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Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient." Censorship can be conducted by governments, private institutions, and corporations. Governments and private organizations may engage in censorship. Other groups or institutions may propose and petition for censorship. When an individual such as an author or other creator engages in censorship of their own works or speech, it is referred to as self-censorship. General censorship occurs in a variety of different media, including speech, books, music, films, and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of claimed reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children or other vulnerable groups, to promote or restrict political or religious views, and to prevent slander and libel. Direct censorship may or may not be legal, depending on the type, location, and content. Many countries provide strong protections against censorship by law, but none of these protections are absolute and frequently a claim of necessity to balance conflicting rights is made, in order to determine what could and could not be censored. There are no laws against self-censorship.


Bleep censor

Bleeping has been used for many years as a means of censoring TV programs to remove content not deemed suitable for "family", "daytime", "broadcasting", or "international" viewing and personal information for privacy. The bleep censor is a software module, manually operated by a broadcast technician. A bleep is sometimes accompanied by a digital blur or box over the speakers mouth in cases where the removed speech may still be easily understood by lip reading. On closed caption subtitling, bleeped words are usually represented by ".", sometimes the phrase ", occasionally hyphens e.g. f - k f---, and sometimes asterisks or other non-letter symbols, remaining faithful to the audio track. Where open captions are used generally in instances where the speaker is not easily understood, a blank is used where the word is bleeped. Occasionally, bleeping is not reflected in the captions, allowing the unedited dialogue to be seen. Sometimes, a "black bar" can be seen for closed caption bleep. Bleeping is normally only used in unscripted programs – documentaries, radio features, panel games etc. – since scripted drama and comedy are designed to suit the time of broadcast. In the case of comedies, most excessive bleeping may be used for humorous purposes. Other uses of bleep censoring may include reality television, infomercials, game shows and daytime/late night talk shows, where identifying information such as ages, surnames, addresses/hometowns, phone numbers and attempts to advertise a personal business without advanced or appropriate notice will be silenced or bleeped to maintain the subjects privacy such as seen for subjects arrested in episodes of COPS. When films are edited for daytime TV, broadcasters usually prefer not to bleep swearing, but cut out the segment containing it, replace the speech with different words, or cover it with silence or a sound effect. In the United Kingdom, under Ofcom guidelines, television and radio commercials are not allowed to use bleeps to obscure swearing. However, this does not apply to program trailers or cinema advertisements. In the United States, the FCC has the right to regulate un-bleeped indecent broadcasts, but neither actively monitors television broadcasts nor keeps a record of television broadcasts. The FCC enforces indecency laws on reports of un-bleeped indecency occurring during watershed the time when adult programming is allowed to be broadcast that are documented by the public. Some television and cinematic productions work around the requirement of a censor bleep by writing dialogue in a language that the intended audience is unlikely to understand for example, Joss Whedons Firefly used untranslated Chinese curses to avoid being bleeped.


Censorship in the West Bank

Censorship in the West Bank is the practice of controlling the content of what media within the West Bank were permitted to state, and what was, in various periods, denied free expression.


Chilling effect

In a legal context, a chilling effect is the inhibition or discouragement of the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights by the threat of legal sanction. The right that is most often described as being suppressed by a chilling effect is the US constitutional right to free speech. A chilling effect may be caused by legal actions such as the passing of a law, the decision of a court, or the threat of a lawsuit; any legal action that would cause people to hesitate to exercise a legitimate right for fear of legal repercussions. When that fear is brought about by the threat of a libel lawsuit, it is called libel chill. A lawsuit initiated specifically for the purpose of creating a chilling effect may be called a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. "Chilling" in this context normally implies an undesirable slowing. Outside the legal context in common usage; any coercion or threat of coercion or other unpleasantries can have a chilling effect on a group of people regarding a specific behavior, and often can be statistically measured or be plainly observed. For example, the news headline "Flood insurance spikes have chilling effect on some home sales," and the abstract title of a two‐part survey of 160 college students involved in dating relationships: "The chilling effect of aggressive potential on the expression of complaints in intimate relationships."


Criminal speech

Criminal speech is a legal concept that identifies certain kinds of speech as a crime through promulgated laws or rules. Criminalization of speech is a direct pre-emptive restriction on freedom of speech.


Editors Committee (Israel)

The Editors Committee is an informal forum comprising the editors and owners of the main Israeli media. It meets regularly with the prime minister, cabinet members and senior officials. Until the 1980s, it took a central role in the self-censorship practiced by the Israeli media. The understanding was that the information reported to the committee would not be published in the media, even once received from another source.

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