As was pointed out earlier howAsiaandMiddle Eastare regions under heavy censorship, including blocking websites if not total Internet access. Such websites as those dealing with rights, freedom of expression, social networking and even popular entertainment sites like YouTube have been blocked in these oppressive regions. But, resolute and determined citizens manage to find innovative ways of democratic organization. InZimbabwe, for example, the Robert Mugabe regime has attracted severe criticism due to its high handed authoritarianism. Yet, reports indicate that mobile phones, a key product of the ICT industry, have helped people to evade other censored communication mediums. Even in such oppressive nations asSaudi Arabia, the opportunity offered by web-logging is constructively utilized for democratic discussion and for collective dissent against the Saud Royal family’s atrocities (Chang, 2003). While censorship is more prevalent in developing nations, advanced societies too have not remained free of it. A recent example isFrance, where the government had attempted to limit unfettered political discussions in internet forums, instigating protest from internet rights activists. Moreover, the dynamic nature of the ICT makes it difficult for authoritarian regimes to impose their will on its consumers. This is evident from numerous examples from the recent past. This augurs well for the citizens of the Internet, as they continue their efforts to promote democracy and human rights across the world. This is probably a reflection of the fact that the media’s role as an ideological vehicle is coming to its last days. People have more control over the content and are in a better position to demand what they want. Survey after survey had reflected the public opinion in favour of their empowerment. It seems the time for its actual manifestation has arrived at last. While this will diminish media’s role as collaborators with an ideologue, it will help democratic governance and overall public contentment (Chang, 2003).
In the future, developing countries need to adopt a universal liberal standard of communication for television and Internet, which will bring together peoples across the globe and help create awareness and understanding of other cultures and values without any censorship. Any counter measure that keeps people isolated and censored for reasons of political stability will undermine relations between nation-states and induce suspicion and tension in the already fragile world polity. After all, the drafting of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a valid proof of the fact that in essence, people across the world share the same values and aspirations. Enforcing censorship in the digital world would only discredit this principle.
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