@GUTENBERG FIGHTING #CENSORSHIP:
TECHNOLOGY AS A TOOL AGAINST CENSORSHIP
Abstract: History has shown that one of the best weapons against totalitarian regimes is honesty and openness in information. Unfortunately, totalitarian regimes have shown themselves to be willing to stop the spread of information by any means. But advances in technology have consistently diminished the effectiveness of censorship. This paper will examine a number of technological advances, from Gutenberg’s printing press to Jack Dorsey’s Twitter, and some of the censorship, from book burnings to nation-wide internet blackouts, that these new media have been used to combat. We are approaching an era where censorship via containment of information is impossible, but the threat of censorship does not end there. Just as it is increasingly easy to spread truths, so too is it increasingly easy to spread falsehoods.
Keywords: technology, censorship, the media, information
DANIEL STEWART is an Engineering Undergraduate student at the University of Washington. His current research revolves around advances in technology, and its role in stifling censorship throughout history. This project stems from his interest in both the practical and social aspects of engineering. He has previously worked as a research intern at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where he garnered a firm belief in the importance of open, freely shared information.