Reflecting on the discussion of free content, it’s a topic which I feel quite strongly about. The internet is free, and this makes it the most egalitarian invention of all time. Everyone with internet access is able to access information, socialise or express an opinion and that’s what makes the internet such a great place in my opinion. Ms Laura Higgs wrote an excellent blog which expanded my thinking on the topic greatly. Initially I considered only content such as education resources and media as the kind of content which could be placed behind a pay wall, however she considered the topic in a much wider scope to things as basic as Google. Considering that getting the world internet connected is a priority to elevate individuals out of poverty, the idea of then making the best resources behind a pay wall seems ridiculous to me.
However content producers need their money, otherwise why keep producing professional quality content? Well I answered this in my original blog, however for me, the government should pay for a least a basic standard of educational resources online as it improves the social health of the country when the option to educate is always available.
Evie Bool made a great point as well that when articles are free it creates more discussion between researches which not only causes a better standard of work in the process, but allows intellectuals to grow in reputation and influence through citations. The quest for knowledge should not be one that is undervalued and the continuous evolution of theories and ideas is essential to the development of our understanding of the world. To introduce pay walls is to introduce a barrier to this process.
All in all keep the internet free and the world is a better place for it. It’s that simple.