Does The Internet Need Rules & Regulations? [We Ask You]

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I previously wrote an article detailing 5 of the commandments that govern the Internet. These are more like adages than laws; more a form of etiquette than hard rules. Still, it set my mind to thinking about the actual rules and regulations which govern what we all do online.

To be honest the Internet is a fairly lawless entity. Mainstream use of this amazing tool sees people still apply a moral and ethical code to the Web; in other words they approach the online world the same way they approach the real world. But there are clearly avenues people explore online they would never dream of doing so offline.

So, do we need to toughen the laws associated with the Internet?

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, Does The Internet Need Rules & Regulations? I guess more accurately the question should be, Does The Internet Need More Rules & Regulations? Because there are obviously already existing laws in place that apply to the online world as well as the real world. Such as those pertaining to certain types of pornography, or copyrighted content, or defamation.

However, the nature of the Internet, the way it sprang into life, and then grew exponentially into the behemoth it now is, means that rules have had to be applied in a random manner. Many don’t work in an online environment, while others cannot possibly be enforced.

The public reaction to SOPA and PIPA was overwhelmingly negative, but while those laws were clearly wrongheaded, that doesn’t mean the politicians won’t try again. But that is just one avenue that some people feel needs exploring. You may have your own ideas.

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We want to hear your views on Internet rules and regulations. Are you happy with how things are right now? If so, how do you counter the thoughts of those who wish laws governing the Internet were tightened? If not, what rules and regulations would you like to see brought in?

Should the availability of pornography be tackled? Should the use of social networks be more stringently policed? Should the right to free speech be curtailed when online in a public forum? These are mere suggestions, but we’re hoping you have others to explore in the comments section below.

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and 150 MakeUseOf points to use for MakeUseOf Rewards. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Richard King

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Comments (108)
  • Jeff

    Freedom to express one’s self is a wonderful thing. That being said, there will always be those that push the limits of that freedom. They will take advantage of others, lie, cheat and many have no moral compass to guide them through life. For this reason there always needs to be rules and regulation, for everything that humans are involved in. People can not be left to their own devices. This is not news. just a fact that has been proven by history over and over again!

  • Chetan Chandgothia

    Should Be Free! Only a bit regulation to protect the Privacy.

  • ROKY DEY

    internet should be free from any kind of Govt. censorship.most of the website have their own policy i think that is enough.

  • Ramesh Krishna

    Internet should free Like Air to Breath

  • Maria Bull

    I am a strong believer in the saying that “there should be rules for everything” – Mostly I believe that the majority of the “rules” inplace are basically just common sense, but in all honesty, most people have different views on what rules should or shouldn’t be in place. As a mother (and now a Grandmother), I believe that child abuse (in any form) should not be allowed and stringent rules put in place. I also believe that the internet is a portal where people will freely express their views etc, but as most things, there may or may not be backlash – especially from people who may not support the views of others. Rules are generally seen to be suppressive, but then it depends on whom the rules affect. If we were all of the same opinion, we wouldn’t need rules, but alas, we’re human!!

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.