Censorship In America Essay

2328 words - 10 pages

Censorship in America

Welcome to America. The land of the free and the home of those all too willing to use that right to its fullest extent. The first nation truly founded on the right to speak one’s mind without consequence, America is now the most prosperous nation in the world, largely due to that very fact. We as Americans are blessed to live in a nation that is thriving both politically and socially, both as innovator and steady power, both as a community and as a collection of individuals. The marks of American society have spread far beyond the nation’s borders, with everything from the Big Mac to Steven Spielberg movies to democracy itself making it’s impact felt on this modern ...view middle of the document...

The Federal Trade Commission, the government agency primarily responsible for regulating national advertising, claims that their form of censorship against the big three American entertainment industries, motion pictures, music recordings, and electronic games, is necessary in order to protect America’s youth, defined by the FTC as anyone below the age of 17. Robert Pitofsky, chairman of the FTC, examines the topic in an official statement to the Senate. “We cannot help but be concerned about the marketing of products containing violent content,” he says. “Scholars and observers generally agree that exposure to violent content alone does not cause a child to commit a violent act. But we are mindful of the question Sissela Bok raised in her book Mayhem about violence on television:
Is it alarmist or merely sensible to ask what happens to the souls of children nurtured, as in no past society, on images of rape, torture, bombings and massacre that are channeled into their homes from infancy?”

Pitovsky and Bok are hardly the first ones in history to question whether being raised on less-than-virtuous images can have an unhealthy impact on adolescents. The great Greek philosopher Plato, whose teacher Socrates was ironically killed for bringing new and dangerous ideas to the youth of Athens, offered a similar opinion in his famous work The Republic:

A young person cannot judge what is allegorical and what is literal; anything he receives into his mind at that age is likely to become indelible and unalterable; and therefore it is most important that the tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thoughts.

This is the reasoning that the FTC provides when it establishes a rating system that takes away the right of a mature fifteen-year-old to see an R-rated movie, simply because it contains multiple curse words or of a sixteen-year-old to play an M-rated video game, because it contains futuristic soldiers using futuristic guns to kill science-fiction-based aliens. It is also the reasoning that the FTC used four years ago when it attempted to pass a bill known as the Media Marketing Accountabilities Act that, if put into effect, would levy a fine of up to $11,000 on any company that marketed profane and obscene media to underage youth.

The FTC is clearly trying to create a better America through subtle control of what its more impressionable citizens are exposed to. But how much control is too much? Having read the book “Brave New World” by Alduous Huxley I can’t help but notice that the world envisioned by Huxley in his futuristic and satirical epic, and the America the FTC is attempting to create are eerily similar, even if Huxley’s is taken to a much greater extreme. Both focus on governmental control, and in doing so take the pressure off the ordinary people to have to think for themselves. Huxley’s Utopian world takes adolescents and puts them through a molding process, installing into their heads an unflinching...

Other Papers Like Censorship In America

Freedom of Speech

3703 words - 15 pages the issue is. Other than the government being the only force in controlling censorship, there is another type of force that induces censors also and this force is the people themselves. Private censorship is when people, other than the government, set rules regarding what to censor or not (Wu, 2010). For example, in the 1930 a priest named Daniel Lord set a production code for the motion pictures in America. He was not a person working in the

The First Amendment 2 Essay

1350 words - 6 pages that strength lies in our principles to be free.” Many believe censorship is a violation of the First Amendment. But there are some that believe that censorship is necessary in order to protect the ideals of the majority. This topic remains to be one of the most controversial and debated issues in America today. [THESIS] As citizens of the United States of America, we have the right to exercise our First Amendment and express ideas and opinions

Government Censorship

4932 words - 20 pages approaches to solve the problem in a more efficient way as well. 3.An alternative to government censorship is the technological fix, which would prevent misuse of the Net and would have the same effects as government censorship. 1.One example of technological fix is the "SurfWatch" software. 2.Also, commercial Internet service providers, such as "America Online", allow parents to control what Internet relay chat

Reasons Why an Internet Should Be Censored

1243 words - 5 pages major argument for censorship that has accumulated the most attention deals with the protection of children. "The issue of morality and children has become a leading factor in the struggle over whether or not to attempt to censor the Internet" (Friedman 25). Statistics say that "75% of children ages 14-17 use the Internet and 65% of children ages 10-13 use the Internet" (NTIA). Children can access the Internet at home, at school, at public

