censorship: how far is too far?

i have recently been reading books on censorship and i was wondering, in ur opinion how far does censorship go before we break the first amendment.

All the way to West End and 72nd, I think. But possibly even farther.

Seriously, dude, I reckon you’ll need to define your terms a little more specifically. Because the only possible answer to your question as it stands is “It depends.”

It depends.

…on who’s doing the censoring. If the government, then not far. If a private entity, then way far.

If it’s a private entity, it’s not censorship under the law.

What books have you been reading (textbooks, maybe?) and what did they argue?

ive read diffrent textbooks, a cople netural, a couple for and a couple against. what i want to know is sould language be censord

It would help the debate enormously if you posted a more coherent, detailed question.

What language are you talking about? Censored by whom?

Could you give some examples?

Perhaps yours should be.

Look, let’s start here: what do you think is meant by “censorship?”

Well, I’d say- no where at all. There should be NO official Government censorship.

I work in the Pentagon. I have stolen the list of nuclear launch codes for all our sub and missiles, the locations of all our troop deployments all over the world, and the names, photos, and false identities of every undercover US operative in the world, as well as the names of foreign nationals that have been giving the US information.

Shall I be permitted to publish it?

As has been said, “censorship” is a pretty broad term. I guess in the most general sense, “censorship” can be defined as any ban on any type of communication of any sort. If that’s the definition you want to use, then hell yes, there should be censorship, by both the government and by individuals. I shouldn’t be legally allowed to slander, to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater, to publish confidential documents pertaining to national security, and all manner of other (hopefully obvious) examples. Beyond that, though, I think there are some other places where the government should get involved, if need be.

For example, I don’t think a 5 year old should be able to turn on the TV on a weekday morning and see hardcore porn sandwiched in between Teletubbies episodes on NBC. Ideally, the networks should monitor themselves, and self-censor to the extent that our children are reasonably protected from such adult content. Absent such responsibility, though, I have no problems with the government stepping in and setting certain guidelines.

Similarly, I think it’s okay for the government to prevent a sex shop or strip-club from opening up across the street from an elementary school. That censorship, but it’s also common sense.

Beyond government intervention, it’s a good idea for people (and companies) to censor themselves. TV networks should keep shows clearly meant for themselves on at later hours, after the kiddies have gone to bed. Stores should keep the girlie mags somewhere where children can’t access them. Radio stations should perhaps refrain from giving David Duke a talk show. This self-censorship should stem from a general desire to not piss off your market.

Of course, there’s a big difference between this sort of censorship and political censorship. If I want to get up in front of a crowd of people and extol the virtues of Nazism, that should be my right. And if someone in my audience wants to tell me that I’m an evil bastard, that’s his right, too. One should have a right to speak, but that doesn’t guarantee you a right to be listened to, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee you a right to be agreed with. Of course, all this talk of political censorship applies to the government only. People and businesses should be perfectly free to censorship whatever they please. ABC shouldn’t be obligated to provide free time for Holocause Revisionists to speak their minds.

Or something like that.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Sounds pretty clear, doesn’t it?

Unfamiliar with Constitutional Law, are we?

Do your own homework, kid.

I’m in agreement with the need for clear and present danger being required before any censorship.

Writing, or saying, as an opinion that all grain merchants should be horsewhipped and run out of town is entirely different from standing in front of a grain dealers’s house and saying to the mob, “There the son-of-a-bitch is, get him boys.”

If you can publish it after being executed for Treason, well… :smiley:

It isn’t that you can’t get information illegally, and be punished for it. If you steal that info, you can be punished for *stealing * it, there does not need to be another crime of publishing it.

I can see a case for “clear & present danger” situations, but that line should be as clear and bright as your example.

And, you know, I can see (and have seen) the old “slipperly slope” come into any Censorship law.

Let us take “Child Pornography”. I think we can all agree that kiddieporn is sick, those who make it are evil and need to be locked up, and those who view it are sick perverts. Now for this, I am going to define “Child Porno” as just that: we are not including Traci Lords films (underaged, but not a child, and not looking like a child) or parent’s “bearskin rug” fotos, or some sleaze taking secret shots of little girls with their dresses up in the swings at the Park. We are talking about hardcore abuse of pre-pubescent children. So we certainly can & have passed laws that say that those who make & sell this stuff are criminals. Fine. And, SCOTUS has also said that if Child porn is allowed to be sold, it will create a market, and thus making it illegal stops the greater evil of sexual abuse of children. Well, I can see their point, we do have a greater calling to protect the children.

But let us see where the “slope” has led us: 1. Those who own the Traci Lords films prosecuted. 2. Families who took innocent photos of their baby being naked are arrested.- and their children taken away 3. Bookstores who have legit art Foto books of recognized artists are raided. 4. Congress passes laws that make “fake” Child Porno- where there IS no child (made up shots) also illegal as “Child Porn” (SCOTUS overturned the first of these, but they are writing more). 5. Some dude who “accidentally” only viewed a kiddie porn site (but did not buy anything or download anything) is arrested- and we all know we can be that dude too easily. None of these “protect the child”.

I really think the abuses of the Lawmakers & Police have exceeded that of those who only POSSESS or view kiddie porn.

So- do I feel even this “censorship” law is bad? Yes. Arrest those who MAKE child porno, and those who are in the direct downline can also be arrested as accomplices.

**Unfamiliar with Constitutional Law, are we?


Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware that Constitutional Law bears no relation to the actual Constitution. I am also under no illusions as to which one counts.

Right. I’d also like to point out that the specific problem with child porn is that the children are being abused. (Since they are underage, they cannot make a decision about the matter by themselves, and are thus being abused even if they are just photographed from afar.) The other issue is the social stigma against it; it is regarded as horrific by the vast majority of the populace. However, you can’t force somebody to undergo psychiatric treatment just because he or she is a sexual deviant. Therefore, one must realize that while the idea of child pornography by itself would fall under the First Amendment, the violation of others’ individual rights is what makes it a crime.