Article by Guest Poster
This article was written by a guest contributor. The author's views below are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of WHSR.
With the vast amount of information available on the Internet, information is just (almost) one click away. Search engines, social networking sites, news site, blogs… etc, there are endless ways information can be obtained via the WWW.
However, this convenience might be jeopardized if the Internet is used in the wrong way. For instance, website that promotes children pornography, violences, and so on. This is why Internet censorship has always been an ongoing debate among webmasters, host providers, politician, activitist, and (guess what) parents.
Is Internet censorship beneficial, it brings nothing but harm to the users?
Well I’ll leave the question open for discussion. But as website owners, it is important for us to know how this affects us – censorship from your web hosting provider.
Censorship – what hosting companies do
Hosting companies are meant to provide hosting services for people who want to build and promote their website online.
However, they have no control over the type of content that their clients put up on their websites. Most of the time, host providers would list out this criteria in their terms of service regarding the type of content that they do not allow but not every client will pay attention to it. To prevent themselves from getting into any trouble with the Internet law, they are handling the censorship matters on their own. They will terminate or discontinue the service of any customer that does not comply with their terms of service.
This way, they can be in control and keep their operation going on without any trouble.
What webmasters should pay attention on
On the other hand, webmasters should pay attention on how their provider deals with Internet censorship.
You might be surprise on the various topics that hosting companies are censoring today. Do not assume that your website is safe. Always read the terms of service document (yes, I know, it’s boring, but it’s very useful) to find out about the topics that the provider is censoring because different companies will have different policies. From the ‘Prohibited Uses’ section, you will be able to find out if your web host apply censorhip to their clients’ websites, and what kind of content do they censor. You will also be able to find out the consequences if you violate their terms.
In general, hosting providers do not allow websites that promotes illegal activities like gambling, selling of illegal substance, child pornography, violation of copyright, information that may be used to harm animals or even human, information on hacking, websites that delivers hate speech, sexual content, profanity and abusive language. However, the level of censorship will differ from one host to another. So, you will have to see their terms of service to be sure. There are some host out there that do not perform censorship.
Once again, read through their terms of service to find out what you can or cannot use for your content.
In the end, what matters most is for us to achieve our objectives online. The Internet will always be a place suitable for everyone if we use it in the right way. To aid you in finding a company that suits your hosting need, I have listed out some companies that ‘Allow’ and ‘Do Not Allow’ adult content.
I hope the list helps you a little in choosing the right web hosting. In case you need more help, Jerry has a pretty good list of web hosting reviews hosted on this blog and I suggest everyone to check it out.