Bear in mind that Qatar is being singled out lately because of the imminent football (soccer) event, not because Qatar is an especially worst offender than other countries.
Infohubmania this week carries a worrying report on digital repression, citing an incident in Qatar as its focus even though a much worst incidence of censorship occurred in Saudi Arabia recently. In each case we have to face up to the reality that sovereign governments make their own rules, just as do the supposedly democratic nations, and that the definition of acceptable censorship will vary from country to country, from individual to individual.
here’s what Infohubmania reported this week;.
For much of the world’s population, the digital realm has become central to the human experience. Yet access to information and essential services is often mediated by digital platforms, with or without users’ knowledge. This means that the governments, businesses, or individuals who dominate the digital realm have the potential to gain control over the public sphere.
There is now little trace of the widespread optimism that once defined public views of the digital revolution. Far from being a prelude to liberation, this revolution has increasingly allowed states to exercise control and even engage in repression.
While this article focusses on MENA, with Qatar the primary target, digital repression and broader censorship is happening all around the world, including in so-called bastions of democracy.
We only have to look at the USA’s fight against book banning in its own country to understand fighting censorship concerns us all.
Digital simply makes it easy for authorities to clamp down on individuals.
But at the same time we need to acknowledge censorship is a legitimate tool that society uses to protect itself.
Who, for example, would object to a ban on child pornography because it is a form of censorship?
But as Infomaniahub reports, authorities – including those in western Europe – are using the internet to monitor and censor individuals all the time.
And it’s worth bearing in mind that Qatar is being singled out lately because of the imminent football (soccer) event, not because Qatar is an especially worst offender than other countries.