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Concept Essay

            Censorship Censorship is a word of many meanings. In its broadest sense it refers to suppression of information, ideas, or artistic expression by anyone, whether government officials, church authorities, private pressure groups, or speakers, writers, and artists. It may take place at any point in time. communicators of information that create dissention from the status-quo are punished and others that would follow them are subverted from the same expression. Restraints have the effect of limiting the diversity that would otherwise be available in the marketplace of ideas and so may be considered censorship in its broadest sense. There are almost as many justifications offered for the suppression of communication as there are would-be censors, but at root the motivation is always the same. Thus so-called obscene material is attacked because of a fear that it will corrupt personal morality or perhaps even lead to deviant sexual acts. School textbooks and library materials are sought to be purged by groups who fear that they may evoke immoral values in children. Information concerning national security is controlled by government, with particular severity in wartime, for fear that its revelation may aid an enemy. The fear of invasion of privacy, real or imagined, is what drives the censorial impulse. Censorship has been practiced in both the narrower and the broader senses as long as there have been organized cultures. Those societies which have been most confident of their principles and loyalty of their members have allowed the greatest freedom from censorship, for they have been the least fearful of the consequences of dissent. In societies whose values have not been fully accepted by their people or whose leadership rests on shaky foundations, is where the heaviest hand of censorship has fallen. With the advent of technology and the expansion of resources via the interent and related mediums censorship as well as pornography has found new means of expression and a new problem for society to deal with.

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