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Considering all the news reports we hear of terrorists of all nationalities being radicalised  from internet content & sexual perversions of all sorts being available to titillate ,rapists, paedophiles & other sexual predators  into putting their vile thoughts into action ,should the internet be better policed to stop such articles & information being available on line. People have even been encouraged to commit suicide on social media site.

Is it right that any such criminals should be in the dock alone when their actions may have been encouraged by internet content ? Surely, representatives of, for instance, google,  or any social media site that has allowed such content to be openly explored should also be prosecuted.

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The Google et.al. defence is based around established principles which doesn't suit governments. The information they provide is generated by others and they act as a "Common Carrier", that does not change the content. That is why they will aggregate or take down stuff by will not let their people edit things. Algorithms are not employees or agents for which they are responsible in law. There are similar restrictions on the telcos in the UK.

My own view of the prosecutions for jokes that I have heard of are that they are abuses of process. The judge should have asked himself whether had such a joke been made in a newspaper article or a letters column the judgement would have been the same, and I suspect not.

I am becoming concerned that we are moving to a era where thought crime alone is sufficient for punishment. It used to be that evil action had to be accompanied by intent. It seems that today it is unlawful to even be tempted to do bad things and that is very worrying. The problem is that the Internet cannot be policed by a single state unless it is accompanied by the equivalent of the great firewall of china and repressive laws. Asp is quite right about this. At the moment we lose more than we gain from blocking the internet and that was recognised by the folk who designed the Internet structure and ensuring that it stays like that it a key premise in the evolution of the Internet and the protocols that make it work.

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The internet does really cover an unimaginably wide spectrum, ranging  from all that is good & useful to all that is evil & corrupt , but should the psychotic  internet brain washers be any less guilty than  the probably educationally challenged criminals who put thoughts into destructive action ? But, as you say how far should censorship be allowed to go ? A difficult one.



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