The Internet The Internet is a wide-open arena for public discussion and interaction that needs to be regulated; protective rules, including censorship if necessary, must be instituted to ensure that this environment is kept hospitable to all. Recently a month ago, I got hooked up to America Online (AOL). I agree that the Internet is a wide-open arena for public discussion and interaction but, I disagree that it needs to be regulated. The Internet is a place where anything can occur. It is just like talking to someone on the phone; instead you are typing to them.

You can have a conversation about anything you want to talk about. It doesn't need protective rules or censorship. If it gets censorship then it will be taking away our freedom of speech. Everybody has the right to say whatever they want. That's what they are doing on the Internet. When I am logged onto AOL, I sometimes go into a chat room.

In the chat room you meet people form allover the world. In there sometimes there is some profanity used. People also say stuff that might offend you right away. This has happened to me. One night, when I was in achat room, the room went into a conversation about relationships. We were all talking about previous boyfriends and girlfriends: how many, names and ages.

Some girl that Ididn't even know told them, 'Garrett 32" (my screen name) had 100 girlfriends by the time was 18. "Love " em and leave " em."He is a jerk.' My immediate reaction was to curse the girl out but, I didn't. I just left the chat room. That was the best thing I could have done. If I had cursed her out he probably would have notified AOL. Nobody told me that had to sit there and listen to what she was saying.

If I had stayed and listened to her then that would have been my fault. I would have been the one staying there to get the abuse. America Online gives you the option to notify them if someone said something inappropriately or not to your liking. They check on the problem to see what really happened.

If it is true that person's account is canceled. That is a good way of keeping the Internet hospitable. I think that someone should go on line only if they are able to put up with all the things that occur on it. If someone isn't then they shouldn't be online. I am not saying that everything that occurs on line it all right, but you can't get offended about everything.

If something bothers you that is said all you have to do is leave wherever you are, whether its a chat room or just instant messaging. Nobody is standing next to you with a gun to your head saying that you must stay and listen to it. You have the ability to do whatever you want. If children are on line I think that their parents should monitor what is going on and what they are doing. They shouldn't be able to go on line by themselves. This will make the environment for the child hospitable.

If there are rules and censorship put on the Internet it will be like taking away our freedom of speech. Everyone has the right to their opinion. This shouldn't be a solution for what happens on line.