The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

In Certain Cases, Censorship is Necessary

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/21/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 252 times Debate No: 92948
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




This debate is not 'Giving Rights Up for Security', it is a branch for the necessity of censorship for national stability. So please, do not start an argument for Rights to Security.

Round 1: Opening Arguments
Round 2: Rebuttals to Arguments
Round 3: Finishing Statements

I believe that censorship under specific cases is necessary. A primary argument of mine is that many people of the masses are uneducated and do not have the educational or mental stability in order to process and formulate a valid opinion based on truth or other opinions. My opponent may argue that we can simply 'educate the masses' but that is an extremely long and expensive process with no guarantee of working. It is also considered by some as an indoctrination and frowned upon by an international community that treasures freedom of speech.

By truth, I mean that when a nation suffers a devastating attack, for example, some details would have to be blurred out in order to maintain public stability. This of course varies to how powerful or weak the attack is, the details of the attack, and such things corresponding. Regardless, censorship is 'justified' when exercised with caution and only in appropriate situations which is necessary to preserve the stability of a nation.

In terms of opinions, people may have anarchist beliefs which is detrimental to the stability and order of a nation. If a person gathers enough influence and has the ability of mass persuasion, no matter how violent or anti-government it may be, censorship is the most effective tool in order to remove a negative influence to gathering power.

Do NOT accuse me of advocating for absolute oppression, that is not my point, (Although I do believe that freedom of speech is a careful topic and not all people should have that much freedom of expression if it comes at the cost of the stability of a nation whose interests are the protection of its people.) My argument is that censorship is a tool necessary in order to preserve the stability of a nation and its interests, as long as it doesn't encroach to close to people's line of oppressive manners.


Within a community, we are born into a social contract. Within this social contract the community at large expects certain things to be upheld. With these expectations, the moral standards within the community formed. As these moral standards are developed, we trust that our fellow members within our society upholds themselves in reputable manner. The key to this, is that we have to trust that this will happen. Yes, we can adopt legal enforcement, which we have done. Yet, we trust the legal authorities to serve our best interest. This expectation of trust would then also be extended to our Government, which again exists to protect our best interest. However, our Government does not exist to shield us in what "they" think is in the best interest of the public. Again the Government serves the people and has the expectation to inform its community of items or topics of any nature.
Censorship in the manner you are presenting it would be deceit (lying) because you claim a governing body should be able to omit factual information. A government that lies to its public, is self-serving and emulating tyranny. If the public does not trust its government due to its lies (which you suggest it does), the social contract begins to diminish and the community begins to regress to a former lower less developed self - domino effect.
There"s a reason why we have the laws that we do. The European Enlightenment (greatly due to tyrant governments like Great Britain) heavily influenced out constitutional rights because communities throughout the globe wanted to strip the Governments power and place it into the hands of the public., A Government that chooses what to inform its masses on (which you suggest) would only betray the trust of its people, which in no means increases the stability of its nation" which you suggest.
Transparency is the key. Informing people of important topics doesn"t mean they would be able to make decisions with devastating results, it just gives them a chance to have an educated opinion and then cast it out for others to hear. Whereas deceiving its people". Well... history has explained that situation many times over.

Deceit: "the action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth. "
Again, Deceit is not the key to a stable community.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting the argument and establishing a thought out debate.

I believe you are accusing me of more than you think I was advocating for. My primary argument would apply only to nations that have established their own forms of social contracts. In nations, social contracts differ, and people have no quarrel with their own forms of governments. In the Untied States people believe that rights are god-given and no person or group of people (Governments) can take them away. In nations like Russia, Finland, Estonia, and Japan, they have very strict laws in terms of rights and in some cases freedom of speech in return for protection. Those 4 nations are known for being internally stable by terms of their governments. They are all real life examples that small increments of censorship brings about stability.

Not all governments that have censorship are tyrannical. I advocated for censorship on any form of event that would have the potential to destabilize and instigate violence into a nation. A government with the form of social contract that I am attempting to argue, would expect the worst and that it's people may be easily persuaded that anarchy and violence can be useful in advancing self interests and the greater good of society. (The examples I am about to show do not include subjects against their federal law or constitution.) The 4 nations that I had previously named are prime examples of functioning societies in which they have small elements of censorship from freedom of speech in order to preserve stability or internet censorship to stop the spread of violence. Russia has limited freedom of speech for anything that advocates violence or anti-government protesting [1]. The people of Russia have not rioted against these regulations as their social contract is accepted for limited rights for security. Russia still has un-censored internet (As long as it doesn't break federal laws, like the deep web). In Japan, the internet is slightly censored on violence advocacy while protesting and petition remains virtually untouched [2]. In Finland, internet censorship and protesting is highly frowned upon and therefore censored [3]. Finland, Japan and Russia suffer little to no public relations damage because of their censorship because their social contract are leftward leaning towards security versus rights.

As I said, those nations are prime examples of functioning censorship. Again, before you accuse me, I do not advocate tyranny. I argue for limited and small amounts of censorship in order to maintain national stability and peace.

