Lately, many governments have been imposing specific regulations targeting content businesses publish on their websites. This censorship has some reason behind it, but it’s much of an overkill as these reasons can’t well justify the freedom and rights that it violates. It is unfair to limit what people can say on the internet as long as it does not affect other people.
It can be urged that information aimed at falsely inciting people and promoting discrimination and racism should be censored. Still, if you look at the situation keenly, you will notice that internet censoring goes beyond that. In China, for example, almost everything is censored, and people have access to website content that the government deems fit for the people. If you check what websites are blocked in China, you will realize that the great firewall of China can restrict a website just for having a statement or even an advert that the firewall captures as a threat to the Chinese government.
This censorship that has been embraced not only by the Chinese government but by other governments is affecting businesses globally. You know that the internet is currently the fastest and most convenient way of reaching millions of people globally, and censoring information websites negatively affects businesses.
The impact of censorship on businesses
Depending on what a business is involved in, the content will be different, and some of it could have information, language, and images that some firewalls may reject. For instance, websites that sell women’s fashion may have images that some censorship laws could consider obscene or pornographic. However, you know that that is a case for debate. Also, some advertisements and language intended to get the attention of potential clients could be seen as a threat. Such laws and regulations are making it hard for businesses to reach their target markets. Many businesses have to cope with such legal issues with additional cost to running their business.
Businesses spend large amounts of money on advertising and setting up their websites in an effort to reach their target market. Censoring content affects businesses in that their market access is limited, and thus their efforts and targets are interrupted. Censoring information could affect the progress of businesses that were once thriving when there were no such laws. Such results to losses reduced sales and eventual failure in business on a large scale.
Apart from their personal websites, businesses depend on social media to reach a wider market and to refer them to their leading websites. Social media has made many businesses thrive because of the millions of potential clients available there. The censoring of foreign social media platforms by certain governments, especially in China, limits the ability of businesses to reach a wider market as intended.
When information that can be uploaded on social media is censored, businesses that depend on the social media strategy for their success are adversely affected because they will lose market share. The progress and future success will be affected. Were it not for censorship, the Chinese market would be a great hub of business for many foreign businesses because of the large population. Then again, it is probably for the exact same reason that the Chinese government wants to protect its own businesses and its market.
The internet is the hub of business, and censoring information that can be uploaded there limits the potential customers that business can reach, significantly affecting and limiting business progress. Businesses that operate in an increasingly competitive market environment have to cope with the added cost of censorship by an increasing number of governments worldwide.