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The Importance of Censorship in Today’s World

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The Importance of Censorship in Today’s World essay
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How important is censorship in today’s world?

Essay outline

  1. Use QTK method to analyse demands of the question. Identify the important phrases/ words and then list the associations· Question word: How· Topic Word: censorship· Definition of censorship: the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body· Defining the boundaries of the essay: mass media (print, electronic, new-age, public speaking/event organising) Key Words: important, today’s world important: cannot do without today’s world: present time, modern
  2. State stand. Agree to a large extent that censorship is important in today’s world3. Underlying assumption/s of the question that need to be addressed in essay. Censorship is assumed to be important. We need to address the EXTENT to which censorship is important. We can question this assumption by presenting an alternative view of censorship. For example, we can say that censorship is not desirable or important in today’s world and should be abolished because it deprives people of the right to know by censoring some information.

Thesis Statement

Topic sentences for each and every paragraph and corresponding development (in point form) for every topic sentence For. Protect the younger generation

Assumed that the younger generation is unable to differentiate what to and not to view. Parental control (computers), ratings of movies pornography, violence unsuitable for them, their development might be adversely affected. Stability of country political censorship to prevent political uproar in the country due to spread of information which destabilises the government (no matter objective/subjective) religious censorship, particularly important in the case of multi-racial and multi-religious Singapore – racial riots in the 1960s Curb social ills gambling, alcohol, cigarettes censor advertisements promoting them and at the same time promote advertisements discouraging them responsibility of the government for the welfare of the people

Prevent unnecessary panic among public spread of certain information, be it true or false, may evoke fear and uncertainty among the people· Eg. After the Japanese Fukushima disaster last year, the rumour of radioactive rain had fallen on the land of Singapore and could cause cancer spread rapidly. The message indeed caused some tension in the local society but in the end it turned out that it was only a rumour spreading from Philippines.

Hence, media censorship is pivotal in terms of controlling the spread of reliable information and preventing unnecessary panic. Against Freedom of speech everyone has the right to voice his or her opinions broadens perspective on a single issue and evokes thinking· but people may abuse this right. Not possible for full censorship. When information is blocked in one country, one can travel to another country to access that information· facebook/booksEg: In response to the question ‘To what extent are games a better alternative to books and lectures?’Topic sentence: Games allow interactivity that help students acquire skills more easily

Development:

  • Games provide context/ give examples
  • State countries/ educational systems that have used such games to successfully teach students vs. traditional educational means that do not reap such success so easily

Conclusion

Definition of terms:

Censorship: the examining of media and suppress parts deemed to be objectionable on moral, political or other grounds.

    1. Proposition: Censorship is important in today’s world.
      • Interpretation: Censorship provides many benefits to today’s society. Minimize harm caused by objectionable material in the media.
      • Expand Scope: Reasons for censorship, political/moral.
    2. Opposition 1: Censorship is not important in today’s world.
      • Interpretation: No clear results of censorship. Not efficient.
      • Expand scope: censorship has taken in a lot of resources but produced little noticeable effect. Censorship may be trying to solve a problem that does not exist or cannot be solved.
    3. Opposition 2: Censorship is instead harmful to society.
  • Interpretation: Censorship sometimes suppresses material deemed objectionable and this may cause harm to our society.
  • Expand scope: Different forms of harm censorship can cause; freezing ideas, hypocritical. Different levels of society. Essay outline: based on body paragraphs
  1. (Proposition) Consumption of violent media has been shown to have a strong correlation to the carrying out of violent acts of teens in real life. The process occurs through desensitization of the teens. Therefore, by censoring the violence in media, teens will carry out less violence in real life.
  2. (Proposition) Government use censorship to block certain information / messages / comments that may cause discord in the society, such as racist comments.
  3. (Opposition 1) Censorship is useless because there are other more important causes of violence in youths. Eradication of these other root causes is more essential.
  4. (Opposition 1) Modern technology, such as the internet is designed to circumvent censorship, making the censorship of such media useless and thus a waste of resources.
  5. (Opposition 2) Censorship freezes ideas in place. This may cause society to stagnate.

Thesis: There are many proponents of censorship that hail censorship as a panacea for social ills in today’s world. However, these optimists fail to realise that censorship today is becoming inefficient and irrelevant, failing to produce noticeable results despite the large amounts of resources pumped into it. In fact, censorship can harm society such as by causing ideas to stagnate.

