Prompt: Almost since human beings began sharing ideas, the issue of censorship (officially suppressing ideas or writing) has been debated. Proponents of censorship argue, for example, that offensive material might morally corrupt children or that governments have the right to protect their national secrets. Opponents argue that censorship infringes on individual freedom and hinders progress. Censorship has long been an issue regarding books and papers; now, it has become a critical issue concerning the great amount of information on the Internet. Given the continued impact of censorship on various aspects of our lives, it is an issue worth examining.
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It is becoming increasingly difficult to monitor censorship on the internet. In a world where various types of censorship is prevalent such as political where the government holds back information from citizens which they don't wish to reveal or religious censorship where the customs of one group may conflict with the views of another. Media censorship is what people are generally made more aware of because of censored lines in movies or maybe the lyrics to your favorite song. Censorship has been an ongoing trend for generations as well as generations to come making it even more difficult to advance in the expanding world of media, culture, politics, etc. In my opinion censorship should be dismantled.
Proponents of censorship argue that offensive material might corrupt the minds of children or that governments have the right to protect their national secrets, but I disagree. The power to decide what the world gets to hear about national issues is concentrated in a very few number of people's hands giving them too much power on to decide what information we as citizens are allowed to know. No democratic government should be allowed to regulate what the citizens know about politics. This is the citizens right to information. Also many times teachers and parents often fail to understand the students maturity level and prevent children from being exposed to material which they may actually be ready for. For instance, school libraries can label books with the degree to which the content may disturb the reader and let the school decide if the student is eligible to read it based on academic performance and their reputation in school. This is because censorship may cut off free flowing ideas of writing which otherwise remain unpondered on. This will also prevent misuse of content, which can be perceived to be harmful to children or certain groups. Hence, I feel this argument is not very convincing.
One important reason why censorship should not exist is because it is very difficult to regulate information that may be perceived inappropriately by certain groups but perceivable by others. For this reason controversies arise. For example, many view the Confederate flag as being racist but others say it honors their heritage and they don't view it that way. Every society has their taboos, norms, customs, religious expressions, etc. and it is impossible to share ideas between everyone when they're conflicting with the views of a group. As unsensitive as this sounds, censorship would do the opposite of promoting advancement in ideas in the world.
Another reason why censorship should not exist is because it often doesn't give out the complete picture on the positive as well as negative aspects, making sources appear very one sided. This prevents students from forming their own opinions on the matter. For example, in my history textbook we studied about a great ruler in India whose name is Akbar, who was praised for his religious tolerance but in reality ,what wasn't mentioned in my textbook, as a result of being a great emperor he took the lives of many innocents drastically changing my opinion of the "oh-so-great" ruler. In the process of censoring all his wrongs we are being denied the truth, as students. This example demonstrates the one sided effect that censoring can have on certain material.
I have concluded that censorship often distracts from the full picture and people have the right to know both sides of the story whether good or bad. It is not about being insensitive or offensive but about letting people formulate their own views instead of immediately accepting all the 'rights' in every situation. "Expression with restraint can't be termed as expression," said by author Peter Carey.