‘Web censorship raises questions over our freedoms’ says Grantham Journal columnist Jacob Stuart

Columnist: Jacob Stuart
Columnist: Jacob Stuart

Jacob writes:

“The internet is truly a dark, frightful place. If you happen to be an out of touch MP.

Or maybe you are just an MP toeing the party line. In either case it is a scary thought; would you rather have your country ran by those ignorant to the modern world or those so eager to climb the political ladder they forsake common sense?

Nick Boles, Grantham MP, last week published his thoughts in the Journal on the proposition from the Government that internet service providers would have an adult content filter active by default.

Among them, he pointed out that the Prime Minister is right to challenge “big search engines” to filter their results. While I agree that more needs to be done to wipe truly harmful material from the internet, carpet bombing the world’s greatest archive on free information and discussion probably is not the smartest way to go about it, particularly as there is bound to be issues with the filter to work through.

If this is not a push for censorship under the guise of “won’t someone think of the children?” then the real way to support parents, in the words of Mr Boles, is to truly do that. Teach them how to use the internet safely if they need help so they can teach their children.

Having criticised the previous Government for their policies, creating a ‘nanny state’, this sort of act seems hypocritical. And worse are the questions over free speech and thought.

In removing content from the internet with an opt-out clause, the embarrassment of essentially ‘outing’ oneself in front of the family will mean this act of censorship has a built-in shield as The Sun lies open on a protected page 3 on the breakfast table.”