Censorship in the 21st Century Is It Necessary?

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Censorship in the 21st Century is it Necessary? Today, censorship is one of the major controversial issues that surround the world, but it seems to be a greater problem in the United States than in other countries, concerning Freedom of Speech. Censorship can be defined in many ways, depending who is defining censorship. One definition for censorship is the idea to suppress any kind of expression of art form. Another definition of censorship is “the control of the information and ideas circulated within a society. Based on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online, censorship is the “act of changing or suppressing speech or writing that is considered subversive of the common good. ” These are just a few definitions that I immediately found online with a simple Google search. The other definitions are somewhat similar to these that mount the idea of society, art, and common good. Censorship can be a negative and positive thing, for the time, place, and audience. When television network air television shows, they should not have to edit out any kind of offensive material.

There are parental controls for parents if they want to “protect” their children, as well as warnings before viewing such shows that are considered “morally wrong”. These are just two examples of how the government does not need to censor everything on television, and instead, let the viewer choose what shows to block or watch, so it does not ruin the idea of free speech for everyone else. When it comes to shows on the television, censorship controls the individual mind as well as the social beliefs of their own opinions.

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In the 1950s, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) started their censoring on public programming that was deemed inappropriate for society to view on the television. In the beginning, it starts with censoring all kinds of nudity, profanity, and violence that were not in relation to military. Military shows and movies that were shown on public programming may use the word F***, because it was viewed as an art expression. On the other hand, if a comedian uses such profanity, it is considered offensive to society as a whole.

Later in the 21st century, the FCC still censored bad words that are told from comedians, talk show hosts, and even adult cartoons, but still not in shows or movies shown on public television that depict anything that is related for the military. Although many of these programs that intentionally use offensive materials are shown at a time where children are supposed to be asleep, these shows are still obligated to censor out obscene materials.

In addition to the hours these shows are on for adults, these shows are also airing on channels that are mainly for adults, with a warning of contents that will be shown. For example, the Adult Swim channel, aired around the hours of 9 P. M. to 4 A. M. , according to society, children should be asleep; therefore the shows would be enjoyable for adults. Nevertheless, the FCC still enforces the network to censor out the obscene material that offends the public as a whole. One of the most argumentative topics revolves around the responsibility of parents to monitor the information received by their children.

Many people, who are parents, would believe that television shows should have to edit out the bad words and violence because the young people does not know wrong from wrong and they might follow what they see on the television. If the children have the right guidance in what is right and wrong, they would not follow everything they see or hear. If by chance, they use profanity, then it is the parent’s job to punish the children in a way that will teach the children of consequences to using such language. By punishing the children, when appropriate, ensures the child that there are consequences to the actions they do or not do.

If the child does not have the proper guidance then they will not understand what they are doing is right or wrong, and they will continue to repeat the offense. A parent has the hardship and joys of hoping that the child will emulate what they learn from the parents and hopefully, adapt the same teachings with their own well-beings. With this substantial duty, comes the choices we make in the crude-world we live in. It is not the responsibility of the writer of television shows to take into account what we believe in; rather it is more for our enjoyment.

A person who does not want to have this kind of entertainment does not have to join in. They can just block or change the channel. Television networks have taken steps to make sure people are alert of the content of the program that they are watching. Many of the networks now have ratings for their programs. It does not matter if they program was animated or live action, TV-G, made for a general audience and is suitable for children no matter how young or old they are. This rating will confirm to the parents that the content of he program shows no violence, profanity, and nudity, which is safe for all ages. TV-14 is a rating where kids under the age of 14 should not view the programs, because of the content that might be shown. These are some of the precautionary steps that the televised networks took in order to satisfy the FCC on their regulations of shows. With our growing technological devices, the information we take in seems to be endless, because we are living in the age for information, and this information may come as both negative and positive.

It is our duty to be able to distinguish what is wrong and what is right. Just because we see something on the television, it does not necessarily mean it is right or wrong. Although this may be more of a protection for the children, some adults do feel strongly that everything on the television should be censored. However, adults do have the understanding of what they want to watch or need to watch, and they should not just let some committee take control, just because it might be tempting to disobey their own beliefs.

It is our own responsibility to find our understanding of the information we take in and process. Offensive material is not only seen on televised broadcast, but it is seen everywhere we go. The environment we live in and raise our children have more of an effect on how we view what is morally wrong, from violence on the streets to littering in the park, where we go to relax and enjoy our community. The government can try to protect and censor the violence we see in our neighborhoods, by putting criminals in jail or prison, because the criminals might be a threat to our livelihood.

Saying some profanity on television shows, is not the same as putting a knife to our necks. It does not threaten our lives and make us suffer; instead it is just entertainment for some people who choose to watch the televised networks. On the other hand, television shows that use profanity and such offensive material, should not be controlled by some committees that think they know what is best for the society we live in, because they might not even live in the same communities or even share the same core values we instill in our lives.

Works Cited Clark, C. S. (1995, November 17). Sex, violence and the media. CQ Researcher, 5, 1017-1040. Retrieved from http://library. cqpress. com/cqresearcher/ Heins, Marjorie. “Indecent Broadcasts Should Not Be Censored. ” Censorship. Ed. Julia Bauder. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “America’s Culture Czars. ” The Free Expression Policy Project. 2006. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. Triplett, W. (2004, April 16). Broadcast indecency. CQ Researcher, 14, 321-344. Retrieved from http://library. cqpress. com/cqresearcher/

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Censorship in the 21st Century Is It Necessary?. (2016, Dec 12). Retrieved from


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