Is Censorship a good or bad idea?
Censorship blocks something from being read, heard or seen. Censorship is the name for the process or idea
of keeping things like obscene words or graphic images from an audience. This is because they can be seen
as harmful and inconvenient as decided by the government. Censorship can come in many forms from just
editing a tiny piece of text before a book release to banning a full film, as it is believed to cause damage to
those watching it. An example can come from China where 1985 film ‘Back to the future’ has been banned
because the scenes of time travel are believed to be dangerous and not to be shown to prevent anyone from
The main idea of Censorship is to protect. To protect children, this is done by having age restrictions on
games, films and other media that may be seen for older use. Alsoit is used to protect the religious views.An
example of a film being banned because of it is The Da Vinci Code; this has been banned all together in
Samoa because the Samoa Council of churchesthought it would affect the belief of young people whose faith
was not strong. Prevention of Slander and Libel is also used in the main reasoning why censorship has been
introduced. This is considered to be part of self-Censorship and where people have to be careful what they
write on social networks sites such as Twitter and Facebook as it may cause offense. This is also the same
when publishing media such as Newspapers and magazines and cannot have anything that may damage a
It is a bad idea because it does not allow you to see vital information that you may be interested in.
Everyone should be allowed this right and therefore when the government takes this it is only human nature
to want it more. A quote from an artist Ben Shahn can relate to this, ‘’you have not converted man because
you have silenced him’’. This means that a person will still want something even though you have stopped
that from happening.It can be seen as a good idea to have Censorship because it is that information that you
want to see badly that may be something that could cause psychological damage for younger children or
women. For example curiosity may lead a child to type something on the Internet that of a sexual matter and
without censorship in place some material might upset someone of that age. So Censorship is put in place to
restrain people’s expression but to protect them as well.
Censorship however may be seen as a bad idea on the media because it can be used to intrude on people’s
privacy and it could even result in a misuse of the power given to result in personal gain. It is from reasons
like this why creativity from people has stopped because they have to watch what they put down whenever
making or writing something.On the other hand it may be seen as a good idea because for example in World
War 2 Censorship was used to make sure the enemy did not find out important information about the
country. Information such as their location and plans on what they were about to do.
Censorship can be considered to be a bad idea as not only does it stop creativity from people’s work but also
more importantly it compromises freedom of speech. It is this reason why it is considered as similar to a
dictatorship way of thinking because for example in Ancient Rome it was only those of High Authority that
got the chance to speak what they wanted to and many people suffered for trying to. Censorship therefore
does not give equal opportunities to those who want it and people should be allowed the free will to do or
see what they want to. Reasons why it can be seen as a good idea is because having something blocked may
keep your work protected and not allow any plagiarism. If there was nothing in place to stop your work
being taken and used as their own then the media industry would be chaotic, however with this in place it
has a small grasp on personal identity and again protects you.
There are many debates on what effect media consumption has on its audience. The Culmination Theory
suggests that exposure to violent video game does not make you violent overnight but does carry a long term
threat of violence, in contrast the Hypodermic Needle model suggests that people will act how they have
been told to, thus meaning having played a violent game such as for example Grand theft auto it would mean
that the person would be violent in real life. An example here of Hypodermic Needle model can be where a
teenager went on a rampage and killed three men, two of them police officers, after months of playing
Grand Theft Auto. This only enhances the more need for Censorship and putting the age limit higher if
The effects are based around Children, as it is those who are greatly affected by the Censorship, not having
access to certain things on the internet, films or games with age restrictions. People are becoming greatly
worried what the exposure of these are doing to the generation.It is from this where age certification has
come from. Here below are only two of the many age barriers put in place to stop you from purchasing a
game or film if you are under age. This proves that people are affected by the media and things they watch
or play can have serious repercussions on the world we live in. Not everyone is affected by the media
however to prevent it from getting out of hand the age certifications are used as a precaution. The things
people are affected by the media are that of for girls trying to compete with those they see on magazines,
newspapers or on the internet, this can lead to depression and in some severe cases, suicide. The media is a
main cause for self-esteem issues with young children and they often feel pressured into a way of looking or
ding certain actions.
Media that should be censored would be that of ones on the internet that could be harmful to the person/
persons viewing it. Such as Young Children, there should be a censorship to keep it safe and protect them
from being speaking to by criminals on chat forums and other social media sites. However still keep some
freedom in what they can do from a young age. On the contrary Media that should never be censored would
be that of films, as it is up to those responsible for the Children to make that decision on whether they are
mature enough to understand what happens, also if people are curious about a film then you should not
stand in their way. Films should never be censored because they are very similar to Books and why should it
be different. Books are not censored even though Children of a young age are more likely to pick up a book
and start reading then sit quietly watching a film for 2 hours.
Also an example of a book that can cause more damage than a film could be that of 50 Shades of Grey and
the controversy that surrounds it. The Book is seen to have many sexual scenes that could disturb a child
however they have not addressed a censorship issue. It is seen as different to that of Video games and Films
because it does not have images or scenes that can look harmful and have a bad influence to the children.
However with schools becoming more advanced Children are starting to read at a much younger age and can
still understand what they are reading therefore it should be a good idea to have Libraries censor all the
books they put on their shelves as it can be just as easy to read something that may cause harm. Having an
age limit on certain books with bad scenes will help put sort of defence in place to prevent Children from
seeing things they were initially curious about. Again if the parents decide the Children are mature enough
then it should be okay for them to read or watch whatever they would like to.
Censorship is not harmful as all. It is the content that it is not showing people that areharmful; they are
believed to be stopping any harm from coming to the citizens. However it can have added on effects to
those who do not agree with such a thing and try to do so anyway. It can harm people psychologically if
looking at the way it prevents freedom of speech however it is seen as to stop harm in ways such as libel,
meaning the intention of censorship is not to harm anyone just the opposite. An example to go further on
the point is that of Guns, It is not Guns that kill people, people holding the guns do. There is a relation here
because Censorship does not harm you;the harmful content has already been put out there on the internet
and other media. And the Guns are already made and the persons choice to use them. The freewill is given
and can be exploited in many countries so precautions are taken to stop people doing or saying what they
As said through the looking at films and books, it should be the parents or carers of the Children to decide
what should be censored and if they feel that the child is ready to look at the information then they should
decide not the government. Children are very different and have different maturities therefore labelling
them under one category for example Under 15 for a film. It may be seen as a bad idea and could make them
feel like everyone else. This would stop creativity should the children think that they are all part of one
stereotypical category, thus meaning that they would not think on their own and share ideas. If they are
seen to be the same as everyone else then there would be no reason for discussion.
Certain ideas should not be banned from the classroom. The Classroom for children is where they will feel is
the only place they can express themselves due to censorship stopping them to do so on many media
surrounding the internet. From an early age they have been prevented from watching certain things they
wanted to or going on sites they want to. Should freedom of speech be disrupted in the classroom then the
children may feel the only place they feel free may be that of in a fantasy world and on video games. This
could cause escapism and other worrying side effects. Escapism being that of where people feeling
depressed or down of what has happened to them they feel they can take their mind off it in the gameor
film world.Examples of topics banned from classrooms are that of religious grounds. In the US and the
religious schools they have banned all talk of Darwin’s theory of evolution and how it goes against their
beliefs of the bible and how the earth was made. It does not want children knowing this as it may lead them
to not believe in God. Creationism has replaced it, the idea that the earth was made exactly how the Bible
said it was. This however has been banned from science curriculum in schools in the UK. This is wrong as it
does not show both sides to an argument and forcing Children to believe and think in a certain way.
Censorship is becoming increasingly popular in classrooms as it prevents things that may harm other
students. However taking it into account Children should have the Free will and right to make their own
decisions have the freedom of speech to say what they think about a matter.
A gagging orderis an order, typically a legal one given by a court or government, restricting information or
comment from being made public, or in some cases, passed onto any unauthorized third party.In 2011 The
Independent found that more than 333 gagging orders protecting the identities of celebrities, children and
private individuals have been granted in the past five years. An example is that of a celebrity that has used a
Gagging order was Ryan Giggs, A professional footballer for Manchester United. He was revealed to put a
‘Super-Injunction’ to prevent all types of media from revealing his identity in a serious allegation, from
Newspapers to Social media such as Twitter. His identity was later revealed through a Scottish Newspaper as
the law does not include Scotland from publishing names. They are used to protect a person just as
Censorship is used. So Gagging orders should be allowed to stop the media from writing harmful things
about a person as they should be able to keep their privacy when needed as it may cause harm to those
The effects of advertising on people can be seen as very influential in this day and age. This is due to so many
adverts being seen on the media we look at. For Children it is much more worrying as they see 40,000
adverts a year through Television, when surfing the Web and other sources of media such as magazines. The
more the types of media people use, the more adverts they will see. This therefore will start to have an
influence on the people psychologically. People will instantly start to buy things they have seen on adverts.
For example seeing an advert for McDonalds will instantly make you feel Hungry and wantto buy one. This
type of control with adverts can be used to make children choose wrong decisions on what they consume.
Products such as junk food, Alcohol and Cigarettes advertised to children at a young age can damage them
for when they enter adulthood.
We are influenced by advertising because why else would Ofcom introduce a ban on junk food adverts on
Television programmes aimed at young children under the age of 16. This proves that it has become clear
the influence media can have. 2006 was a turning point as in relation to McDonalds, the National Child
Measurement Programme looked into the obesity increase of children under the age of 16 since junk food
had been advertised. They have worked with parents and schools to put it right. This alone shows what hold
advertising can have. These rules were cemented to stop anything from being wrongly advertised to children
who know no better. The EU had three main rules companies should follow when promoting their product.
Firstly it cannot directly encourage minors to persuade their parents or others to purchase the goods or
services being advertised, it shall not unreasonably show minors in dangerous situations, and lastly Children’s
programmes may only be interrupted if the scheduled duration is longer than 30 minutes
Should we ban Advertising aimed at children? No, Not completely. Children at an early age should start to
realise how the world works and that products need to be promoted. Without the knowledge and guidance
as children they will be dragged into the same pattern of impulse buying due to seeing products televised.
When looking at advertising and what effects it can have on people there are two major companies that
control what is being put. Firstly the Advertising standards authority (ASA) look at all adverts and how they
are shown. Should one not meet the requirements then they will not be allowed to advertise the product.
The company acts as a filter and in some way part of censorship as all adverts are checked. The company
applies codes that must be followed; these codes are written by the committees of adverting practice (CAP).
ASA look through complaints by members of the public whilst CAP concentrates on individual cases.
Since the two companies came about in 1961 they have tried to keep the same standards on all that they
have dealt with. The first commercials came about in 1955 and companies have been put in place control the
content of them. In 1962, CAP established the ASA as the independent adjudicator under the newly created
Code. The Authority was set up to supervise the working of the new self-regulatory system in the public
interest.The codes are as followed. They are split into 4 main categories, those being; HarmCredulity and
Unfair Pressure, Direct Exhortation and Parental Authority and promotion.
To conclude I believe censorship is a bad idea because it does not allow freedom of speech resulting in
people not to expressing themselves. I understand things are censored to protect the things that can be seen
as harmful, however it should be the parents or those responsible to decide and make that decision.
Censoring or banning things in the media gives the impression the country has something to hide and that
there is no trust in society anymore. Freewill needs to be considered when having certifications on media
such as Video games and films as Children can be mature and can understand the difference between reality
and fantasy. The odd case occurs where people are soaked up in the media however this should not have to
affect the majority. On the other hand censorship should not be taken away all together because it is a
useful tool when stopping plagiarism or protecting identities of people in the media. Also coming in the form
of Advertising,it can be useful when protecting certain information being advertised to young children.
The Media effects debate gave a good insight to what the media can do to children’s heads. So therefore
people should be more careful when looking at the media, for example a parent allowing 2 hours a day on
media to prevent anything serious. It is down to the responsibility of the parents or carers to decide what
their children are watching and not those of the government putting each child in one category of under a
certain age. Children should be allowed to see what they want if they feel they are ready. It is only human
nature to be curious about certain aspects of life. If someone wants to watch a film that is rated higher than
their age, why should it apply to everyone?