Introduction: Censorship is the act of examining material and suppressing those that are deemed to be objectionable on moral, political or other grounds. It is perceived to be in direct contradiction to the freedom of expressing ourselves. Thus, many are now questioning the importance of this practice in today’s society, where liberty and freedom are our basic rights, and where there exist media like the internet which is near impossible to censor. There are many proponents of censorship that hail censorship as a panacea for social ills in today’s world. However, these optimists fail to realise that censorship today is becoming inefficient and irrelevant, failing to produce noticeable results despite the resources pumped into it. In fact, censorship can harm society such as by causing ideas to stagnate.

Body Paragraph 1: (Proposition)· Censorship against violence. The idea of censorship has its attractions, especially when it is aimed against violence in media. Censorship is seen to be the only firewall guarding teens from the adverse influences in the media. Violence is one of the most prevalent themes in media today. This is because it appeals to our animal instincts, and is hence the most successful in attracting audience. However, there is much fear amongst the population that violence will cast negative influences on teens. Numerous studies done in the US appear to point to the strong link between consumption of violent media and teenage violence. By comparing behaviour of teens that consume violent media regularly and teens who do not, these studies show that teens that do consume violent media tend to behave more violently, such as fighting more in schools. The mode of action of violent media in promoting teenage violence is thought to be as follows.

Consumption of violent media such as watching violent films or playing violent computer games increases the exposure of teens to violence. As teens may not be mature enough to differentiate clearly between right and wrong, they may gradually began to perceive such acts to be normal. The teens are thus desensitized to violence. These teens then carry out violent acts in real life, believing these acts to part of normal behaviour. The most obvious solution to this problem is censorship. By censoring out the violent elements in films or computer games, optimists hope that teens will be less exposed to violence and thus will not be desensitized to violence. As a result, the overall idea is that censorship will reduce violence from teens. Arguments (Paragraph 1): (Step-by-step in numerical order)

  1. Violence is one of the most prevalent themes in media today.
  2. Increases the exposure of teens to violence
  3. Teens may not be mature enough to differentiate clearly between right and wrong4. believing these acts to part of normal behaviour5. studies show that teens that do consume violent media tend to behave more violently,
  4. Censorship applied
  5. Teens less exposed to violence and thus will not be desensitized to violence

Body paragraph 2: (Proposition)· Censorship against racist commentsBesides violence, governments also often use censorship to suppress certain material that may spread discord throughout the population and this helps to maintain the harmony and unity of the society as a whole. An example is racist messages. In any multi-racial society, despite the best efforts of governments, there exist certain individuals that do not care about the well-being of the community. These individuals often post messages on the internet or other platforms that can be offensive to members of other races. This causes disharmony between different races and may even tear apart the social fabric of the community. By censoring such material, the government can prevent the offensive message from reaching the population and thus resolve the situation before it worsens. Thus, censorship is important in today’s world to maintain the harmony and unity in multi-racial societies such as Singapore. Arguments (Paragraph 2):

  1. There exist certain individuals that do not care about the well-being of the community
  2. These individuals often post messages on the internet or other platforms that can be offensive to members of other races.
  3. This causes disharmony between different races and may even tear apart the social fabric of the community
  4. Censorship applied5. prevent the offensive message from reaching the population6. resolve the situation before it worsens
  5. Maintain the harmony

Body Paragraph 3: (Opposition 1)· Censorship is largely ineffective due to other factors besides media. Despite the well-meaning rationales behind censorship, censorship today has produced little results. For example, one of the core functions of censorship is to suppress the violent elements in films and video games, thereby supposedly reducing teenage violence.

However, despite ever-increasing levels of censorship in media, such as the recent introduction of the PG13 rating for films in Singapore, teen violence remains a problem in society today. This is due to the presence of other factors that are more important than media, and the presence of these other factors render the mere application of censorship ineffective. Such factors include poor parenting, aggressive parents, bullies in schools and other environmental factors that culminate to induce a violent tendency on the teenager. Controlling and managing these factors, though harder, are actually much more important in reducing violent behaviour of teens.

What about the clear relationship between consumption of violent media and violent behaviour? Although such a relationship has been proven, this does not prove that the violent media cause the violent behaviour. It is reasonable to argue that both the consumption of violent media and the violent behaviour are caused by the same reason, the violent predisposition of the teen due to other environmental factors as discussed above. Thus, it is not violent films that make teens violent, but rather already violent teens prefer to watch violent films. It is then obvious that just censoring the violent films is not enough to reduce teen violence.

Arguments (Paragraph 3):

  1. presence of other factors that are more important than media
  2. such as poor parenting, aggressive parents, bullies in schools and other environmental factors
  3. induce a violent tendency on the teenager
  4. mere application of censorship has little or no effect
  5. Correlation of violent media consumption and violence in teens may be due to third factor.

