The Internet alone acts as the only source of media that allows audiences of different cultural backgrounds to come together as a forum to share ideas. Filtering explicit material has become an issue in legislation, numerous court cases have exponentially appeared as advancements in technology become greater, and this includes the Internet. Many of these court cases revolve over one simple question that can be answered with one word and with no elaboration, whatsoever. Should we continue to allow free sources of media to spread across the Internet? In general, filtering sounds like the best possible answer as it provides protection from explicit material. “However, the decision of what is filtered and what is not are in the hands of unknown programmers who develop their own criteria and automated procedures” (Carroll). Although Internet filtering protects people of various ages from inappropriate material, filtering the Internet violates the first amendment and the software used is considerably ineffective.
Content-control software, also known as censorware or web filtering software, is a term for software designed and optimized for controlling what content is permitted to a reader, especially when it is used to restrict material delivered over the Web. Content-control software determines what content will be available on a particular machine or network; the motive is often to prevent persons from viewing content which the computer's owner(s) or other authorities may consider objectionable; when imposed without the consent of the user, content control can constitute censorship. Common use cases of such software include parents who wish to limit what sites their children may view from home computers, schools performing the same function with regard to computers found at school, and employers restricting what content may be viewed by employees while on the job.