Let's take an example where freedom is highly treasured. France has one of the most amount of riots and protesting per capita in the developed world due to their relaxed censorship laws [4] . These riots cost an average of millions by 24 hour protesting and violence measurements. The UK also has relaxed censorship laws. The UK's Brexit debate has allowed millions upon millions upon millions of dollars to be lost from mass violence and protesting on both sides due to a lack of censorship in order to maintain stability and economic unity. Personally, (This isn't a part of the argument), it could have been avoided if Cameron said 'No' to a referendum to keep the hard-liners at bay and prevented it. I admit that I'm only deducing the different outcomes if France and the UK handled their censorship laws differently, but again. Russia, Estonia, Finland, Japan- very powerful countries - are real, stable examples.

No part of my previous argument had talked about deceit. My argument for blurring the totality of numbers in high scale strikes against a nation from a foreign force is debatable as deceit or not. Let me give a scale to show what can be censored by numbers and what shouldn't. Orlando's attacks should not be censored, as it may be horrible, it isn't nationally devastating. 9/11 is. Following 9/11, there were a lot of protests and a lot of violence for the US to get militarily involved and strike back at whoever did those attacks. If the US had slowed the numbers down, it would have prevented the cracks in stability of the US and in the plummet of the US economy following. That doesn't mean saying "The planes crashed because of a little GPS error". No, it means to censor enough of the information that it wouldn't lead to the people who can't get enough information to fully analyze the consequences, into allowing an educated government to doing it for you. I advocate for censorship relative to Finland, Russia and Japan. Not China, North Korea, and Iran.


Debate Round No. 2


Due to the refusal of my opponent to provide an informative argument, he de facto forfeits.


I just didn't feel it was necessary to poor too much energy into this debate for your argument is subjective and not factual.

1) Our constitutional rights exist for a reason for our founding fathers new the censorship is PRO tyrant. If this wasn't the case, why is there such emphasis on freedom of speech? Providing information about how it "could - possibly work", does not meant it does work.
2) It is not up the select few individuals or organizations to make decisions for hundreds of millions of people. These organizations serve the people therefor must deliver information to the people. If you argue that they shouldn't be forthcoming with all information you are stand in position of a dictatorship or tyrant government because they emulate these processes.
3) If we were to allow censorship, how and who do we trust with such "sensitive" information. How do we control what they share or don't share? In short, the government does which strips the liberties of the people. Which you cannot refute. I stand on the position in which the power remains in the power of the people, not the Government which you so admiringly support.

Your information is subjective in nature and is based on a fallacious argument as my stance is factual.
You argument is fallacious due to the fact that these Government(s) only allow you to see what they want you to see, to include ours in the US. What information they decide to release cannot be verified unless all information was delivered in a transparent fashion, which you already prove they do not. Therefore, you argument is subjective and not objective.

Whereas, placing information within the hands of the public will provide an overall a higher ethical/moral standing. True, at certain situations the people may be angered and re-act in an unorderly fashion... but having a government controlling what information is released is much higher ethical impacts... For the people would be blind of any truth or knowledge and therefore controlled by their governing body to react or not react in a manner the government feels "within certain sensitive topics". To pull the wool of the eyes of the public in just one topic, is abuse of power and a form of betrayal to the public.

The power must remain within the hands of the people.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Ragnar 3 months ago
FYI my votes give a lot of commentary from my thoughts as I read your arguments, and general advice. That I call out certain obvious fallacies, doesn't mean I've dismissed the points, merely that I am literate enough to understand them.

---RFD (1 of 2)---
CONDUCT: Skipping a round to get a final round blitzkrieg, either alone is bad, combined they greatly distract from arguments (outright throwing out the final round).
ARGUMENTS: Quite simply pro's case went unrefuted.
SOURCES: Leading toward pro, but not by enough for the points.


The introduction round was stability vs the social contract. People are stupid vs people should not be assumed to be stupid. Plus a good ol' Reductio ad Hitlerum (seriously, there is a time and place to use this, and this was precisely it).

Pro followed it up by showing that the social contract argument does not actually negate his, with the examples of "Russia, Finland, Estonia, and Japan." The deceit can be a part of the social contract. It could lead to less riots (the overtaxed police force requesting a delay on the scheduled protests/riots was a nice touch), thus save millions. Against that gain, no measurable counter harm was even suggested.
Posted by Ragnar 3 months ago
---RFD (2 of 2)---
Extra notes:

The source on Finland's internet censorship abuse (supposed to be just against child porn, when it's really against anything they feel like, including any criticism of the application of it (basically inferring that disagreeing with them is just as bad as raping a baby), could have been utilized a lot better due to the obvious connection to the USA's censorship for both violence, and for copyright laws. Of course at the same time it could have been easily countered showing the aforementioned abuse of it (see previous bracketed statement) which would have backed up con's points about censorship violating the social contract, but instead he decided to leave them wholly refuted.

The one thing I will say about the round con chose to have ignored (yeah the obvious consequences of your action, come because of your choice, thus it's your choice to have that round ignored): Claiming that arguments with warrants should be ignored for being subjective, but vague assertions without warrants are factual (I suppose due to their lack of evidence?) and should be placed on the pedestal without question... This is an intellectual site, no one's drinking that Kool-Aid.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by BenJWasson 3 months ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con essentially forfeited in round 2, whether or not it was because of him not wanting to waste time, it was still a forfeit. Pro made arguments that were convincing and in the end I agreed with him.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 months ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.