Let the news run free

A new global study by WorldPublicOpinion.org proves that a majority of people support the concept of press freedom and object to government interference with the internet:

A new poll of nations around the world finds worldwide support for the principle of media freedom and broad opposition to government having the right to limit access to the Internet. In many countries people want more media freedom than they have now, but in many Muslim countries and in Russia, there is substantial support for regulation of news or ideas that the government thinks could be politically destabilizing.

The Internet is a significant new medium for news, information, and ideas. As some governments have sought to regulate access to the Internet it has also become a new arena for conflict about media freedom. Presented the issue of Internet censorship, a majority in all but two of the countries that were asked this question say that “people should have the right to read whatever is on the Internet.”

On average six in ten endorse full access while three in ten say that the government should have the right to “prevent people from having access to some things on the Internet.” In China, a country whose Internet censorship policies have received a great deal of international attention, 71 percent of the public say that “people should have the right to read whatever is on the Internet:” only 21 percent of Chinese endorse their government’s right to limit access.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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