MEVIT4614 – Pornography, Protection & Power: Internet Content Regulation - Protection or Censorship?

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Pornography? Protection? Power? Should the Internet be regulated? Does regulation strangle the free exchange of ideas, or do we need to police the Internet before it becomes a toxic pile of drugs, pornography, hate and pirated content? And if yes – who should be this Internet police?

This course addresses political, normative and financial arguments for Internet content regulation today. In particular, the dual relationship between the protection of presumed “weak” users from perceived harmful content (such as pornography, specific political views), and freedom of speech/censorship issues will be explored from numerous angles.

The course will concentrate on the conflicting perspectives, policies and goals of the various stakeholders involved in setting the Internet content regulation agenda, such as nation states, supra-national organizations, non-governmental organizations, the Internet industry, freedom of speech movements, content producers, and child protection agencies.

Learning outcome

When you have completed this course you are expected to be able to:

  • Analyze the relationship between stakeholders dealing with Internet content regulation
  • Describe the various normative and practical perspectives within the context of international regulation of Internet content
  • Evaluate current regulatory policies
  • Critically reflect upon the challenges involved in creating a functional policy for Internet content regulation


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Admission as master student, with a Bachelor´s Degree in Media Studies or equivalent.


Teaching will be a combination of lectures and seminars. The approach is multidisciplinary, drawing primarily upon Law, Political Science, Economics, Technology, Social Theory and Philosophy. Discussion and debate will play an important role in the class, students are expected to actively participate in the dialogue.

There are obligatory activities for this course. Students must participate in a qualification task in order to qualify for being able to take the exam, and the course also requires 75 percent attendance in lectures and seminars combined to sit the exam. Both requirements must be met in order to qualify for the exam.


The final exam is a term paper submission (semesteroppgave), of up to 10 pages. Each page should be about 2300 characters without spaces.
The front page, Reference/literature list and any appendices are not included in the 10 page limit.

You must have passed all obligatory activities for the course in order to qualify for the exam.


Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

A term paper or equivalent that is passed may not be resubmitted in revised form.

If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






The course is not offered autumn 2020.

Teaching language