Protection Against Deception

Raising awareness about internet censorship and need for digital literacy.


The internet is like an ocean. It’s scary and contains a vast amount of content, most of which should never see the light of day. It is not that surprising that schools censor the internet for their students. However, many of the internet’s informative and helpful sides also get censored.

Due to the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) passed in 2000, schools are required to filter out any distasteful content. Although the act has proven only a bit effective, students still find their way around it simply by changing settings on their devices.

Some organizations such as the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) have a problem with the act because they believe it violates the student’s freedom of expression. The NCAC believes that censorship doesn’t work and that instead of censoring the internet we should be teaching kids digital literacy and responsibility.

Despite schools trying to censor uninformative and distasteful content tons of misleading websites remain uncensored. An example of this would be Aliens the Truth. A younger student could come across a website such as the one I mentioned and read through the website, then start believing the information on the website even though it is all misleading. When situations such as this happen more misinformation ends up spreading, and gullible people end up believing it.

If nothing is done about the obscene amount of censorship that takes place on the internet then the result will be more ignorant people than we already have. Over-censoring topics is not the answer. Yes, extremely vulgar content such as sexual content should be censored, but censoring topics you do not agree with shouldn’t be happening.

To combat the spread of both misinformation and internet censorship schools need to start teaching digital literacy and censor only obscene content. Digital literacy helps a person determine whether or not a website’s information is legitimate while censoring only obscene material keeps children from viewing actual inappropriate content. The internet is an ocean and we are just diving in without any protection.