Censorship: Types and Crimes

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Table of contents

  1. Political Censorship
  2. Moral Censorship
  3. Religious Censorship
  4. Military Censorship
  5. Censorship throughout history
  6. Crime and Censorship

Censorship has been around throughout the ages of history. It can be seen in the earliest time from the ancient Romans and Greeks. Censorship is the suppression or prohibition of speech or deletion of communicative material. That includes books, films, and news. Individuals censor things because they feel that it is obscene, politically unacceptable, objectionable, harmful, or a threat to security. There are four main types of censorship. Political, Ethical and Social, Religious, and Military. These are used in different countries and in different societies. Even in libraries and schools.

Political Censorship

Political censorship occurs when the government holds back information from its citizens. They could do this by concealing, falsifying, or distort information that its citizens receive by crowding out political news that the public receives. The government is able to do this because they have access to the army and secret police. They use their power to enforce the compliance of journalists. They spread that stories that the ruling authorities want people to believe. This often includes bribery, imprisonment, defamation and even assasination. Political parties do this to prevent the panic, uproar or possible revolution of citizens. Because of the power the government possesses, Government tv censorship bans political publication through legislation and executive power.

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Moral Censorship

Moral censorship is the removal of materials that are regarded to be obscene or otherwise questionable. This type of censoring can be used in homes all around the world. For example if a parent is trying to protect their children from exposure to crude humor, sexual content, drug references, etc. they would censor their devices or limit their privileges. Another example of moral censorship is pornography. It is censored and is only allowed for those 18 years of age or alder. Child pornography is especially censored with the most jurisdiction in the world. “Moral or social censorship’s to be attributed for ethical or social well-fear”.

Religious Censorship

Religious Censorship occurs when any material objectionable to a certain faith or religion is removed. Freedom of expression is controlled using religious authority. This often involves a dominant religion in a country that is forcing limitations on less prevalent ones. This form of censorship has had a long history and have been used in many societies and by many religions. Religious censorship can take form in the destruction of monuments, and text that contradict with the dominating faith. An oppressor can also shun the work of a certain religion because the content to not appropriate to its faith. Religion is a very sensitive matter. A product, book, film, or statue can offend or insult a certain groups beliefs and can be removed.

Military Censorship

Military censorship is the process of keeping military intelligence and tactics confidential. It is used to keep information away from an enemy or threat. Military administration is the highest authority to protect the supreme power of a country. Everything that is published that has to do with the military are all censored for the defense and security of the country. That includes: letters, pamphlets, and reports. Often, the military will try to suppress politically inconvenient information that has no actual intelligence value.

Censorship throughout history

Censorship dates all the way back to the ancient Romans and Greeks and is still used in present day with the advancements of technology. During ancient times emperors tried to subjugate and control everyone around them. They had the perception that they were either sent from God or that they were Gods. An example of ancient censorship occured between 270 and 275 AD. Back then the majority of people could not read or write but there was still a major city on the shores of egypt called Alexandria that had a vast majority of books. The library was repeatedly destroyed. The Saint Theophilus of Alexandria ordered the destruction of all pagan temples and articles. He was trying to block out everything that had to do with a religion that he did not believe in. Destruction was the form of censorship in ancient times.

The censorship of the Romans emperors was widespread throughout their time of power. So widespread that they had an office in the government dedicated to censoring what was going on in the republic. Their purpose was to take a census of citizens in the empire every five years. They would record each citizen's names, age, and the amount of property they owned. It was their way of keeping track of how many people were under their control and a way to group them for taxation purposes.

Another Censorship incident occurred in 1497 when the followers of an Italian priest, Girolamo Savonarola, burned items such as pornography, pagan books, and other things that were deemed to be sinful including cosmetics. The focus of that destruction was on objects that could tempt someone to sin. Some were things people used or wore everyday such as mirrors, fine dresses, cosmetics, and musical instruments. They also destroyed immoral books, manuscripts of non religious songs and pictures. That act became known as the Bonfire of the Vanities. They wanted to control the things that people were reading and to direct their beliefs towards a certain religion. Censorship did not stop there. It had a heavy influence in the life of Italians under the Fascist regime from 1922 to 1944. To control what the people believed the Government ordered the deletion of any content that could allow opposition, suspicions or doubts of Fascism. There was censorship of public and private communication, press, and military. They tried to control all aspects of life and shift the ideology of the people to agree with Fascism.

