events have happened without public awareness of it. Remember the Rwandan genocide?

 

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