"Fear of chaos cannot justify unwarranted censorship of free speech" (Quittner). This quotation came from a speech made by Vice President Al Gore, who was addressing the graduating class of 1996 from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This quotation expresses his viewpoint on this subject of censorship.
Censorship has always been an issue in the world. What exactly is censorship? A censor is one who is authorized to examine books, films, or other materials and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable. Censorship is the act of removing this questionable material. Understandably, it is illegal to yell fire in a crowded room or use children for pornographic purposes, but the power of censors has exceeded logical boundaries. Works of art, such as Huckleberry Finn and Miss Saigon , have felt the full strength of censorship. The main problem regarding censorship is not knowing who has the right to determine what is valuable art and what is smut.
Quite often members of religious groups take it upon themselves to determine the value of something. Those people who endorse censorship feel that they are protecting society from, among other things, violence, sex and the differences in sexual preference. .
At the same time, however, they are giving the power to restrict expression to a select few. Advocates of censorship feel that they have the right to ban works of art that express what they feel are erroneous ideas. What may seem erroneous to these advocates, may sculpt another's view on life and may reflect how they feel. Who has the right to determine who is right and who is wrong? The censors who feel that this right is theirs, also have stifled creativity and have interfered with the discovery of truth.
On February 8, 1996, President Clinton signed the Communications Decency Act. This act outlaws obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy or indecent communication on the Internet (Bender).