Arguments with Myself: The Battle Behind the Screen

Michaela Korges, Cactus Writer

Just when free speech reaches a beautiful anarchy, censorship rears its ugly head and tries to introduce order into the mix.

Even in the land of the free we occasionally decide that some speech should not be legally protected. One of the online censorship laws that hasn’t been ruled unconstitutional is the Children’s Internet Protection act (CIPA). According to, it exists mainly to prevent harmful websites such as pornography from getting onto school computers.

When it comes to the written word, censorship exists in the form of banned and challenged books. The American Library Association documents which books are challenged each year and for what reasons. Sometimes this list looks like a best seller’s collection with names such as The Hunger Games and Harry Potter making the top ten in years past.

Organizations such as Fight for the Future and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are fighting against censorship not only from legislation but from Internet providers too. In the place of tanks and ships, we now have armies of websites fighting for our freedom of speech.

Lately, the debate over censorship has made the jump from online groups to the masses. If you haven’t been offended by anything online this year, I don’t know if you can call yourself an American. Yet for every annoying tweet, post, or snap there is someone who will defend their first-amendment rights to the death. Thus, we have a grand mess with angry people on both sides.

Even though most everyone has a set of morals, nobody can seem to agree on an answer to this problem. In order to stop crime, one must stop people from fulfilling their every desire. What is in question is how far laws can go before an honest voice is silenced. A voice is an extension of a

soul and the only way humans have of expressing themselves. However, one voice can harm so many innocent people and needs to be used responsibly.

The best we can do is use our best judgement. Perhaps if we put our heads together, we can pass a law that would censor out the worst without hurting the rights of our fellow humans.

However, this solution is highly unlikely. This is America. We love our voice and we have no shortage of activists willing to fight for our right to be immature behind a computer screen. So stay informed about the issues surrounding free speech, but don’t fret that your right to an angry post will be taken away just yet. For now, we are too rooted in our amendments to give up our beloved opinions that easily.