The Internet in Saudi Arabia is one of the most restricted, even though this country is among the economic giants thanks to oil. On platforms of sites in Saudi Arabia, propaganda of LGBT minorities and any information dedicated to the movement for their rights is prohibited. Also, the Arabian secret services and ministries block information that contradicts the state ideology, Sunni Islam. At the moment, Internet censorship has a clear negative impact on freedom of expression. At the same time, censorship protects children from the influence of pornography and maintains education.
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Freedom of speech is limited by any, even the slightest, censorship in all areas: cinema, television, books, the Internet. The people of Saudi Arabia are deprived of the opportunity to express their opinion about the economy, politics, or religion (McCarthy, 2022). In addition, everyday problems are often hushed up in such countries: violence, family traditions, the place of women in society. All these problems come to the fore in all developed countries, precisely thanks to freedom of speech, because people are not shy about talking about their experience and have the opportunity to do so. Other people support them and are interested, so many problems can be solved voluntarily. Citizens of Saudi Arabia are deprived of something that does not seem like a privilege to residents of other developed countries.
Pornography is a problem for many Internet users as it attaches misconceptions to people’s bodies. In recent years, cases of addiction to pornography have been recorded, although the medical community of the world does not officially recognize this addiction. Censorship on the Internet helps protect children and adolescents with an impressionable psyche from pornography and scenes of violence. Some of the sets of violence or pornography children will not understand, although they will try to explain themselves if they see it. In this regard, censorship protects the child’s psyche from the impact of materials that are not yet understandable and inexplicable. Some films or art contain erotic content, sometimes bordering on pornography. Sometimes movies and art openly show violence, which is always explained and demonstrated with a specific purpose. Censorship in this area remains a ban on freedom of speech (RSF index 2018: Hatred of journalism threatens democracies, 2019). The ambivalence in this area remains: the ban on erotica and pornography is also considered a ban on freedom of speech.
Censorship can protect teenagers from misinformation because they cannot distinguish fiction from truth. The teenage psyche is easily misinformed and impressed by big claims. In educational censorship, however, workers must be careful and constantly critically evaluate what material might be helpful, or at least not harmful, and what exactly should be excluded (Mchangama, 2022). For teenagers, entertainment content is significant, which should be exciting and at the same time not have a destructive effect. Censorship in adolescent education and materials for school study is also quite ambiguous and debatable.
In conclusion, it is essential to note that Internet censorship harms freedom of speech and human rights. It remains inviolable when considering various aspects: art, culture, pornography, education. Censorship helps Arabian children lead a protected childhood free of pornographic material. Adolescents also do not suffer from pornographic addiction and mania. They have a lot of time to spend with family and friends. In addition, children and adolescents may emphasize their education, especially if the censorship system carefully selects materials. The high quality of literature and textbooks helps children get used to the argumentative presentation of material early. Subsequently, they adopt these traits in their communication; however, the problem of freedom of speech does not fade into the background. Saudi Arabia creates a large information dome over its citizens, immersing them in an extraordinary world of Islam, traditionalism, and patriarchy.
McCarthy, R. (2022). “We are in crisis”: Middle East journalists on censorship, imprisonment and exile. Middle East Monitor. Web.
Mchangama, J. (2022). The war on free speech: Censorship’s global rise. Foreign Affairs. Web.
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RSF index 2018: Hatred of journalism threatens democracies. (2019). RSF. Web.