Censorships in Education

2030 words - 9 pages constitutional right has been compromised, we wonder what right we will lose next. Using censorship is not right as it goes against everything this country was built on, the freedom to write or express ourselves in anyway. “While the attempt to keep children pure for as long as possible is admirable, it takes the form of leaving gaping holes in their education, if not academically, then about life” (LifeScripts, p.1, 2007). There are many educational

Book Banning Is Bad for Students

1583 words - 7 pages challenges have slowly changed from an actual challenge to an enforcement of parents’ will upon students in a public school system. Anyone can easily predict the monstrous future school censorship will undoubtedly have. Book banning limits student access to great works of literature. Many professors of literature regard William Shakespeare as the, “greatest English writer of all time;” yet, people have banned almost all of his plays (Campbell 1

John Steinbeck's Grapes Of Wrath: The Effects Of The Novel

908 words - 4 pages of the landowners. Steinbeck did us all a great favor by communicating the truth.The Grapes of Wrath has come a long way in Kern County. It is now ironic to think what once left a bitter taste in California's mouth, became "the most popular book in America."(l6) Some critics call it "...the greatest fictional work of a generation."(l7) It just goes to show, censorship can't stop an "electrifying" novel.

Shrine of Texas Liberty

785 words - 4 pages Book censorship influences the way our young children learn and how schools educate students. Censorship often forms from concerned parents that do not want their children exposed to any other views but their own about the world. Recently, Highland Park Independent School District has been focused on a censorship battle between two parental groups on books taught in Highland Park High School. One program is a nonprofit organization, the Highland

Hazelwood V. Kuhlmeier

681 words - 3 pages Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier Impact Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier negatively impacted America by narrowing student’s freedom of press that may otherwise allow students to develop academically, professionally, and socially, which promotes the schools basic educational mission to prepare students for the future. In the Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier case the court ruled in favor of Hazelwood high school saying that school officials could censor student’s freedom of

Culture of Terrorism

1861 words - 8 pages “suppression of information, whether purposeful or not, by any method-including bias, omission, underreporting or censorship-that prevents the public from understanding what is happening in society” (Borjesson, 2004, p.419). Since there are different kinds of information or knowledge in society that need to be forbidden because they are harmful to certain groups or to the moral understanding of ethics (i.e. the use of drugs, pornography, assault

Internet Censorship

1256 words - 6 pages Internet Censorship - SOPA In the past twenty years, the Internet has grown to become an integral part of human function. The unique beauty of the Internet is that it enables its users to share their views and data to a worldwide audience and have their voice heard instantly. Unfortunately, the flexibility of the Internet also allows it to be exploited for illegal activity such as the distribution and theft of copyrighted content. Many

Related Essays

Censorship In America Essay

1123 words - 5 pages Censorship in America      Since this country was founded, we have had a set of unalienable rights that our constitution guarantees us to as Americans. One of the most important rights that is mentioned in our constitution is the right to free speech. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or

Censorship In America Essay

2409 words - 10 pages Censorship in America COM 156 Censorship in America When America was formed, it was on the basis that people would be free from any sort of government tyranny. Free speech was the most basic form of abuse that the Founding Fathers sought to eliminate and thus, the Bill of Rights had it as part of the first amendment. Yet, over the next two centuries, the government has been enforcing censorship on things that it deems could harm society

Censorship And Its Affect On Art

2316 words - 10 pages ideals endlessly, but in turn also allowing freedom to the Protestant Reformists to combat them with their own as well. In an effort to control which religion or set of ideals each person was exposed to, the pope of the time enacted the first Librorum Prohibitorum, (Index of Prohibited Books). Not too much time passed before these extreme levels of censorship were exported to the western world of America. Throughout history censorship

Forever: An Overly Sexual Abomination Or Coming Of Age Novel?

1469 words - 6 pages inappropriate language. Many adults felt that their children shouldn’t be exposed to that type of vulgarity. They had to do something to change these circumstances. The complaints had been heard and Forever was banned from the entire Elgin, Illinois school system. Two years later, the decision to ban the book was challenged in an attempt to gain control over some of the censorship in America. But, the challenge was ignored. Yet again, in 2003 the school