The Nazis also had their own way of censoring what people around them saw and the books that they read. Nazi censorship was extreme and strictly enforced by the governing Nazi party. They controlled all forms of mass communication. That included newspapers, music, literature, radio and films. In 1933 the Nazis burned thousands of books that were written by jewish authors or authors that had different ideals because they were “un-German”. They were against anything that had to do with Jewish people. An estimated 100 thousand books were burned. The Nazis produced and spread their own literature that was solely devoted ideas and myths.

In modern times there is still censorship taking place even in a democratic country like the United States. An example of something that still being censored today is the Internet. The internet is the modern source of communication worldwide and a public domain but the government still tries to put limitations on how it is used. Because the internet lets anyone have public access from anywhere they go with instant gratification it is harder for the government to patrol. There are many social networking groups that make keeping track of every single post impossible. Some targeted censored sites are YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, Google, and Pornographic sites. Another example of another thing that is censored is the Television industry. The Television industry is more controllable than the internet. Movies and Television show ratings are according to how graphic they are. They do this so people can get weeded out of the group if they are not of age for the content. Companies make great efforts to censor bad words and limit language shown on Television programs so it is suitable for all ages.

Crime and Censorship

Controlling what is viewed on Television is the responsibility of the government. It keeps society safe and respectable. It also gives children a better chance of developing in a healthier way, it lowers crime rates, helps to reform hardened criminals, and preserves moral and social order. When these points are taken into account we can see that censorship is a necessity.

One culprit of criminal behavior is Television violence. It has a negative impact on violence prone individuals and even children going through a vulnerable stage in their development. A typical child watches eight thousand murders and one hundred thousand acts of violence before completing elementary school. When people are often exposed to violence it is only natural for that person to become desensitized to criminal acts. They lose their proper sense of right and wrong after repeatedly seeing horrific things happen in false reality and become immune to the feeling of disgust towards the atrocious deed. Adult violent offenders tend to show the same personality features as those children. One of them being that they tended to have viewed violence on Television.

The evidence that shows that censorship has a positive effect is found in the minds of criminals. Statistics show that eighty-one percent of criminals rate pornography as their highest sexual interest. Psychologist Mary Anne Layden said, in an interview with Abigail Biggs from Josh McDowell Ministry, “I had been doing this work for more than 10 years before I realized that I had not treated one case of sexual violence that did not include pornography”. Criminals take adult pornography and child pornography as a sign of permission to commit those acts themselves. “Adult pornography is Permission-Giving as well: for adult rape, for combining sex with violence, for the message that when women say no they mean yes, for male sexual entitlement to have sex with whomever they want, whenever they want, however they want, for the message that male sexuality is viciously narcissistic, predatory and out of control and that female sexuality is insatiable and indiscriminant”. Adult pornography send the message that there is no need for consent, and that men are dominating and are entitled to sex anywhere and with anyone they choose. It also portrays that sex is not intimate and is supposed to be vicious with a preditor adn prey mentality. Pornography is mis-education about sexuality. Criminals start to believe that this acceptable. Some even believe that their victims actually enjoy it just as much as they do.

It applies to child pornography as well. In the interview Laden said “Child rapists tell me they know that kids like to have sex with adults because they have seen their smiling faces in the child pornography they access on the Internet”. What these people see on the internet shift their morals and what they believe. Censoring what people have access to and what they see could lower crime rates. No one will mimic what they saw in a pornographic video if they do not have access to the video to begin with. Taking away pornography from criminals allows their minds to focus on other things and could prove to be an impotant tool in the reform of hardened criminals. It is no coincidence that when an adult bookstore is shut down the crime rate in the surrounding areas falls significantly.

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Censorship: Types and Crimes. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/censorship-types-and-crimes/
“Censorship: Types and Crimes.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/censorship-types-and-crimes/
Censorship: Types and Crimes. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/censorship-types-and-crimes/> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
Censorship: Types and Crimes [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/censorship-types-and-crimes/
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