Pornography Censorship Essay, Research Paper
The idea of censorship is nothing new to the American people. Censorship has
been controversial since I can ever remember. The issue is so delicate because
censorship by definition infringes on peoples First Amendment rights. Usually
when that phrase is used, controversy follows quite closely. Pornography is
another hotly debated issue. Parents have long wanted stricter laws to help
prohibit young children getting a hold of magazines, videos and other
pornographic materials. With the development of the Internet and the World Wide
Web it has become even more of a challenge to prevent children from being
exposed to such material. These are some questions that people need to ask them
selves and legislators. Should magazine companies, such as Playboy, Penthouse,
etc, be prohibited from publishing their magazines on the web when magazines
like Time, and Sports Illustrated are allowed? How easy is it to access such
magazines? Do people want to have such magazine so accessible to just anyone?
What can and is being done and what are the political ramifications?
Anyone with access to a computer that is equipped with on-line services can view
such magazines with relative ease. Although, studies show Internet pornography
only represents a small portion of Internet traffic it still is quite effortless.
Basically the only thing one needs to do is select any of the search engines and
simply type: sex. This will pull up a host of different sites where one can
easily click on any of them and view pornography. What many groups are trying to
do is make it less accessible to people and especially young people. What is
happening is that the term pornography is which a broad word used in many
different contexts and is difficult to determine what should be censored.
Pornography is defined in Webster’s dictionary as pictures, film, or writing
which deliberately arouse sexual excitement. Well one thing might sexually
excite one person but not another person. So by this definition one can
understand why there is a lot of room for discrepancy. Until there is a
universal definition of what is meant by pornography there will continue to
heavy to debate.
This is strong demand for such magazines as Playboy and Penthouse on the
Internet, this is evident in the sales of each of the magazines in the news
sales. But the accessibility of the magazine though the Internet is the real
question. Do people want pornographic magazines readily available to young
children, since computerized technology is now so encouraged to young children.
Well censorship on the Internet would call for on-line service provides to
patrol the content of online discussions: news groups, chat rooms, bulletin
boards, Web pages, etc. Most American do not want to see this happen. What most
people want is, as Susan Wendell explains, ?society has the right to protect
itself from the disorder and moral disintegration that result from individuals
unduly pursuing their sexual self-interest… the government has the right,
therefore, to limit such forms of expression.? What she is essentially saying is
that if person are going to have no couth and continue to be indecent then the
government will be forced to step in. Is this wrong to want something like this.
Does this ?infringe upon our First Amendment Rights? or is this doing what is ?
necessary and proper.? This is where the real dispute lies. The on-line
companies need to find a happy median to statify everyone (which is extremely
difficult at this day in age). We want to protect the children. ?Children are
very impressionable and do not realize the implications behind the pornographic
materials: without censors onthe material, they will be able to feely access
information that will corrupt their morals?(Caleshu 4).
There are a number of perposal in Congress that would give some form of
censorship or totally make the Internet free and open to all. Bills such as
Sentor James Exon’s Communications Decency Act which would punish any person who
makes available any indecent communications in any form. Another similiar bill
is the Communications Act of 1995, introduced by Representative Cox of
California and Representative Wyden of Oregon. This bill would prohibit Fcc
regulations of speech on the Internet. There are many others that please many
and outrage many others. If the government is not working fast enough for you,
there are, however, alternatives. Personal censors are now available for parents
to prevent young one from view pornographic materials. The company Microsystem
Software has created Cyber Patrol. What Cyber Patrol and many other sofware
filtering systems do is allow parents to restrict what Internet site children
can access. This will help control what children are viewing at home, but does
not do anything for public access.
In conclusion, the topic of pornographic censorship will continue to be heavily
debated as long as people have such strong views. Censorship will forever be in
debate since it deals with hte First Amendment rights so closely. If the issue
is important to you as an individual, then take action, get involved and make a