Sunday, November 30, 2008

What the 'regulators' lets us see

An article in the New York Times discusses the fact that what we can see in the Internet is regulated by search engines, portals like MSN or Yahoo, and news sites and the worries about they can exaggerate in the way they censor what can be seen by the users.

It's a fact that citizen journalism (like the one that occurred while the terrorists attacks was happening) can give people access to information that they would not have from this mainstream media and sites.

But this can be done to a certain level. The fact that some governments are asking Google, for example, to block certain 'offensive' or unlawful content from sites like YouTube makes everyone wonder if it's right to let a company decide wheter something should be blocked or not since they have commercial interests to protect.

Until now seems Google is doing its best to comply with some countries laws and customs, but anyway there's other sites who aren't taking this job with a "information for all" vision.

I don't know, for example, why certain news sites only provide a level of content to people outside US or they give content, but 'filtered', meaning that they only allow certain content to be seen by people around the world, while they give full access in US.

I am thinking they want to have commercial benefits from this content, but censoring or charging for the content it's not the answer. Instead, they should give content with custom advertising attached to it. This would give them benefits no matter where the content is seen.

The discussion around this issues seems to be never ending but I hope, as many sites have understand, they get that censoring content only makes them lost audiences.

No comments: