I suppose the answer to that question depends on your perspective, whether you’re the censorer or the censoree.
My son is writing a paper on censorship – Merriam Webster defines it: to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable
Tonight, at the dinner table we talked about some fairly major examples of controversial, often-criticized censorship.
- The banning of books from our curriculum, school & public libraries.
- China’s harsh censorship and prohibition of external information, including the Internet, print, video and audio media.
- The Islamic world’s prohibition of media, styles, and cultural influences that are considered to be Western.
- The MPAA, PMRC and ESR ratings and restrictions on movie, record and game content.
- The FCC’s restrictions and penalties on tv and radio content deemed obscene or objectionable.
- Private or public funding tied to restrictions on public information, for example, sex education in the schools.
We also discussed whether there were any instances where censorship was perhaps appropriate and justifiable in western culture. The only examples I could think of were:
- The revelation of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity by White House staffer Lewis Libby.
- Restrictions and penalties for volatile or harassing speech in the workplace.
- Restrictions, controls and removal of speech in a privately-owned forum. See my blog comment terms and conditions for an example.
Can you think of examples of justifiable or acceptable censorship in today’s society? No extra points for actually requiring me to apply censorship according to above terms and conditions.