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Censorship can have many different effects on society-some encourage it while others detest it. In many cases, lawsuits are filed over censorship issues and First Amendment infringements. Censorship is also one of the subjects that many presidential candidates debate about. Overall, censorship has made a positive contribution to our society, and has had a positive effect. It prevents explicit material from being seen or heard by young children, and even adults, and it also prevents sensitive material from being released to the public. Censorship sometimes gives us the choice of having movies and music clean or uncut.

Although our society isn't based on censorship, many parts of society are censored. From movies and games to radio and the internet, society has found a way to censor almost every part of our lives. Take movie ratings for example. If there weren’t age requirements, ten year olds would be allowed to see R rated movies. Also, parental advisory labels on CDs warn parents of explicit content. Some stores even offer edited CDs. Without movie ratings and parental controls, children would be exposed to inappropriate content.

Art can also contain content that is offensive and not suitable for children. One library refused to hang a painting because it appeared to show a topless woman. Library officials said that it would not be hung because it was not appropriate for younger children, but then, the library ended up hanging the painting in the teen area. The artist, Brian Sullivan, said, "This kind of thing happens all the time. Art is subjective, after all.” (Lester). Children will benefit from this because they will not be subjected to inappropriate material.

Schools are joining in on banning unsuitable content from their libraries also. The Waukegan school district has banned books such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Gone with the Wind and Uncle Tom’s Cabin for the use of swear words (http://www.banned-books.com/bblista-i.html and Yanosko respectively). A black alderman challenged one of the books because he found the language offensive. Ironically, the book Fahrenheit 451 was challenged in a California school because some of the swear words were crossed out (http://www.highlands.edu/academics/library/banned/books.htm).
Schools have also been censoring newspapers. On one occasion, three girls wrote articles on teen pregnancy and the impact of divorce. The articles were eventually cut by the school principal who said that “they were too sensitive for younger students and contained too personal details.” (Jacobs). It was beneficial to have the articles cut because teens are constantly bombarded with those topics on a daily basis, and the media already draws a lot of attention to those subjects.
Although the media has not been censoring certain topics, they have been censoring other things. At the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards, Sally Field, Ray Romano and Katherine Heigl all had parts of their speeches cut out. One statement said, "Some language during the live broadcast may have been considered inappropriate by some viewers.” (Marikar). It was worthwhile to have parts of the speeches cut out because they contained inappropriate references and language.
In the case of Don Imus, it would have been helpful to have the radio censored. On one of his radio shows, he made an insulting comment about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Although he was originally suspended for two weeks, he was eventually fired because of the comment. Rev. Jesse Jackson described it as “a victory for public decency. No one should use the public airwaves to transmit racial or sexual degradation.” (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18072804/). It would be beneficial to have the radio censored because issues, like this one, would have different outcomes.
China, like America, has begun to put an end to indecent materials. China has initiated a “nationwide crackdown on sexually suggestive video and audio products…considered to be in bad taste.” (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-china_wor2jan07,0,1909665.story). America can use China as an example because inappropriate material does not need to be created and sold. Suggestive audio and video are not helpful to society.
America should not only be censoring books, movies, and TV, but it should also be censoring information about wars. The less information the public knows, the better. The news can exaggerate stories and have the public living in fear as a result. TV viewers have complained that “they are disclosing too much about this war.” (Etzioni). In one case, censored tapes of a terrorist were released. The Pentagon deleted parts of the tape that “could be used to recruit future terrorists.” (Etzioni) It was very helpful to have parts of the tape deleted because that can prevent more terrorists from getting ideas and attacking our country.
Overall, censorship has made a positive contribution to society. Whether it’s banning books, art or movies, or editing parts out of speeches, radio, and terrorists tapes, censorship has a positive outcome. It prevents inappropriate material from being viewed and sensitive material from getting into the wrong hands. Censorship is a major part of society, and people will always benefit from it.





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CreepyM said...
Nov. 8, 2009 at 9:24 am
"Ignorance is Strength," I guess? BigBrotherisWatchingYou! <br /> No, in all seriousness, no one should be censoring such ridiculous things. I can understand warnings for movies and video games, but honestly, banning books? Classic books, even? And censoring facts about war? How, pray tell, are we to advance if our society is stupid and ignorant to major national and world issues? <br /> Can you censor real life? Can you censor blood away from a car crash? Can you censor swe... (more »)
 
dreadeye said...
Jan. 26, 2009 at 6:30 pm
Are you kidding me? How can a society progress if they do not know what is actually going on in the world. How can a single entity, separate from you or me, decide what information is good for me and what information is bad. When I make a decision about something, I want to have all the information I can get, so that I make an intelligent informed decision. Only getting one side of an argument destroys the fabric of conversation and progress. This article is absurd.
 
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