The need for internet safety does not justify spying


If you’re doing this to your children, you should stop now.

As many of you know, today is “Safer Internet Day”. What a miserable, steaming pile of tripe that is! It’s just an excuse for the media to painfully and annoyingly moralize about “properly use the internet”.

As someone who’s engrossed with internet culture, and as someone who uses the internet daily, I couldn’t be madder at the thought. I thought we believed in freedom. But apparently, over in the UK, we prefer safety over freedom.

Of course, Safer Internet Day has been going on since 2004, but I myself have never heard of it until just last year, and what I heard, in my mind, basically translated into “let’s suppress the internet in the name of morality”. Whenever the British media talks about the internet, it’s always in a disgusted manner (it assumes that all of the internet is porn). British tabloids constantly demand that the internet be censored, and every personality imaginable is trying to persuade teenagers to abstain from social networking using scare tactics.

The British media even advocates that parents monitor their children’s internet time, something I think is outrageously unethical. Are they telling me that children have even less rights now than they ever did before? All that says to me is that parents aren’t satisfied with absolute rule over their children.

But this whole safer internet thing is actually a symptom of the rampant paranoia in 21st century society. If we spy on our kids, and they later find out that we’ve been spying on them, then they’ll become extremely paranoid. When it comes to internet safety, can you trust the government? Absolutely not! For years, they’ve always wanted to control the internet, and they’ve been searching for every excuse possible. Paranoia is perfect for them to exploit because it gives them the right to walk all over us, and the media is simply encouraging the paranoia. Remember when the “Snooper’s Charter” was announced? The government says the data will be secure, but in reality, they just want to spy on us.

This is why I hate the whole “Safer Internet Day”, because of its excessive moralizing, and the campaign of fear I believe it supports. Besides, the people behind it assume that most people are irresponsible on the internet. Responsibility is what the whole issue is about. If people were more responsible with how they use the internet (especially in social networking sites), then maybe we wouldn’t have to be constantly lectured on nonsense like this. But the problem is that we aren’t! We believe that nothing will happen when we post on the internet, when in reality, unless you do something about it, it’s out there for the world to see.

Even in here, whatever I post can seen throughout the world (which it has), because SMAGIC isn’t a private blog, being that I want everyone to able to hear what I have to say.

There are two messages to this story.

  1. We all need to be responsible for what we do on the internet.
  2. If you don’t like the heat, get out the kitchen.

That is to say, if you don’t like what you see on a website, don’t go there. If you don’t like what you see on the internet, don’t go on the internet. It’s not rocket science, and nobody’s forcing you to go on those sites.


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