The Debate Of Censorship Essay

1138 words - 5 pages

The United States Bill of Rights guarantees its citizens the freedom of expression, but how far does that freedom extend? Does the right to express yourself include the right to observe the expressions of others? According to pro-censorship view holders, it does not. But to those who feel strongly against censorship, the freedom of information, or the “right to know,” should be an absolute right granted to the American public. Censoring material is the responsibility of the individual, not the institution itself, and certainly not the job of a separate institution. Also, the definition of what is censor-worthy is by no means clear.
Exercising the freedom of speech has two sides: the speaker and the listener. Censorship is unfair to both sides. When it takes away the speaker’s Constitutional freedom of expression, it simultaneously revokes the listener’s right to develop an informed opinion based on unobstructed truth. This opinion has been supported by the courts. In 1982, an informal agreement between several broadcasters from major media outlets known as the Code of Broadcaster Conduct, which banned “depictions of sexual encounters, violence and drug use, as well as excessive advertising,” was nullified because it was a violation of First Amendment rights (“Broadcast Decency”). Excessive censorship is viewed as unnecessary by both the American public and by the government that endorses it.
When regulating the content that someone sees or hears, it is the sole responsibility of the individual to block harmful or offensive content from themselves or their children. In an article by Dan Gutman, a children’s book author, he states that if a piece of literature is banned from a school library, it is not only blocked from the child whose parent strived to get it banned, but from every other child in the school as well. This also rings true in other areas. By censoring an item of controversy, the institution that blocks the item is not only exercising control over the content that they see, but what everyone else sees, too. Even where censorship is absolutely needed, the people have a right to know that they are being kept in the dark about something. In some places, censored material printed in periodicals is simply marked over with a black line, but in America we sometimes do not know that information is being withheld (Thom). This practice of censored censorship is unethical and unconstitutional. If we don’t know what is being censored, can’t we at least know that something is being censored?
The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has certain standards for material to be considered as profane, indecent, or obscene (“Obscene, Indecent”). Unfortunately, not everything can be fit into these cookie cutter categories, and sometimes an object of controversy overlaps into two or more of these classifications. These requirements are tested against what is considered to be an “average person,” but who is this mythical,...

Find Another Essay On The Debate of Censorship

Censorship of the Mind Essay

1138 words - 5 pages objectionable by the standards applied by a censor. It has been like this for ages. As long as someone has something to tell, another will be there to try and prevent them. Schools have been doing this for quite a while now and there is a need to stop it. Censorship of books in schools should not be allowed as many students will never get to experience classic literature if not exposed to it early on. "Intellectual Freedom is the right of

The Road of Censorship Essay

1724 words - 7 pages The Road of Censorship Censorship violates our First Amendments rights to free speech. It does this by suppressing information contanied in books, magazines and other publications as best said by Berger, Censorship is the control of communication between people. It includes restriction on what can be written in books, newspapers and magazines; what can be show in movies and play on television, and what can be said in speeches and on

Censorship of the Internet

784 words - 3 pages Speech.' (1 November 1996). Yahoo Search.Somerson, Paul. 'Web-lash.' PC Computing July 1995: pg. 51.Steffens, Bradley. Censorship. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1996Censorship of the InternetComputers and the Internet have become a major part of everyday life for manypeople. As the Internet grows, the amount of X-rated material increases as well. Thegovernment feels that censorship of the Internet for everyone is the answer. Censorshipof the Internet

Censorship of the Internet

2802 words - 11 pages Censorship of the Internet The Internet offers a huge wealth of information, both good and bad. The Internet began as a small university network in the United States and since then has blossomed into one of the biggest if not the biggest telecommunications network covering the entire world. It can be considered as one of the most valuable types of technology. During the past several years we have come to become more and more dependent on

The Affect of Censorship

1208 words - 5 pages More literature and media should be censored for the public’s eyes. Children of recent years have been subjected to crude television that isn’t properly censored and could potentially influence them to act in unacceptable manners. Censorship is the act of suppressing unacceptable parts of literature and media. It is very often that censorship is used with literature or media because many people see parts of them that are inappropriate in

Censorship of the Internet

1058 words - 5 pages “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” - George Washington. Freedom of speech is one of the universal declarations of human right, created on the 10th of December 1948. It is the complete opposite of what censorship of the internet entails. “This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by a public authority

The Censorship Of Television

1130 words - 5 pages television is an influence on people minds. Should there be ratings on movies and television? If so what do they really mean? Can you see the future and if so can you see a world without television, violence, and sex? Censorship has been a controversial subject since the creation of the television. In this day and age violence and sex are a part of life. The violence and sex that are seen on television have been proven to manipulate the watcher. There

The Censorship Of Art

2741 words - 11 pages Things are heating up in America. People are protesting outside of the movie theaters, concerts, and book and record stores of this great nation everywhere. What is all the fuss about? Censorship, Government officials and raving mad protesters alike have been trying to stop the expressive creativity in everything from Marilyn Manson to Mark Twain. One of the biggest shake-ups happened in museums all over the world recently that would have made

Censorship of the Internet

987 words - 4 pages computers to protect their business and schools can censor what is accessed as well, so why would it not be acceptable for the government to censor what is accessed in order to protect the citizens of the United States of America. Some believe this is an infringement of free speech, while others find censorship of the internet a necessary evil in today’s cyber world. When you take an indepth look at what is readily available on the internet it should

The Censorship of Art

10352 words - 41 pages The Censorship of Art While the censorship of art is not a new phenomenon, recent years have witnessed renewed and intensified attempts to control popular culture. In particular, rap and rock music have come under increasing attack from various sides representing the entire left and right political spectrum, purportedly for their explicit sexual and violent lyrical contents. In this paper is investigated which moral codes underlie these

Censorship of the arts

942 words - 4 pages . (This comes from the book Censorship in America) I agree with defenders of government arts funding, that if the government wishes to fund a constitutionally protected activity such as artistic expression, it must do so as indiscriminately as possibly. Otherwise, it illegally relegates certain viewpoints to second-class status. This violates the First Amendment whose primary purpose is to protect unpopular or minority views from being silenced

Similar Essays

The Debate Of Self Censorship Essay

2999 words - 12 pages The Self-Censored School Library: Safe Haven or Barren Philosophical Wasteland? “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them,” posited Ray Bradbury, author of the critically acclaimed Fahrenheit 451 detailing a society wrought with regular book burnings and a complete suppression of ideas. This quote exemplifies the threat that censorship poses to the reading habits of young people, a threat that

The Censorship Debate Essay

849 words - 3 pages The Censorship Debate        Do words such as nigger, bitch, or ass offend you?  The answer may seem clear cut, but our nation has been struggling with the issue of censorship almost since its conception.  To many, the aforementioned words are a part of their everyday vocabulary; to others, they are vulgar and unacceptable.  The issue of censorship is much more than just words.  There

The Role Of Censorship Essay

1334 words - 6 pages Censorship plays a huge role in today’s society. Censorship effects society in excellent ways by putting a blind fold on certain types of media, language, and other social values that should not be seen by all humans. Censorship is known to many as being listed under the category of moral. Censorship is moral, because it bans certain books from schools that should be banned, it helps parents keep their children from material they should not be

The Dilemma Of Censorship Essay

1244 words - 5 pages The Dilemma of Censorship The issue of censorship always provides an interesting debate. There are many intelligent and very valid arguments for and against the issue. However I strongly believe that the act of censorship is wrong. I believe that all films, songs and television programs should be released uncut from any government or senior authority intervention. A film or piece of music is a work of art