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Sex, Violence, Explicit Language, Drugs Essay

1069 words - 5 pages

Sex, violence, explicit language, drugs, . . . Some people consider these subjects to be extremely inappropriate, while some people find nothing wrong with them. Still others do not think twice when they read about sex crimes in the newspapers, or when they hear Bart swearing at Homer on The Simpsons. Most people do not feel one way or another about this allegedly inappropriate material because it has become a part of life in the 1990's. Those few who would choose to act upon their dislike of this material try to censor it, be it on television, in movies, on the Internet, or anywhere else. Although people have a right to decide for themselves what is and is not inappropriate, censoring ...view middle of the document...

People would know what is on a particular site if they already knew how to get there. It is their responsibility to make their own decisions as to whether or not this material is appropriate for them. If people feel there is a possibility they might be very appalled by this material, then they can choose not to view it. If people are not sure about this material, or if they are in favor of it, then they take an acceptable risk when they choose to view it. Undoubtedly, this material should not be censored merely because some people cannot make rational decisions for themselves.
Moreover, the people have a right to know. This statement was the opinion of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence. He was said to have been "strongly against censorship of any kind, believing that people should have free access to all information" (Greenhaven 12). Then, people could consider all of the information and make a more informed decision. The first amendment of the Constitution also states that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech and of the press. . . . " All material or information on the Internet would be protected by this clause. Another law, the Freedom of Information Act, was passed by Congress on November 21, 1966. This law addresses more specifically the people's right to any information unless it is a matter of national security, violates a person's right to privacy, or deals with internal agency management ("Freedom"). None of the allegedly offensive material the government would like to censor falls into any of these categories. Unquestionably, no matter how distasteful some material on the Internet may be, the censoring of this material would be unconstitutional.
In addition to being unconstitutional, the government's attempt to censor inappropriate material on the Internet is very hypocritical. The government punishes people for "obstruction of justice," or withholding vital information from an investigation (Liston 4). This could be considered a type of censorship, because people who withhold information are, in essence, censoring information about themselves or others which may be unfavorable to their cause. The government considers...

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