Television Censorship In The Past And Present

1988 words - 8 pages

Television Censorship in the Past and Present

Typing in the web address "", I begin my search for information regarding the controversial subject. After a few seconds of waiting for the site to load, a black background comes up, with black font displaying the message: "This site is not accessible because it is categorized as: Sex, Violence, Language." I immediately highlight the web address and annoyingly thrash at the delete button on my keyboard and watch it disappear.

"Jeez, everything is censored nowadays!" Frustrated, I decide to take a break. I get up from my computer, drop my tired body onto the couch, and turn on the T.V. Once the picture becomes clear, I am greeted by a completely bare behind! The man yells, "You little bitch!" to his friend who has taken his pants, and a roar of laughter comes from the simulated audience on the show. The scenario shocked me, for I had just been restricted from a website because of subject matter closely related to what I was just seeing on the television

I sat for a few seconds and thought about the way behavior like that was prohibited from the public eye just soon before. But why was it now being allowed to broadcast over millions of T.V. sets across the country? I realized that censorship itself, and specifically television censorship, has changed immensely through the years.

Censorship, or the "prevention of disturbing or painful thoughts or feelings from reaching consciousness except in a disguised form" has been present since the Roman times ("Censorship", "History..."). The original intentions of the widespread act were to supervise the manners and morals of the people. Government officials were to exclude certain topics, groups, or religious ideas from public association that may possibly jeopardize society and its ways. The term used today, "censor," can be traced back to 443 BC where in Rome, an "office of censor" was established This office was developed for the governance of the character shaping of the people. Hence, censorship was regarded as an extremely honorable task ("Censorship").

Perhaps one of the most well known cases of censorship in history involves Socrates. Sentenced to drink poison 399 BC, his corruption of youth and his participation in activities that were considered unorthodox considered him "unacceptable" by the government. However, Socrates was not the first to be punished for the immoral acts of his time. This first look at censorship has continuously been upheld by other countries such as China and the Soviet Union, and has evolved into the extensive censorship we have in the United States today ("The Long...").

As were many of the laws in history, much censorship was created around the focus of religion as well. The Catholic Church controlled much of the publications for its universities If something was in the process of becoming published, the Church would have to approve it being morally correct and suitable...

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