Body paragraph 4: (Opposition 1)· Censorship ineffective due to technological advances. Censorship may also be ineffective due to advances in technology. An example is the internet. The internet is notorious for its openness. It allows people everywhere to upload files and data; and allow everyone else to see it. Within these files or information uploaded, there will be a certain portion that is coarse and objectionable, however with the internet; there is no way to censor this material. The internet is a cyber world; it evolves and changes far quicker than the real world. Thus, as current methods of censorship are applied, within seconds, someone in another part of the world will have found a way to get past these methods and objectionable material will continue to be posted. It is common knowledge that the Internet and the cyber community at large interprets censorship or blocking as damage and makes effort to route around it. So, how do you censor something that is intrinsically designed to prevent and circumvent blocking?

The answer is that you cannot. Arguments (Paragraph 4):

  1. The internet is notorious for its openness.
  2. Allow everyone else to see information
  3. There will be a certain portion that is coarse and objectionable
  4. The internet is a cyber world; it evolves and changes far quicker than the real world.
  5. As current methods of censorship are applied, within seconds, someone in another part of the world will have found a way to get past these methods
  6. Objectionable material will continue to be posted
  7. Intrinsically designed to prevent and circumvent blocking
  8. Cannot censor effectively

Body paragraph 5: (Opposition 2)· Censorship harms society by causing ideas to stagnate. Censorship refers to suppressing of material deemed to be objectionable. Admittedly, not all ideas are good. Offensive, degrading ideas do exist. However, the best way to deal with negative ideas is not to censor them, but to counter them with good ideas. In a heterogeneous ‘soup’ of ideas, the only way to differentiate good ideas from the bad is to allow all the ideas to compete freely in a marketplace.

The good ideas will stand out and the negative ideas will be rejected. Some good ideas, such as women’s rights, were initially perceived to be bad. Some bad ideas such the right to own slaves was once perceived to be good. Only through debate and competition amongst ideas did the better ideas prevail and the bad ones disappear. Censorship threatens not only to mistakenly block good ideas that appear bad at first sight but also to freeze all ideas in place. It is not by chance that dictatorial and authoritarian societies practice heavy censorship. These regimes know that if they allowed these ideas to proliferate, they will be outcompeted. An example is the Arab Spring Revolution. Many had attributed its occurrence to the spread of internet service in these countries, allowing the people to get ideas from outside world, uncensored by the government, thus allowing ideas like democracy to take root, compete, and eventually prevail in terms of popularity. This leads us to many questions we want to ask about censorship. How can the best ideas emerge when there is no debate? How can evil ideas ever be defeated is they cannot be challenged? How can society progress if that happens? Arguments (Paragraph 5):

  1. not all ideas are good. Offensive, degrading ideas do exist.
  2. the best way to deal with negative ideas is not to censor them, but to counter them with good ideas.
  3. allow all the ideas to compete freely in a marketplace.
  4. The good ideas will stand out and the negative ideas will be rejected.
  5. Some good ideas, such as women’s rights, were initially perceived to be bad. Some bad ideas such the right to own slaves was once perceived to be good.
  6. Only through debate and competition amongst ideas did the better ideas prevail and the bad ones disappear.
  7. Censorship threatens not only to mistakenly block good ideas that appear bad at first sight but also to freeze all ideas in place.
  8. dictatorial and authoritarian societies practice heavy censorship.
  9. These regimes know that if they allowed these ideas to proliferate, they will be outcompeted.
  10. How can the best ideas emerge when there is no debate? How can evil ideas ever be defeated is they cannot be challenged?
  11. How can society progress if that happens? Other arguments that can be considered:

Argument 6 (Opposition)

  1. Hypocritical nature of censorship
  2. standards of censorship do vary across cultures (give example: Islamic countries)
  3. Cause different cultures to have widely differing moral standards
  4. May cause tension between cultural groups as some groups are unable to accept / criticize the practices ofanother group.

Argument 7 (opposition):

  1. Censorship encompasses the impression of one group of people’s moral / political standards on others.
  2. This is not encroaches on the freedom of will.

Argument 8 (proposition):

  1. Censorship of highly sensitive materials such as military data/ political secrets from the mass media
  2. Leakage of such data may have tremendous repercussions for the country.
  3. Wikileaks

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The Importance of Censorship in Today’s World. (2019, November 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 2, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-important-is-censorship-in-todays-world/
“The Importance of Censorship in Today’s World.” GradesFixer, 26 Nov. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-important-is-censorship-in-todays-world/
The Importance of Censorship in Today’s World. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-important-is-censorship-in-todays-world/> [Accessed 2 Dec. 2021].
The Importance of Censorship in Today’s World [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Nov 26 [cited 2021 Dec 2]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/how-important-is-censorship-in-todays-world/
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