There is a large amount of information that is censored in America, and the citizens don’t usually realize what details are being withheld from their knowledge. Censorship is the act of prohibiting things that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security. Censorship is carried out mostly by the government but also by private companies, influencing and usually putting a bias spin on the information being given. When it comes to censorship, there are many pros and cons. There are many positive impacts that come from censorship, and it is sometimes used to protect people or important information that is meant to be kept secret.
When a journalist wants to report an article, interview, survey, etc. they cannot report what people need and/or want to know, they can only report what the government wants the people to know (“Censorship Effects on Society”). They do not have the freedom to express what they really want to which deprives them of their rights. The United States and many other countries see the internet as a threat and a means of control which is why information of the World Wide Web is censored (Bennett). It is believed that the government censors as a way to have control not to protect citizens; by knowing more, they have the upper
The topic of censorship is one that has existed for thousands of years. Censorship has been a way for the government to keep control over the people. Although it may seem that censorship is an unfair method of supressing the people of a nation, in actuality censorship can often be an effective way to prevent the outbreak of war and civil strife. The government's use of censorship is often a wise mode of regulation that often helps a nation maintain peace. Events in literature and history support the idea that censorship can often be a good idea.
It can be seen from different angles since many countries are determined to live in a free expression society but others want to enforce censorship in many situations. Countries that are against censorship is mainly because it can be very powerful in the sense that it can control what is shown on the news. It may present false statements and mislead the people in to believing things that are not true. If censored, everything would have to pass first through the government, and they may change some stories to please them. This can lead to only showing favoritism for certain brands or groups; companies may get to control the information that gets to the country.
The idea of government censorship is not a new one. Governments use censorship to gain and keep power. Rad Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 depicts the way governments use censorship as a tool to control their citizens and gain the power that they desire. Censoring ways to gain knowledge stops people from wanting to think for themselves and from challenging different points of view. They stop the desire to learn by censoring the tools they use to do just that such as books, news, entertainment, the internet, and even communication.
The government controls almost every aspect of peoples’ lives and going against the government results in elimination or torture. Surprisingly, 1984 relates significantly to several of today’s societies and governments, including the United States, Russia, Cuba, and North Korea in ways of mass mind control, electronic intrusion, and endless war. The USA PATRIOT Act allows the government to get a hold of an individual’s private records without a warrant. This completely takes away a person’s right to privacy. The government has access search anyone’s internet or library records.
Why censor in the first place? Censorship is the way individuals in power assert what they want over those who cannot control what happens. Eventually, the censoring becomes comfortable and begin to fear a life without it. This complacency is seen in the events from Ray Bradbury’s childhood up to the time of him writing Fahrenheit 451. Bradbury’s awareness of the influence censoring had was apparent; as a result, the well-being of society is dramatically emphasized.
Prabhakar Pillai, author or “Pros and Cons of Censorship”, states “It [censorship] prevents the public display of disrespect to any particular individual or community.” Racism, sexism, and other forms of hates towards a group of people wouldn’t be all over the internet. Cyberbullying could be diminished. Geoff Yang then goes on to say, “We need censorship to keep the dimly lit corners of cyberspace safe.” Nowadays, simply voicing your opinion, or even not owning up to society’s idea of “perfect”, can result in cyberbullying. Censorship could even save lives. Prabhakar Pillai, author of “Pros and Cons of Censorship”, says “Scenes of people consuming alcohol or smoking influence people to copy them.” Seeing others suffer from substance abuse may peak others’ curiosity, which could lead them down the same path.
Government surveillance can have adverse effects on anyone’s life as it can be used to harm an individual’s reputation by exposing their personal information. In the digital age, terrorist’s use of the internet has increased to such an extent that all their communication and daily transactions occur on the internet. Keeping a close watch of the internet is almost necessary to prevent an unforeseen circumstance and to limit the approach of terrorist organizations around the world. The internet serves as the main source for recruits, funding and information, so limiting their access to the internet can prove effective in countering terrorists. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the question if government surveillance is necessary to counter terrorism.
"The U.S. government should not be allowed to monitor or regulate internet content at any level except for when there is a clear threat to the safety of the country or her people. There are many reasons to oppose government monitoring of the internet, but three main reasons stick out amongst the rest. One is the fact that monitoring of the internet is without a doubt invasion of privacy. Additionally, blocking parts of the internet because of its content is censorship, even if the content is hateful or disturbing. Finally, plain text on the internet lacks an essential part of communication, voice inflection.