Internet filtering is a controversial topic in the technology sector. Sure, parents want to be able to filter the internet for their kids’ safety. But, there are other applications of internet filters that are not looked upon quite so fondly. Internet filtering technology is something that all technology users should take the time to learn up on. After all, there are ways that filtering internet content could be harmful. Find out all about internet filter technology, the different types of filters out there and the potential implications of such filtering below.
What Is Internet Filtering?
Internet filtering is the process of restricting digital content. Internet filtering can refer to content control software solutions. These are the types that parents use when trying to protect children from online dangers. Internet filters however, can also refer to much more consequential, and even dangerous, internet censorship. These two types of censoring technology are two sides of the same coin. That is why this technology is so highly contested among tech users, like yourself.
Some internet filter software are centered entirely around time allotments. That means that they only restrict internet access after a certain time limitation has been reached. Often, parents use internet timers as a means of limiting screen time for their children. This technology is also used as a productivity tool. There are productivity tools that filter internet content until a particular time limit is reached, during which time the internet is once again uncensored and the user is free to take a break from their work. Internet filters with time limit features do not pose a threat to civil liberties. They are just as harmless as other job scheduler software. That is why this type of internet filter solution is not highly contested like others are.
Some internet filter software are focused on censoring profanities found online. These types of profanity filters do not restrict internet content quite as much as other digital content filters do. Instead, they work to mask profanities found online. They only slightly alter online content, rather than omitting it or eliminating access to particular types of content. These types of technology can be used in homes and schools as well as religious organizations or similar. Thankfully, this is yet another type of internet filter apps that does not pose a threat to uncensored online access to information. At least, not to the extent other large-scale technologies do.
Website blocking features are a more consequential option offered by internet filtering apps. These types of tools allow you to block specific websites. Many even allow you to restrict access to an entire category or website content types, like gambling websites, social media platforms or liberal news media pages. This is the type of internet filtering that begins to enter a gray area in regards to civil liberties and personal autonomy. Often, these website blocking tools are used by schools, online teaching platforms, parents and even offices and other professional workplaces. While understandable, it has given rise to questions surrounding individual rights and freedoms regarding access to information. But, this type of internet filter technology is far from the most stringent found in use.
Internet censoring is a much more suppressive form of control over access to the internet. This suppression of internet access is a frightening reality for millions of people across the globe. Most notably, North Korea and China are two countries who have experienced harsh criticism for such digital censoring techniques. Many technology and internet users, over 80%, feel that internet access is a basic human right. Thus, this has led to a hot debate among internet companies and users as well as international politicians. Regardless of such debates, these internet censoring practices are still in full effect in many locations across the globe. What is your opinion on the matter?
If you are an internet user, you would probably be lost without internet access. Restricted internet access is a reality for millions of people, thanks to the widespread availability of internet filter software. Internet filtering is highly contested. This is why all internet users should be informed on the topic, in order to form there own opinions. Otherwise, the same digital filtering and censorship could happen to you even if you use vulnerability scanning tools in attempts to prevent it. Is it an infringement on human rights to restrict access to the internet or limit visible content online? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.