In the Loop: Content restrictions on Internet prevent students from facing moral issues

Every adult must face moral decisions, including the decision of whether to consume erotic material. More than ten percent of Internet searches between July 2009 and July 2010 were related to erotic content, according to a 2011 Forbes report. Because of the prevalence of pornographic content in today’s society, students should consider how this material fits into their moral codes. However, Whitworth originally established Internet filters to help students avoid the temptation to view erotic material, according to The Spokesman-Review. Though a strong argument can be made that the content restriction helps steer students toward making positive decisions, this editorial board asserts that the filters can do more harm than good.

This editorial board does not aim to argue for or against consuming pornography. However, since students will have access to inappropriate material after graduation, they must learn to make personal judgment calls about such material. Whitworth’s current policy of blocking access to pornography inhibits this learning process.

Students, not the university, must be charged with the responsibility of deeming what content is acceptable for each individual. In making these personal judgment calls while at Whitworth, students would practice skills of personal inventory and critical thinking, skills necessary for successful adult life.

Additionally, giving students access to these materials would allow them to experience personal struggle in an environment in which support mechanisms are already in place. In doing so, students experiencing specific difficulty would be able to seek services such as free counseling through the health center. Facing difficult questions of morality in a safe environment allows for personal growth, which students will carry over into their lives post-graduation.

An important part of developing a strong moral compass consists of making decisions for oneself regarding controversial topics. If Whitworth were to amend the filtration system to lift the restrictions, students could be more equipped to deal with prurient subject matter upon graduation than under the current policy.

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors. 

 

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