Being proven wrong

Not an up to date photograph
How glad am I to be proven (mostly) wrong?!

In 2000, at the tender age of 15, I wrote the below, as part of an entry criteria to spend a week with The Irish Times (Ireland's newspaper of record) as part of my optional Transition Year work experience module.

Of course, there are many incidences where people are precluded from using the Internet freely (not least of which: The Great Firewall of China) and anonymously (tip of the iceberg being VPN Geoblocking), but by and large I think the world can agree: the Internet has been a positive force.

Wed, Sep 27, 2000, 01:00

Are you interested in one week's work placement in The Irish Times? Transition Year students can learn first-hand about the workings of this newspaper if their submission is published in Media Scope's weekly Over to You column. Just send us a 200-word piece on a media-related topic.

Darragh Rogan, Scoil Mhuire Community School, Clane, Co Kildare

From its roots as a military communication tool, the Internet by its nature has no real place in today's society. So why does it keep on growing?

There are a number of reasons for the Internet's phenomenal takeoff, but the main driving force behind it is its lack of editorial restrictions; anybody can publish their opinions on affairs current or past, unrestricted by government policy or censorship - it is true freedom of speech.

While this may appeal to people wishing to share their views of the public figures in their country, there are also associated drawbacks. Last year, society was shocked by the US students who went on a killing spree in their school. Police later discovered that their bomb-making techniques were learned from the Internet.

Perhaps similar events to this will spark interest in establishing censorship, or restrictions on site content, thus killing the Internet as we know it.