Today, in the 1990's, citizens in our society are being bombarded with obscene material from every direction. From the hate lyrics of Gun's 'N Roses to the satanic lyrics of Montley Crue and Marilyn Manson to the sexually explicit graphical content of today's movies, the issue is how much society is going to permit and where we, as a society, should we draw the line. The freedom of speech has always been considered a right, but that doesn't mean that you can shout, "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater. The real question is whether such material is harmful or dangerous to our society.
Many people are asking whether or not we should censor offensive material. They believe that some material is too obscene for society to hear or see. The advocates of censorship get riled up because the movie rating council doesn't give a move an R-rating for having the occasional f-word. One rap group, 2 Live Crew, has already had one of their albums banned because in one song they used explicit references to male genitals and 87 references to oral sex. They used the word "bitch" more than 100 times and the f-word more than 200 times.
Although most people agree that we are being overwhelmed with offensive material, there is no consensus on how to deal with the problem. There are three possible solutions. The first is the possibility of government censorship, which would include laws and penalties for breaking these laws. The second solution is self-imposed censorship by individuals and corporations. The third solution is total free speech with no censorship.
The first possible solution is government censorship. In the past government legal actions have been taken to control offensive messages. For example, in 1988, the Ku Klux Klan wanted to appear on a Kansas City, Missouri public access cable channel. The city council decided that it would be better to shut the public access cable channel down instead of letting the KKK...
4 December 2013
CensorshipCensorship— the suppression of ideas and information that are dispersed in a society—is and always has been an idea of controversy throughout history. Censorship is usually set in place to defend against anything that is considered objectionable, harmful or sensitive. Historically, censorship has been a vessel to show power, like how it has been used relating to religion and dictatorships. It occurs in many different contexts like speech, books, music, the press, radio, or the Internet in order to control what information is displayed publically. Although, not all forms of censorship are set in place by a governing body, like self-censorship. In this, individuals limit what they publish in an effort to do many things, like expand the group that reads their material. Censorship can take many forms, through exploring some forms—Internet censorship, self-censorship, and censorship in schools—and looking at the fight against censorship, we can understand what motivates the idea of censorship throughout history.
In Internet censorship, a governing body controls what can be accessed, published, or viewed on the Internet. It is widely known that the Internet has a broad range of information, some of which is not...
...A Look at the Arguments for and Against Censorship
“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” (Roleff, Barbour, and Szumski 5). Controversy surrounds the topic of censorship. Americans generally believe in the freedom of speech and expression, but some citizens of the liberal USA support censorship. Globally speaking, censorship is not really a topic of discussion, it just exists. Librarians have struggled with censorship over the years and the development of new technology and communication has made the predicament even worse. The situation with censorship is akin to walking a desert filled with land mines; at any moment any idea or opinion once held near and dear may end up blown to smithereens. In a world where censorship is examined the lines between black and white begin to haze and everything turns into ten shades of gray.
When proposing the topic of censorship a direct definition of the word becomes essential. Censorship is “the regulation or suppression of writing or speech that is considered harmful to the common good or a threat to national security” (“Censorship” par.1). The ambiguity of this definition as well as numerous other definitions pose as a serious dilemma for law making officials. This ambiguity allows for many different analyses in which proponents use to their...
...Censorship is the act or practice of suppressing the speech or public communication which is considered objectionable, harmful and sensitive, by a government, media outlet or other controlling bodies. This public content is censored for many reasons that the active bodies believe are immoral. Some reasons include: controlling obscenities, pornography, hate speeches, protecting young children, to promote or restrict political or religious views or even to protect the national security of a country.
Types of Censorship:
Almost everything at some point could be placed underneath a category of censorship. Depending on where people are located and who or what is going on in your nation or even community, your public media on the television, Internet, radio, music, movies and books could be censored. There are dozens of different forms of censorship implemented everyday, including all the following:
Moral Censorship- the removal of materials that is considered obscene or morally unacceptable. For example, pornography is usually censored from the public and even prosecuted if it involves young minors.
Political Censorship- This is a form of censorship by the government that occurs when information is withhold from their citizens, mostly used to prevent hateful expressions.
Book Censorship- The...
