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The world requires freedom and liberty for everyone to feel comfortable and be accommodated in our society. The intellectual freedom is the right of each individual to access information freely, that is both receiving and dispatching, exclusive of restrictions or containment. Free expression of ideas can be termed as intellectual liberty. Democratic societies are mandated to deliver this freedom because is the foundation of social equality and consequently must comprise the right to posses and distribute feelings.
Censorship is the control of materials or supplies that contain information seen to portray or pose negative ideologies that eventually might generate fierce civic arguments to the society, state or even in international boundaries. Information materials censored mostly are films, books, videos; art works both postal and electronic mails. Moderation of materialistic information can be based on definite audiences depending on age limitations or other distinctiveness.
Organizations and human rights activists that advocate for public rights use the power of words to defend any society that might be exposed to certain immoralities. There are some democratic states that have in place clear regulations stating that; every one has a freedom to read, write, view and express. It is for this reason that librarians must forever be enthusiastic to edit provisions and related information and supplies to protect the public from unethical information. The word censorship comes from the Latin word censor. The profession of scrutiny was given to few individuals who were to spy on the rest of the residents’ behavior and ethics.
The art of censorship differs from one material to another. There are numerous things that we see, read, hear or even say in our daily lives; these go down to books, televisions, radios, or any form of electronic media including the Internet, that might have massive impact to our surroundings. Censorship is traced back from the ancient communities like antique Rome, Greece and China, where it is known that around the year 300AD, this was passed as a valid law for checking ethical conducts and opinions of the inhabitants.
One of the most remembered historical saga on censorship, was in the ancient Greece when Socrates was forced to take poison in the year 399BC for admittance of his involving the young in dishonesty and untraditional divinity.This ancient view of suppression, as a compassionate civic check in the most excellent concern of the public, is still in use by many nations in the world and it has along eternal impact on the Soviet Union.
For several reasons communists applied suppression to bargain for their demands, and this is said to have taken the greatest durable time ever recorded in the 20th century. The diverse complications of Censorship as containment, targeting matters seen to be filthy or indecent; unorthodox or sacrilegious; treasonable or profane is consequential to general public. The main aim for this art in our societies is to restrain and conceal beneath the disguise of defending the key fundamental public amenities that are; the State, families and churches.
For any government to get a good grasp of reign there must be mechanisms put in place to gather intelligence that keep the administration updated.One must admit that suppression and the philosophy behind it goes back to prehistoric period. Each culture had mores, norms and rules by which dialogue, clothing, spiritual execution, and sexual appearance were synchronized. As referred to Ancient Rome, where autonomy of idiom was reticent for those in power and that resulted in writers of subversive articles ruthlessly dealt with. Nero the emperor, is in records after setting ablaze books and even expelling many authors.
The emperor conveyed a strong message. As Michael et al (p.142) wrote, “A lot of top secret information, which the newspapers and radios are not, allowed circulating.” Clear evidence shows that the art of repression was inherited from the first autonomous state of Greece. Plato was the initial philosopher to devise a validation for academic, spiritual, and creative expurgation which projected unconventional ideas concerning God, henceforth is taken as criminal acts and proper trial recognized to contain profanation. It is on records that tales being narrated to children by their mothers could be censored. In our modern world, there are different types of censorships carried out simultaneously, and these are moral, Political, religious, military and corporate censorships.
The religious censorship actually suppresses the free views that might go against the teachings of the church. It is habitually performed on the foundation of blasphemy, and one known example is that of the author of satanic verses, who was condemned to die by the late Iranian head, Ayatollah.Religious censorship is regarded as the most reactive measure in both ancient and current suppressions. Influential denominations are seen to be enforcing limitations on the lesser ones, shunning their progress due to competition on autonomy. It is believed that expression of thoughts candidly was posing a great menace to some Christian church rulers.
Following the era of Protestantism and the innovation of printing press, both the Catholic and the Protestant church waged a great war on each other, prompting the Roman church to stiffen censorship on many books that were seen to be ideologically unsafe. In the year1559, Pope Paul IV outlawed some books he felt might raise arguments due to their contents. The interdiction of these publications was afterward carried further by many of other succeeding popes in later dates. Until now, there are some books containing teachings that must be censored before being allowed to a particular church or denomination.
The moral censorship is based upon family interest. There are materials that must be censored before being released to public for children’s safety. Production of pornographic and violent film materials and Internet connection forces moral censorship to take stage. The US, as a known complimentary and independent civilization, where freedom of expression is tolerated, has underlying issues concerning censorship especially the Internet freedom, which has perpetuated a heated debate.
There is a public outcry demanding the monitoring of instructional and library media resources by subjecting all information supplies to sensible assortment criteria. Indeed, it is significant to supply affluent materials to scholars conveying positive information that is not distasteful or containing awful scenery. In this case, teachers are also accountable to widen their essential skills to examine and appraise assets found on the Internet and other electronic Medias.
