C*ns*rsh*p: ██████████


The Parthenon of Books, a replica of the Greek Parthenon made with over 100,000 banned books, that was displayed behind the Fridericianum museum, a former library that was the site of a 1933 ███ book burning. This installation was part of a German art festival organized to stand for the free circulation of ideas and knowledge. Photo by Heinz Bunse, published July 15, 2017, Some rights reserved, license link: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/, Original link of work: https://www.flickr.com/photos/buffo400/35972599702/in/photolist-WNLYCf-5vRDJF-4z5AY2-9EKZEo-7UWHnT-8GLYig-adXdS4-5i34i4-fnVJ7t-5eTZai-6yhLEr-4z9LEf-ktgakx-kAfeef-ciLT1h-8DTTGG-58tXBb-4Rw5kL-24y96R-57s4HN-cjf8xs-dVy7PS-ZCuX5H-51mjSz-e47moD-4z9NVY-idkfLv-4z5xaM-4z9LTQ-eTjc1W-caR8tq-5Xbgm2-6RbFko-5wx88t-87b8gN-7QR7pg-8A7L1v-ecAEyh-6BzSc1-bmHxE1-UkkaAW-4CCpY6-71ZSKY-kAdkcH-6fSSyE-TYP63D-7k6Kmu-7U9YpL-61pcSS-7SBYUk

Censorship – the ████████ of words, images, or ideas that are considered ██████ – has often been associated with . While the government isn’t exactly arranging book burnings , recent developments in mass media have left many █ that the government is setting up the stage for corporations to control ██ free speech on the web. In this age of information, censorship is somehow .

Censorship isn’t just the government slapping black bars over . Nowadays, many countries all over the world employ subtler methods to █ independent media. For example, take Venezuela, where the government █ journalists through anonymous ██. As Venezuelan journalist Tamoa Calzadilla put it:

This is not your classic censorship , where they put a ██ in the door of the newspaper and █ the journalists. Instead, they █ the newspaper, they the reporters and █ them into court, they on your communications and then them on state television. This is censorship for the 21st century.

However, don’t dismiss government █████ of the media as a foreign . Government censorship has always been a serious ███ in America. Take the Zenger trials of 1733, for example, where the English government accused John Peter Zenger of libel for printing articles pointing out the █████ actions of royal governor, William S. Cosby. ███████████████████████████████. Or take President John Adams’s infamous Sedition Acts, where he made it illegal to even ███████████. However, new █████ to the First Amendments have reared their ███████. For example, the current ████████ over net neutrality has left many citizens concerned that corporations could gain the power to █████ and ██████ the dissemination of information.

Yet, it’s not just ████████ influencing the media.There’s also self-censorship, avoiding certain topics out of deference to the sensibilities of others. Sometimes this silence is necessary to maintain civility, but does this silence go too ██?

Every writer often has to struggle with a certain question: Should I really write that? Can I write an article about people struggling with ██████ without a concerned parent trying to me to take it down? 

Social pressures reduce the spread of topics the majority deems offensive. Teenagers are legally allowed to post , but colleges maintain their right to rescind offers to people who do so. Maybe people aren’t always banned from █ for ██ remarks, but there’s also nothing protecting them from the social backlash of their own choices. Still, these same social pressures make it harder to talk about taboo topics. Take, for example, the abysmal provided in American schools and America’s unusually high teenage pregnancy rates, all caused by the public’s revulsion of the word █. How can we try to address █ if no one talks about it?

Censorship is a █ issue. On one hand, it seems reasonable that we wouldn’t want certain topics invading public places. While they aren’t illegal, it’s a generally accepted idea that ███ aren’t acceptable. Moreover, journalists are expected to respect the people they’re writing about, censoring the names of ███████████████████████ or ███ victims.

Yet, what’s the line between good taste and █ conformity?

Should we censor ████████? After all, don’t █ also have same the freedom of speech America keeps fighting to protect? Is the First Amendment swayed by morals or ethics? And if so, by whose? We can’t just promote laws when they serve our argument. There’s also the argument that censoring hate speech just drives it underground and causes more people to express these sentiments in the form of █ and .

Is it in good taste to not argue for ███████ right after a ██████ in order to not show insensitivity to this tragedy while knowing that nothing is ever going to change and that another mass ██████ is just around the corner?

This era sounds more and more like some ██████ novel.