All of you know what censorship is. I’m not talking about the Hentai censorship, in particular, I mean Censorship in the greater picture, to either protect audiences or victims. Depending on where you live, you might think it’s unfair, or even believe that your media is not censored at all.
Nowadays you might think that you are there is no censorship, but looking at the bare facts: It’s everywhere. I’d be surprised if there is a country that does not apply censorship to the media in one form or another.
For those of you that don’t know censorship: Censorship is the alteration of information and media, or even deletion, to either protect audiences (new version), keep the people ignorant (old version) and protect normal people that are being broadcasted in the media.
In the past censorship was first issued by the church, halting development and stopping any and all innovation until the late 15th century in europe. Later it was issued by politicians but instead of keeping the information entirely, they just offered certain parts of the medium. One of the most famous examples is, at least for germany, how Bismarck agitated France to start the German-French war that was before WW1, and he won over the hearts of the entire German people (which at that time was not united) and hurting the pride of France.
In WW2 it was used by the Nazis, by burning any liberal and communist literature (even children books, if they were written by a socialist). It was used by the russians, turning the greatest loss into a victory and by the U.S.A., keeping their nuclear experiments hidden. Following that, the Cold War was all about censorship. The question is: Are we really free of Censorship nowadays?
My answer is: No. “Why?”, is what you are most likely going to ask. How should I put it… I’ve experienced at least some kinds of censorship in every country I in the 14 years I remember. Starting chronologically: While I was five I always wondered why they would put black bars on the faces of people in the Newspaper. Now I know that it was to protect the people from getting widely known. The problem in germany is: They wright that damn name there, and usually even the town the person resides in! So that makes no real sense so far.At least in some countries they write victim A. instead of Mr. Peter Strauss
The next event was while watching Dragonball. The first airing in Germany was so heavily censored that they halved the episode length, and left a quarter of them out because: “They are not appropriate for TV”. Well the re-airings were uncensored at least. but every new anime is heavily censored.
The next example is in the U.S.. There most games that even contain hints of explicit content are either banned, or only sold under the counter. The interesting thing is that this censorship focuses on sexual content (meaning no bare breast), alcohol and drugs, and explicit language. The latter is resolved by the famous beep tone. In germany it’s the opposite. Sex can be witnessed in videos that are rated with age 12, but if it comes to violence everything is cur out.
Now you might mention that these are for some special areas of media, but nothing important, right? So let me get to the next step: News censorship. Instead of traditional censorship, the new way of doing things is to bias one side, so that some things are left unspoken. The years 2008-2009 I attended grade 11 in Canada. I was amazed with all the different TV channels from different countries. You might remember that around that time was also an aggression from Israel towards Lebanon and Syria. Well, I compared the BBC broadcast stating that: “Dozens of Civilians were killed in the last Airraid by Israel…”, to a broadcast from CNN. There they said something along the lines: “The Israeli airforce just bombed one of the major Hisbollah Terrorist Cells. No civilians were injured.”
First of all, the last time I followed this thematic: Hisbollah is a militia not a terrorist cell. Second: Why do these news-reports contradict each other. I belive this kind of censorship is applied because the U.S. people is pretty patriotic. They believe what their country does is right, so the news have to tell them just that (no offense intended, but I found a couple of surveys that were stating that). But well, that Israel thing is a touchy issue, so you might not count that as an argument.
There are two kinds of censorship I still haven’t mentioned, that are still around: First the feudal kind of censorship in the autocraties of the oriental states (take Jordan as an example). Since Internet is not a standard there, that is not very hard. I visited it a couple of times, and noticed that they were keeping sensitive information away from the people (like the liberal movements of the neghbouring countries. It took about ten days to spread properly.)
The last one is the one that is found in China. There, they are simply blocking of the information, that they don’t want. It’s the same ofr north Korea btw. Now there are two facts that make this seem a little out of place: First: How do they keep 1.3 billion people ignorant about some things? and Second: They have Internet. Well to the first fact I just have to mention the one-child policy: If they can keep 1.3 billion people from founding families with more than one child, then censorship should be easy, right?
The Internet problem is probably one of the most impressive feats I have seen in my seventeen year long life: They have and maintain a hacker force (official size unknown) to control the Internet for things that might be harmful for the Peoples Republic of China. The world had first taken note of this hacker force in an incident when the U.S. powerplants where hacked, and they found the same traces in many european powerplants.
So now, do you still think you live without censorship? I don’t, and I think that some things actually are pretty good. Like keeping violence away from the children and protecting victims from becoming public. But get rid of the other stuff, as that is more harmful to us and the governments, than that it is helpful.
Post Script: Congratulations if you read it all 😉
Post Post Script: If you want to apply that to Hentai, you are free to copy and alter any part of this post.