At what level can censorship be accepted?
by ws-champlain on September 10, 2013 - 3:21pm
Censorship is to delete or hide information, opinions or expressions made by the government or any other authority that had control over its circulation. In a democracy, this phenomenon occurs when the information or other goes against a powerful social structure such as government and religious institutions. Nowadays, censorship can be seen as a violation of human rights, like freedom of speech. Although, in open societies, there is less of a debate regarding this subject because many will argue that censorship is sometimes needed in order to assure national security like in time of war. On the other hand, in democratic societies, even though it is a highly controversial subject, censorship is still present. Finally, in regards to totalitarian societies, censorship is more than accepted because everything is regulated by the government and that the only information that is available to the population is the one that is allowed and that does not negatively affect the political system. The importance of censorship is so high that people that try to stop it can even be punished with death. Internationally, it is known that in order to maintain power over the country, censorship is a key for totalitarian countries. If this phenomenon would not be established as a norm in these countries, people would know more about other systems and how free people are around the world compared to them. Even though censoring is used in modern societies, it is nothing new. Back then, censorship was used when the information was either a blasphemy or ideas that did not go with what the Church believed was right.
Many ethical principles and human rights are addressed through this issue. Two of the most important human rights that people will say is being restricted is the right to freedom of expression and the right to be informed. When there is censoring of information, people are not getting everything delivered to them, which is not respecting the liberty they have the right to have. On the other hand, people have the right to be informed of whatever is in their best interest. If the masses don’t have access to the whole information, they will not be able to make a well based decision. This is where people tend to disbelief governments or other important institutions, because most of the information that is released regarding them, is only the one that makes them look good. However, the principle of equal consideration of interest is the complete opposite of what we just said. The ones that are in favor of censorship, believe that it is in the best interest of various groups in certain circumstances. Although, by saying that, there is no limit that is being set as to what level should censorship be accepted. Also, the population could argue that the principle of equality is being forgotten, and that it is not fair that only a few selected people have the right to know the truth or have a full access to information. Finally, these are only a few of the ethical principles and human rights that are involved in this really controversial issue.
Lastly, in my opinion, the strongest side would be to completely banish censorship. Only by abiding to the human rights, it is clear that censorship goes totally against what has been established. In this case, the government or other powerful groups will only be encouraging to its infraction. Likewise, because censorship is a really complicated issue to manage, there is no way a clear and reasonable accommodation could be made. In fact, it would be really hard to say when censoring could be accepted or not. Last of all, I do believe that censorship should be punished and that governments and others should not have the right to do such thing.
Aliprandini, MichaelWagner, Geraldine. "Censorship & Democracy: An Overview." Points Of View: Censorship & Democracy (2013): 1. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.