Uses and Abuses of Censorship


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Uses and Abuses of Censorship

The uses and abuses of censorship in developed and developing countries have been under discussion for quite a long time. Although societies claim for freedom of thought and expression, which are indispensable to live peacefully, censorship is sometimes necessary, due to the fact tha its abuse may badly influence the behaviour of a society and may also result in anarchism.

There are different kinds of censorship. The most common ones are: governmental, press and television censorship. The first one is connected with the respect and consideration people should live with. If the citizens of a country do not have the chance of giving voice to their discontent, they feel furstrated and inhibited. Freedom of expression is extremely important inthis case. People must have the opportunity of saying what the think in order to improve the conditions of living, without governmental censorship. Unfortunately, this freedom is sometimes exercised in a wrong way obliging the Government to use its power to censor demonstrators, because they behave violently and irrationally. It is clear, then, that it is highly positive that people have freedom of expression, but on the other hand, that freedom must be used in logical and civilized terms, to improve life in society, otherwise its bad use may lead to a social chaos.

Press censorship is quite common nowadays. The press plays an important part in modern societies. Although there are some exceptions, some journalists and reporters are nowadays mor reliable than most of the politicians. Independent press has the freedom of publishing true facts about everyday governmental activities and decisions. In some cases, if the press did not investigate political and government affairs, people would never know some decisions, which most of the times, are in favour of leaders and against grass roots. It is said that the press is the fourth estate by the influence it has on the society, consequently, it should never be censored by the Governmet. Unfortunately, sometimes this freedom is used by journalists with political tendencies, so Government should have the power to investigate secret arrangements between the opposite political parties and some corrupt journalists.

Another common case of censorship is the one shown by the Government, which in past times used to censor some television programmes. There are a lot of examples of programmes which were prohibited by governmental organizations. This was the clearest exemplification of censorship in past times.

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Nowadays, there is a tendency to think that people have the freedom to single out programmes while zapping. One of the main arguments against television censorship are that people are free to choose and that artists are allowed to create, however, there is no doubt that some programmes are extremely harmful, especially for adolescents. Consequently, and in spite of political risks, Government should take some measures as regards some pernicious and detrimental programmes on television using censorship, if necessary.

It is believed that in a democratic political system, censorship must no be accepted under any circumstances, however, there should be some exceptions taking into account some cases which may incite to a general and massive state of violence which may highly risk that democratic system of government.


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