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During week 5 of the OMAN IGCBP group, interesting debates took place on self regulation on internet.
A student indicated that self-regulation is acceptable to be adopted to regulate or govern the internet, however, such approach should be along with other mechanism especially national legislation which could set the principles for self-regulation approach.
It was also noted that the public must be educated and awareness must be raised. If that is done, people will appreciate such regulations.
Another opinion was that the term self regulation is very subjective, it depends to whom are you talking to. However, there are those who believe that why regulate the internet (why block the sites), let the consumer himself make educated decision. Let him decide what he would like to access or what his family should see. Leave the responsibility of blocking to the individuals themselves.
The views continued to state that applying "self-regulation" on ISP doesn't really work at all cases. When it comes to business, filtering the contents by ISPs mean those ISP which apply strict content policy will likely losing their business profits as well peer-competitiveness in the same business area.
The government should put a regulation which set the principles and the main rules. At the same time, the regulator should has the right to request any changes to the rules set by the ISPs, especially when it comes to public interest and rights, consumer rights, and such changes should be justified. The regulator should observe the work of the ISPs to ensure that they are fulfilling their obligations.
Internet is not only between two persons from the same society, the cyber forums' discussions over the internet bring people from different countries, so what is acceptable to you it may not be acceptable to me, therefore, social norms would be not be effective in several occasions.
Having read the debates on self regulation, I could state that self regulation vary with the social backgrounds when it comes to what is acceptable. It would be an easier way to think of ourselves first, and then act. What is the outcome if someone else does this to me? If I do not like it, then do not do it for someone else.