It has been established that many children nowadays are increasingly accessing the internet and making friends, discussing social issues, meeting adults and their fellow kids. The Internet connection holds vast information that covers from education to sex related articles that are very uncomfortable for kids to access. Lockhart and William (1960) stipulate “Complete responsibility should be ensured when documenting sex articles” parents have urged for an urgent body to monitor and guard children from repulsive scenes of the Internet. The Internet access by kids is one of the disregarded areas that require very swift action from the authorities concerned.
This is the ground that moral censorship can gain its popularity among adults but might score very little on kids’ evaluation board. Even though it is unkind to deny our kids their rights to asses, at times when need be, restrictions must be carried out. Indeed this matter must be addressed tactfully, for the Internet can act as an educational library.
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The majority of influential personalities have been famous because of their ideas and convincing voices. Many have managed to use their strong power of words to convince the world. The German dictator Adolph Hitler was gifted with strong speech and convincing powers that he managed to gain the peoples’ confidence making them follow his directives faithfully. Power of words has made remarkable changes in societies that never knew democracy. And it is for this reason that many governments, have resided to political censorship to suppress those who seemed to be vocally talented. Restraining of views that are seen to be inciting the public is normal with many ruling governments. Obviously, the government of the day has every machinery at its disposal to dismantle any civil disobedience.
This is where political censorship comes in to repress the opposition. A state can use reporters to scuttle some grave propaganda among its people to deter the public from the truth of the matter. In the Soviet Union, there was no autonomous journalism that was allowed, until president Gorbachev ascended to power. The communists’ government was the sole regulatory body that monitored information to be conveyed by the media.
There was only one newspaper that monopolized the media space. However, overseas newspapers that were ultimately allowed supported the regime. Television and radio stations were always under the control of the communists. Foreign broadcasters who were never supportive to the government in any nature found there stations disabled at times. These acts of suppression faded away after the fall of the communists. China still has ideologies of communism and is said to be employing Internet observers of around 30,000 personnel just to monitor the electronic coverage. During the reign of Mussolini, press freedom almost came to an extinct.
There was great consistency put in place to fully check the media. The authorities frequently raided journalists and even closing down some of their premises. The Jews were never allowed to publish any paper and journalism to them was regarded as a nightmare. South Africa also suffered massively under the apartheid regime whereby law was introduced to veto any individual that was against the government. The authorities made sure that any person confirmed to be a government critic was closely censored and there was no way any newspaper could carry a story on such an individual. Saddam Hussein the former president of Iraq also directed the censorship of all press materials that he saw might be questionable.
Another Arabic country that is regarded as mainly oppressive concerning the freedom of expression is Syria. The human rights organizations have been seen in the front line to criticize the government on opinionated detentions and arrests. The foremost obstruction is the inability to afford the Internet services and the ultimate suppression from the government censorship bodies. In accumulation to maintaining rigid control of service providers, state imposes economic and technological constraints to the users of the Internet.
The history of military censorship dates back from the first and second world wars. The military intelligence was vital and crucial for any army to succeed in a battle. There were some secrets and strategies of war that were to be practical in keeping ahead of the opponent, and were applied especially when spying on the next move. The Indian troops of the year 1914 were some of the victims of the forces scrutiny in the famous Western Front.
There was consistent examination of mails by a band of censors that were instructed to compile seven-day information commenting on the contents of the letters. Several specific letters were collected and then translated. They were containing every all details of the sender.The majority of the troops were illiterate, and that meant in residing to others for writing of the letters. For that reason, they had a frantic time of identifying the corporation clerks who were to write the outgoing and to read the incoming mails. They later found out that the authority was censoring their mails and this prompted some of the soldiers who were educated to change writing tactics.
The censors who were intelligent managed to decipher most of the mails written in oblique idiom revealing of their horrors. The US Military censorship was uncommon in the early democracy due to the archaic lines of communications in the forces operational areas. Information received from the facade was never valued for more than a week. When the media fraternity became more complex in later centuries, there was need for scrutiny.
Telegraphic lines were federalized during the civil war era and this was due antagonism correspondence, that the authority wanted to suppress. The civic demand for current updates pivoted the tough contest for the reporters and this saw proficiency in professionalism.Indeed many uncensored news reported were mostly fake, but tolerance was deployed for the authority new, some traces of intelligence could be seen to influence civil opinion. The American war with the Spanish had several efforts of censorship thwarted after a vast logistical failure to conceal violence inflicted by the American troops.” You have not transformed a man since you have silenced him.” John Morley once wrote.
