Soul In Web Hosting
The recent implementation of mandatory filters for questionable content in the UK proves something: some people are looking for a more acceptable Internet browsing experience in terms of morality.
Sure, there are those out there who couldn't care less about the type of content on the Internet, but most families would rather know that their children won't come across an adult hosting site or profanity-laced blog post.
The Fine Line Of Morality
But in the world of web hosting, where one can find just about anything on the Internet, should all web hosting companies have a moral obligation to decide which sites to host and which ones to avoid at all costs? Absolutely not.
One's idea of morality is different from another's, and if each cheap hosting provider took it upon themselves to play Internet morality police, the Internet would be quite a different place than it is today.
Would there be pages representing various religious groups, or would the hosting providers decide not to host pages for people of specific religions due to differences in beliefs?
Would there be pages devoted to gay rights groups, or would hosting providers decide they don't agree with that orientation and say “No way, you can't host your page here!”
It's censorship, and in the cases mentioned above, it's discrimination. Sure, there can be specific web hosting companies out there with their own set of morals, like Moral Hosting. This provider offers a place to host your website “where morals and ethics are the heartbeat of our business.”
A Bad Idea
But imagine a world where all hosting providers decided to censor the Internet in this fashion. It wouldn't be fair, and would go against the original purpose of the Internet — a place where anything is at your fingertips, no matter how questionable the content.
Instead, shouldn't parents take it upon themselves to protect their own children against seeing these questionable sites? If not by setting up filters, by checking in on them or supervising them while they browse the Internet?
Another important point: it's ok to have those web hosting companies decide not to do business with a certain group because it goes against their own beliefs.
There simply needs to be a balance of cheap hosting providers and website designers providing services to all types of pages. If you don't like the content, just don't visit that site. Simple, right?
Soul In Web Hosting: What About Ethics?
Here's something I think everyone can agree with: while all cheap hosting providers shouldn't act as the morality police, they should most definitely conduct themselves in an ethical manner.
If you are going to advertise 24/7 support with quick response time, you need to actually provide it! If you experience downtime frequently, don't lie to potential customers just to get them to sign that contract. And if there is downtime, don't ignore the emails from worried webmasters! Be honest about the situation — they'll appreciate it!
How do you feel about the role of ethics and morality in the web hosting industry? Tell us your thoughts, comment below!
Image from Mark Gstohl via Flickr Creative Commons