When a news-worthy event happens, you can learn about it in a matter of minutes even when it happened hundreds of miles away. However, with the power to access all kinds of information at the tips of your fingertips, don’t you ever wonder if there are some things that you would be better off not knowing about? This is where the role of media censorship comes into light. Media censorship is the act of monitoring information and determining if it should be broadcast, published, or televised. This is done for different reasons, such as protecting a person’s privacy and avoiding the release of information that can affect a nation’s security. What are the advantages and disadvantages of allowing media censorship?
List of Pros of Media Censorship
1. It protects children from extremely violent and sexual material.
The internet, mobile phones, and television have made it easier for kids to access all kinds of content, even those that can negatively influence them. With media censorship children can surf the web and watch TV with more freedom while being protected from pornographic and heavily violent material.
2. It limits advertisements that can be harmful.
Some ads promote products that can be harmful to people’s health, such as those that can influence body shaming, unhealthy eating habits, and addiction. It is understandable why these types of advertisements should be censored.
3. It helps control hate.
The media can censor information that is slandering certain religions, race, companies, or individuals. This is helpful in avoiding the development of prejudice or discrimination based on false information or propaganda.
4. It helps protect security.
There are instances when sharing sensitive information may do more harm than good. By screening what is being reported and making sure it is published in a proper and timely manner, you can avoid panic and chaos.
List of Cons of Media Censorship
1. It encourages ignorance.
Ignorance is a tool that can be used to control people and keep them unaware about what is really going on in their community. Censoring information about corruption and injustices means people will continue to be victims and of abuse and exploitation.
2. It promotes manipulation for personal gain.
If the government is in charge of censoring media, politicians can use it to their advantage by allowing the publishing of information or advertisements only of companies, organizations, and other affiliations that support their political goals.
3. It limits education and awareness.
War, poverty, terrorism, epidemics, and climate change are some of the most pressing issues society is faced with today. Sugarcoating or screening the information presented to the public could prevent people from knowing what is really going on in the world and hinder them from preparing for or addressing global issues.
4. It takes away the freedom of speech.
The First Amendment of the American Constitution protects the freedom of speech, and this freedom is what the U.S. is built upon. Limiting what can and cannot be said or published by the media is taking away this basic right.
Media Censorship is a double-edged sword that, if used the wrong way, can be harmful to the one at the tip of the blade and the one who is holding the sword. So it is an idea that should be considered carefully and fairly.