The American government also commanded transatlantic communications that included mails and the line cable. The information from the entire media fraternity, were subjected to strict censorship. When the World War II started, the US government in 1941 had a censor office that scrutinized all the out going and the in coming mails. Some of the in coming mails contained pictures of wounded soldiers and were never wanted to be seen publicly.
This seemed to worry the authority so much, that they had to step up censorship. Reporters had to concur and with strict regulations ended up performing self censorship to avoid victimization. The Vietnam conflict experienced comparatively pleasant bond flanked by the forces and the journalists. Inadequate in their ability to confine the flow of information, the administration had to grant the press practically unfettered admission to the combat zone. When the Americans invaded the gulf region, it was certainly, fair giving more space for coverage and less restrictions.
The application of negative ideologies to corporate sector has greatly impacted on some victims of corporate suppression. Giving out threats to commercial acquaintances, denying admittance in market field and other commercial monopolies are seen to be traces of corporate censorship. Many articles have been denied circulation by corporate bodies in view of tarnishing the media fraternity fearing loses or impeachment.
Sports and film bodies have also suffered silently at the mercy of the corporate censorships. A survey carried out by an independent body found out that, reporters at state media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and the broadcast networks, mostly were from one party where attitudes were well left to the universal community on a selection of topics, counting on social issues such as abortion, positive action, and gay rights.
The interviewers recognized their prejudice when expressing some of the burning matters involving security of nuclear supremacy, to ethnic promotion, and the1970s power calamity.Their conclusion was that the writers reporting of divisive issues asserted their own opinions leaning to insensible procedures of concurring persons and analysis on their collective assumptions without acknowledging the reality on the ground.
In assurance, this doomed that information houses engaged principally on one party would fabricate equally slanted perception headed for the prejudiced bearing. Many countries of the world particularly African governments are out to gag the media especially those radio stations broadcasting in ethnic languages, which get threats of closure by their oppressors who believe they are perpetuating cultural hatred.Beaumarchais the French writer lamented, “Seeing that as I don’t put in writing about the government, religion, politics, and other institutions, I am free to publish everything.”
In one intellect, the dispute for censorship equality is prevailing. Main concern is the menace of incompetent and unprofessional censorship still lurks with the increasing junction of media providers and modern technologies. Expectations are high that established broadcasters will strengthen their fight for the appropriate delivery of quality services to their customers even though, dictatorial anxiety is still being asserted to these classified operators.
Nonetheless, certain protections from the law are needed while chances are high that current situations shall be put to rest. General public attitude to recent days can be quantified as saying that in many countries across every diverse sections of expansion, it has never been that easy for immediate custodians of children that is; parents to keep an extra close eye on their kids. It is believed that most frequently censored materials are books, for the majority of them dwell on offensive mechanisms mainly politics, gender, sexuality religious values, cultural backgrounds, sacrilegious articles or rebellious and might not be appropriate for the children.
The educational facilities especially libraries are the most vital treasures in any society that value education. They are therefore charged with the full responsibility to both public more so to the children who are at no time required to access any material that might generate a negative attitude, towards their development and later service to the community at large. Censorship as many say could be the restriction of ideas and expressions, but to look at the issue summarily, there are specific questions that must be addressed and put back to their order of sequence. It is clear that no parent will allow any kid to pop in the library and come out with a book containing of violent scenes, sexuality, or with a book that actually endorses witch craft or ethnicity.
Everyone has a great task of ensuring that this general assignment provided by nature be accomplished in the best method applicable. Many hurdles are encountered because strong opposition is met during the removal of unwanted materials that are regarded as risky. Nevertheless, the real victims here are the public. American Library Bill, First Amendment is violated when the removal of books is carried out and actually brings controversial dispute, for people see it as a violation of the act.
The subject of restriction of books in schools is sensitively charged, but having known the consequences is always necessary to avoid confrontational issues. When one considers reading any luminous manuscript, shows that we think autonomy of idiom is precious, we must be able to distinguish and crusade about its most composite and vital limits. The culture of censorship must go on but it must be done both morally and professionally.
Censoring of educational books and other materials require time and money Librarians have great task of ensuring that only censored books and articles are passed to the public. It is a collective responsibility for the parents to also confer with the librarians to advice on materials best for the children. For the exposure of uncensored materials might be harmful to the society; and our kids in particular are the most targeted. Absolutely it is important for the libraries to have censored books and educational materials, because the benefits of censorship outweigh the disadvantages.
Aulich, James (2007). Posters of War: Mass Communication and Weapons, New York: Hudson &Thames.
Douglas B. (2000). United States Radio and the Political Culture, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Pp. xx, 362.
Lockhart, William B.; McClure, Robert C (1960 ).The obscenity of suppression: Developing Constitutional Standard. Minnesota Law Review, v45 n1 p5-121.
Michael S. Sweeney (2001). Secrets of Victory: The Censorship Office of and the American journalists and Radio in World War II. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, Pp. 274.