Internet censorship is something most of us are familiar with, but it might come as a surprise that the United Kingdom and Germany both censor content.
Iran, China, and North Korea block websites like Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. It’s not shocking that these nations censor content, but why are seemingly laidback countries like Germany and the United Kingdom dictating what people can view?
British citizens enjoy the freedom of expression under both common and domestic law, but there are sweeping exceptions. The UK says it represses Internet use in their country for national security reasons. In other words, the British government says they filter information to fight terrorism and crime. In fact, the UK is listed as an “Enemy of the Internet” among countries like Russia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia by Reporters Without Borders, a nonprofit organization that promotes freedom of information.
In Germany, websites are filtered to control the spread of hate speech, defamation, and incitements to violence. In 2017, the German government passed a law that forced Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to remove hate speech within 24 hours of its posting, or face a fine of $57 million. It is up to you to decide whether this is fair and necessary or a violation of your rights. You can click here to learn even more about where your nation ranks.