Trevor E. North Dakota

I Will Choose a Path That's Clear, I Will Choose Free Will.

Censorship is just a word, its consequences are much more than that.

Dear Future President,

Censorship is a delicate issue with unintended consequences, and it is mostly unnecessary. Censorship, in layman’s terms, means the suppression of free speech to limit information. Though inherently it seems like a good idea, but when you look at its effects, history reveals a different story.

Censorship, unknowingly, limits creativity, quality, and freedom. For example, The Australian reports that China, a notably censored country, has thousands of theaters and cinemas owned by the Wanda conglomerate. With an increase in influence over the public the government has taken notice and passed legislation that imposes a stricter censorship protocol and higher ethical standards for actors and directors, as well as China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) controlling what films are shown. The country’s strict standards include a standard for films cause removal of scenes, characters, and themes of a movie just to fit within SARFT’s ethical boundaries. Those specifications include removal of ambiguity, film noir, and unhappy endings to remain more commercial. Combining ethics and profit-centric business controlling the film industry is a recipe for a deficit in quality. Creators that want to fit outside of the proverbial box are merely shafted to the smaller screens. China, as a communist state, is not the most free country, but is merely an example of when it goes too far. I merely use it for demonstrating that a reason people censor their work in America is that they don’t want to lose foreign profits that could be made, or to protect themselves from government “intervention” because of their criticisms. A reason to censor outside of China, as demonstrated by many new DC films, is to maintain a certain rating. Companies censor their own work that is to air in theaters to maintain a certain age rating, and therefore be tangible to the largest audience possible.

Censorship also in direct contradicts the First Amendment, freedom of speech, the press, etc.. It usually occurs when a group deams a work unfit for their beliefs, so they ban, edit, burn, or do something to have the work fit into their view of what is right. Is it not true that America is a place of freedom? Freedom comes down to a choice, inability or flexibility. Throughout the ages people have been prosecuted for their works, says Gale Student Research In Context. Socrates was executed, Galileo was exiled, and several books were destroyed or banned all in the name of protecting some power that would be damaged by the ideas. It is the privilege, the duty, and the right of the American people to speak their minds.

Some groups may say that mankind has always benefitted by censorship. It prevents unready masses to receive information they can’t handle. They might say it protects the children, but they were censored to the truth. Children censored are from “obscene” subjects and must wait to be older. The children wouldn’t be able to apply the ideas that the works would state or imply. When the children are older, they will look back and realize what they meant and learn about it.

Back in the day, censorship was burning things that didn’t agree with you. Today it’s cutting and covering things to make them agree with you. What the future may bring if this is to continue, is a grim, dark, windowless room filled with people being fed watered down appealing imagery meant to sap the wealth out of the working man as a guised enjoyment tax. Remember back to the last film you saw in completion, did you see what it was supposed to be, or did you see what you were allowed to see?