Be proud of the rubbish and the nastiness you see on the internet

Remembrance sunday poppyEverywhere you look online you will be reminded of nastiness, crime and downright evil. Whether it is a simple as a spam email, as complex as identity theft or as horrible as Internet trolling, you can’t avoid the negative aspects of the online world. There are rumours on Twitter, nasty postings on Facebook and websites dedicated to terrorism. On top of all this, your children can be preyed upon by people wishing to “groom them” and your email address can be hijacked to send out porn to all your friends. It’s a mean and nasty place this Internet.

But we should be proud of that fact. You and I are unlikely to condone any of this disgusting, sickening and criminal behaviour. But, the fact is, such behaviour is possible because we are free. Without the freedoms our society has you would not hear about online nastiness. It would be banned, filtered out and we would be living in a clinical online world; just ask many people in China. And why would there be no online criminals or nasty people? Well, the authorities would have executed them.

The fact that there is much nastiness online is actually a testament to the free society in which we live – a society for which millions of service men and women have given their lives. Today of all days we should remember that our freedom to post whatever we want online was fought for. We should remember that our freedom to download whatever we want, is something people died for. And we should remember that our freedom to campaign against the nastiness online was something that was hard won.

As you surf your way around the Internet today, spare a thought for the men and women whose selfless actions allowed you to do so. Without them, we would not have the Internet as it is today – warts and all.

If you wish to support the people who have allowed you to use the web freely, please visit The Royal British Legion.

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