With election season on the horizon, both in the United States and the United Kingdom, one of the biggest issues facing our politicians today is the regulation of the internet. Indeed, much to the ire of organizations such as Reporters Without Borders, governments the world over have stringent controls on a so-called “free press.” Social media, cursing, even political satire sites are coming under the control of the Big Brother society today that is putting a stop to anything on the internet which may potentially “offend” somebody. But who are the government to decide what does and does not offend us?
The availability of porn has long been the subject of mass debates, but no more so than in the UK. In 2013, Prime Minister and boring old fart David Cameron welcomed the idea of “family friendly filters”, citing that “as a father, the time for action has come.” But what is one conservative politician to deem “disgusting” and control what we can and cannot see? And where does one draw the line? This is the same country that tried to ban dirty magazines so as not to offend women, when, in reality, these women are not forced into their line of work and are more than happy to be paid a handsome buck to be photographed with their chests out.
It is nothing short of ridiculous that a land-based casino magnate and perpetrator of political propaganda in Israel should have so much power over online casinos in North America. Indeed, if it were up to Sheldon Adelson, online alternatives like Mr Smith Casino would not operate legally at all – let alone in the paltry three states in which they can be played now: Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Mr Adelson wants to ban online casinos so that he can hold onto the profits of his precious Las Vegas Sands Corporation, but ask yourself – what’s more offensive, playing a few games in the comfort of your own home, to nobody’s detriment, or hanging out in dingy, drunk-filled casinos?
We live in an age in which we are blessed with the gift of medical science – so why do we have to shove tobacco censorship down everybody’s throats? It is infinitely more offensive to shove the image of a decomposing lung in a child’s face (take note, United Kingdom) than it is to have a tongue-in-cheek tobacco commercial aired after 9pm. In the United States, though, the latest change in 2010 was frankly ridiculous. In an effort to deter minors from purchasing e-cigarettes, it was deemed that any audio or video advertisements containing music or color should be banned. What’s next? A ban on Pokemon?
Just as it is not up to our governments to impose bans on freedom of speech, it is equally just as deplorable that they should try to control what does and does not offend us. It is up to the individual to decide just how much censorship they want in their life, not the deluded fantasies of narrow-minded politicians.