What is the Root of the Problem with Censorship?

Censorship has become a very sensitive topic to many people and it has come up in our daily conversations because of how many questions that it can raise. When it comes to the media, especially, content is censored in order to protect individuals from any harmful material. It is clearly an important factor of our communication, but I believe there has to be a fine line on what can be censored or not. Clearly, some people take censorship too far by not letting some content be showed over the media, especially when it pertains to celebrities, so it is important to make sure that everything is appropriate for all people to see.

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A topic that is near and dear to my heart is women censorship. This topic has come up several times throughout the semester because of how controversial it is. Women have always been in the light when they post things regarding their body. This could be from posting pictures with their nipples showing, or even women’s period stains. These topics may seem like no big deal, but it raises a lot of questions if it is acceptable to post that type of content over the media for everyone to see. Something so natural to women, like having their period, is being flagged over Instagram because it is seen as inappropriate. A classmate mentioned before about Rupi Kaur’s controversial Instagram post of her showing her period stain on her sweatpants. This raised a lot of questions because Instagram took down her photo, but it ended up being exactly what Rupi Kaur wanted. The phone was actually deleted twice, so she began to make a online campaign to call out the company because she strongly believed it was not right to censor a women’s body like that.

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Maybe our content isn’t quite the problem, but the media itself?

It points out the idea that maybe we shouldn’t be censoring women, but more so the media. Instead of looking at how women are censored, we need to focus more on censoring the media. This is the basis for communication for a lot of people and many people even only look at social media as their form of getting news or information on what is going on in the world.

The media has become a very powerful source of knowledge serving as a huge breakthrough in our culture because we all use it in our daily lives. The media has been very beneficial in learning more things about people, and providing valuable information on things like education and entertainment. However, the media has its downfalls. Many young teens can access illegal things on the web because most sites only require the user to type in your birthday, which can be easily forged. This can be easily manipulated because anyone can type in a later birthday to gain access into the site. These can range form things like private chat rooms, like Omegle, Chat Roulette, or even Pornography, such as Pornhub. All these sites require you to enter your age, but at the click of a button you are able to enter even if you are not legally aloud to.

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Since it is so easy to enter so called “illegal” sites, the media needs to be censored so that minors are not able to enter these sites so simply. The media serves an important role in young peoples lives and can be a huge factor in the progression of their future lives. As sad as it may sound, social media has become so detrimental in young men and women’s lives to the point where they only rely on it as a form of their primary communication.

Another important form of censorship over the media is rap music. Many rap songs bring up topics such as drugs and alcohol, women, murder or even jail. It gives young men and women this idea that these topics are okay when they clearly aren’t. Since many people become so influenced by rap artists, they soon follow their footsteps and copy the things that the artists are doing. This brings up yet again the importance of censoring the media. We look way too into what celebrities and other users post instead of the media itself- which is the root of our problem.

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Don’t get me wrong, social media is great, but I think there is more too it than the obvious. It is so important to censor things like pornography, bullying and offensive speech because it can be so important to young men and women’s growth. Looking more into this issue, there has been more research done that analyzes if the media is the real root of the issue. Some ways that this topic has been further discussed is starting of with the idea of free speech and if it is actually “free.” Before you can even touch on this topic you have to  be able to fully understand the right itself.

“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 the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This article touches on if Freedom of Speech is an important right and if it can ever be limited. The Supreme Court as made an effort in trying to decipher if there are certain types of speech such as fighting words, violent threats and misleading advertising, to see it those issues are worth censoring. Clearly from most peoples perspective these are serious issues that need to be censored. Freedom of Speech relates closely to the topic I am trying to address.

The media is a clear example of the underlying problem we have in our society. There have been many debates on this topic. For example, debate.org questions if the media should be censored. According to this particular debate shown on the site, 43% say yes the media should be censored, with 57% disagreeing saying we shouldn’t censor the media.

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One opinionated user wrote in agreement with censoring the media saying “Media should be censored because it is way easy for underage kids to watch things that shouldn’t be introduced to them. It is acting as a bad influence; not only breeding violent, but also increasing negative conflicts and corrupting young minds.” I completely agree with this statement. The media is the the root of our issue. It all starts with the media and with us being more particular with what can or can not be displayed over the media will be greatly beneficial to younger generations.

I have found this topic to be extremely hard to talk about because of all the different opinions that people have about censoring the media. It is hard to digest this issue to because it can be so personal to some people, like myself. I have seen people get significantly hurt by things that the media has allowed to be displayed and it is not fair to show things that can even be slightly offensive to someone. We all need to be more careful when it comes to making our online environment more safe for everyone to use.

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