The Gray Areas Of Censorship Research Paper

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The Gray Areas of Censorship
Censorship has gotten a bad reputation from the public as another way the government or media tries to control and constrict its people. However, the government and the media see censorship as a suppression of communication which they consider harmful. The problem with censorship arises when trying to draw the thin line between what is considered harmful and what is freedom of expression, as defined by the government or media. On the one hand, censorship is very important in certain specific cases; the main goal of censorship today is to protect children from seeing inappropriate content, profanity, and to an extent, violence in movies. On the other hand, the United States government and controlling media have
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One instance of weak censorship is violence in movies, as described by Kirby Dick in his documentary, This Film is Not Yet Rated. In it, Kirby discusses the unscientific way movie raters define what gives each movie its rating. He challenges the current, ambiguous method raters use to censor movies today. I agree with the director’s claim that our society today has become desensitized to violence. Violence in movies does not get censored nearly as much as sexual scenes do because of a long-existing taboo the American culture has had on sex. However, I believe that these violent scenes leave stronger and more negative impressions on viewers than sex scenes. Seeing uncensored acts of violence is unnecessary and could make viewers feel sick or uneasy. Also, if an irrational person sees gruesome violence in the media, they could be influenced to commit certain heinous acts themselves. Censorship in movies today is mostly used to bleep out curse words, but it fails to block the content that may actually affect viewers the …show more content…
Since the limits of censorship are not clearly established, the government must sometimes try to define the limits themselves, and have failed on a number of occasions. One instance where censorship hurt more than it helped is the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. DADT was implemented in 1994 and was official United States policy which barred openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual persons from military service. It also prohibited any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexual orientation or from speaking about any homosexual relationships while serving the United States armed forces (Stolberg). The DADT policy was essentially a way of censoring homosexuals and bisexuals, and it therefore restricted these people until it was repealed in 2011. At the time, the policy was an attempt to integrate groups previously excluded starting with the military. The American Psychological Association backed up this reasoning in 2004 that “empirical evidence fails to show that sexual orientation is [relevant] to any aspect of military effectiveness…” (“Sexual Orientation and Military Service Briefing Sheet”). While it may have seemed effective at the time, the DADT policy restricted certain people unequally and unreasonably. The policy restricted free speech to homosexuals and bisexuals, which went against their basic First

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