...Censorship is the control of communication between people. This includes restrictions on what can be seen and heard. Mostly, censorship is practiced by Governments. But religious and political leaders and special interest groups also try to control the flow of information. Censorship violates individual rights, hides useful information, and limits freedom of speech. The four major types of censorship are moral, military, political, and religious. The most common type is moral censorship which restricts obscenematerial. Moral censorship tries to mainly protect children from corruption. The problem with moral censorship is the narrowing definition of obscenity. Military censorship occurs mainly in wartime, and is used to protect national security. Military censors have the authority to read the mail of service men and women. The censors can hold information from the press as well. Political censorship is used by governments that do not accept opposing ideas. "Democracies do not officially permit censorship, but many try to censor radical ideas". Religious censorship happens in countries where the government is close to a religion or where religious feeling run high. Individual rights are written in the Bill of Rights section of the Constitution. The first amendment...
...July 5 2013
Media censorship in Egypt
Censorship is the suppression of something that may considered as inappropriate or unmoral. Governments especially in undemocratic countries use media censorship for its own benefit and for political censorship. Political censorship is that government hides information from the citizens because they do not want the diffusion of different point of views and voices.Censorship has its advantages and disadvantages like everything in our life but if its purpose is to maintain the morality. However, political censorship is not done to maintain morality, rather politicians use it to stifle dissenting voices. Censorship prevents the marketplace of ideas and the freedom of expressions which are the main characteristics of a democratic country. Any kind of censorship paralysis the progress of a country. As was mentioned in history, all the countries who practice censorships are authoritarian countries such as Egypt, Lybia and Saudi Arabia or communist such as china for example.
First of all, censorship can be one of the main reasons of the revolutions in Egypt because censorships mean the start of a dictatorship. Censorship’s main role in Egypt was giving all the authority to the president and its party so they can control everything.Media...
October 27, 2013
Have you ever been listening to the radio and heard a “beeeeep” in some parts of the song you’re listening to? You know, the annoying sound that interrupts the song? The sound is a familiar one among those of us that listen to the radio, in particular Rap/hip-hop music stations. This noise is heard because it’s used to bleep out/censor the word that was previously there; the word was most likely ‘bad’ or offensive.Censorship is a growing concern for our society, whether it’s because of the lack of censorship or too much.
To understand censorship, it’s important that you know exactly what it is. According to an article by Jonathan Alter, “Let’s Stop Crying Wolf on Censorship” he believes that too many people are classifying something as censorship when in fact it isn’t. “If a record-company executive or an art gallery owner or a book publisher declines to disseminate something, that's not censorship, it's judgment” (Alter 67) Alter wants to get a point across that you can’t just cry “Censorship” every time something is changed, which a lot of people are doing. He tries to connect editing an article and changing song lyrics, and identify them as essentially the same thing. “If an editor wants to change the text of an article about ghetto life, that's editing. But if a rap producer wants to change sociopathic lyrics,...
...Is Censorship Needed?
Freedom of speech has always been in the news headlines as a major controversial issue. The debate on whether or not speech should be censored is the huge question that is currently being discussed. There are two sides to this argument; those who believe that people should have limitless rights to freedom of speech, and then there’s the other side of the argument where people strongly believe in limiting people’s rights to speech. It is with great difficulty that our society actually comes to a conclusion. In addition, each side has persuasive and factual points that support their argument. Discovering the argument that would have the most beneficial and lasting outcome would, in all, validate that author’s initial claim.
All throughout history, a majority of problems trace back to one notorious instigator: personal expression without limits. It is evident that when people are free to exercise their rights to expression, a majority of the situations escalade into a much bigger affair. Moreover, a repetition of such events will likely lead to an imbalance in society. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the creation of any laws that abridge the freedom of speech. However, many people do not recognize the prevailing power of the Congress and its authority to enforce or limit laws, without its actual presence in the Constitution.
Just because people are given the right to freedom of speech, does not mean citizens...
...incessantly scrutinize and block that which doesn't appeal to them. Censorship in general means the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body. It can be done by governments and private organizations or by individuals who engage in self-censorship. It occurs in a variety of different contexts including speech, books, music, films and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the internet for a variety of reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children, to promote or restrict political or religious views, to prevent slander and libel, and to protect intellectual property. It may or may not be legal. Many countries provide strong protections against censorship by law, but none of these protections are absolute and it is frequently necessary to balance conflicting rights in order to determine what can and cannot be censored. In this present era, censorship in America has become a topic of much debate. In my opinion, I feel that censorship should be practiced with whatever issues or materials they announce to the public.
One of the common censorship disputes in America occurs within the news and media. Being in the news and media obliges people to write...