Censorship Debate

There are certain types of censorship that have been the subject of debate for many years, the main ones being violence and sexual content. Although we as a society have mainly become desensitised to violence, there are still instances where it is deemed unsuitable. There have been debates over whether to censor TV because of certain programs that feature violence and sexual content, and how children may come across it and watch it. This is often spoken out against by those who claim that parents should have control over what their children watch, and that it is down to the parents responsibility rather than the government or censorship organisations to decide what is and isn’t suitable to be broadcast.

There are certain measurements in place to make sure that there is some control over how certain kinds of programs are broadcast, such as the watershed, in which after 9pm, programs that feature adult content can be broadcast.

censorship

Censorship is important in certain cases because material that is deemed sensitive, e.g. political, military, religious has to be covered up to protect either the public or those involved in the footage.

“Video Nasty” is a term coined by Mary Whitehouse in a campaign to ban and censor violent films and television programs in order to protect children from watching them. Many films and TV programs banned and heavily censored  due to the rise in VHS tapes that featured extreme violent content.  At the time, video cassettes weren’t classified, meaning that young children were able to rent out the ultra violent films and watch them. Mary Whitehouse and many supporters wanted a censorship ban on all violent videos, and for censorship organisations to start putting certifications on films in order to stop young children from being exposed to them. Many raids were carried out and arrests were made on video rental shops that provided these “video nasties” to children. Even though many of these films were banned, since then they have been re-submitted to classification boards for reviewal, and eventually, for re-release.

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