The Instigator
RationalZack
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
whatledge
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Should censorship be used in the media?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/5/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 895 times Debate No: 43441
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

RationalZack

Con

Censorship is an unintelligent way of preventing certain pieces of information from reaching people. Certain words considered rude are censored for what reason? To not touch the easily ruffled feathers of highly sensitive people. Sexual references are censored for what reason? To 'protect' the minds of children deemed to young to know. Violence is censored for what reason? Because blood and gore causes discomfort in some, and is therefore blocked from their viewing (and the viewing of anyone). I consider this to be a bad idea because sensitive people and children cannot be shielded from these things without a more decent reason why. Without censorship, not only will there be no serious problems, people will be more knowledgeable and more thick-skinned. I invite anyone to debate this point and please do point out any harms that come with a lack of censorship.
whatledge

Pro

Pretty interesting topic. I agree on the level that censorship of important details, such as 9/11 turning out to be a government inside job, should not be censored.

However, "curse words," "violence," and "sexual images/porn" should be censored depending on the age group. I think parents have a right to keep certain materials of this sort away from their children, especially if they believe that such exposure will be negative to the child's development. Especially when children are impressionable and do not have a firm grip of reality, I do not think playing Grand Theft Auto, watching the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and watching porn is necessarily good for their development.

I do think parents have a right to censor their children in that regard, but I digress, as this is about the media and not parents. There is, however, an important correlation between the two, as censorship in the media exist largely in part due to Parental Guidance.

That said, I would like to go further on why the media should censor some things that may not be "suitable" for some audiences. A fully consenting adult has full access to whatever material he chooses to view (for which he can be held responsible for watching), but there have been numerous cases of children having nightmares after having watched a rated R movie, which consequently required hours of therapy. This happened to a young girl I know, my best friend's niece, after her grand uncle left on "The Shining" on the living room, while he went off to the other room. There are other cases as well, I would be happy to cite sources if you would want them, but I think that is hardly necessary given how prevalent it is. Even a cursory google search will show you plenty of firsthand experiences/stories.

Sexual exposure, such as porn, also can be dangerous, as children are imitators, kids like to pretend to be super heroes, play games like "pro wrestling." Indeed, there have even been a case of a child being killed after another child tried a wrestling move on him. That said, exposing sex at a young age, especially before proper sex-ed can lead to undesirable sexual acts from children at an age that they should be chaste if only on the virtue of their bodies/status not being able to fully care for a child. Violence, as I have noted above, carries a similar implication, where children are quick to try things they see. Maybe a child comes across a scene in "Jackass the Movie" and gets himself killed. Children are impressionable, and while parents have a responsibility to teach their kids not to impersonate these things, they also have a responsibility to censor them. But as parents can't hardly censor every little thing (it would be a difficult task indeed), the media should at the very least have some responsibility in censoring material that may be harmful to a child's behavior/mentality.

I look forward to Pro's rebuttals and arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
RationalZack

Con

I take it that you have made two main points: the monkey see, monkey do attitude of children, and the susceptibility of children to psychological harm from horrifying scenes in the R rated film you mentioned and others. I agree with both of these points, and understand that it is certainly preferable for children not to watch this content. I concede that I have missed the points that you make.

However, a good way of preventing this, censorship-free, is with warnings before each television programme or film (as already often used), in addition to parental supervision of what the child watches, in such a way that the child can only view certain media with their parent's supervision. Also, certain channels, newspapers and films can choose not to show certain content: child-safe media without censorship.

If all of these ideas are used, the parent will be able to prevent psychological harm to their child at their own volition and with their own stringent or lenient viewing rules for the child to follow. I think that this simple set of techniques can be used to protect children without censorship and tight age-group laws.
whatledge

Pro

I take it that you have made two main points: the monkey see, monkey do attitude of children, and the susceptibility of children to psychological harm from horrifying scenes in the R rated film you mentioned and others. I agree with both of these points, and understand that it is certainly preferable for children not to watch this content. I concede that I have missed the points that you make.

I accept my opponent's concession.

However, a good way of preventing this, censorship-free, is with warnings before each television programme or film (as already often used), in addition to parental supervision of what the child watches, in such a way that the child can only view certain media with their parent's supervision. Also, certain channels, newspapers and films can choose not to show certain content: child-safe media without censorship.

I am confused, as my opponent in round 1 seemed very adamant in all things being uncensored. "child safe media" is by definition censorship, as it is defining what is and is not suitable for children, and keeping away said unsuitable material/media. Parental guidance is, indeed, important in censorsing what children watch, but giving any sort of responsibility to the media to "protect" children from any harmful material/media is the definition of censorship.

If all of these ideas are used, the parent will be able to prevent psychological harm to their child at their own volition and with their own stringent or lenient viewing rules for the child to follow. I think that this simple set of techniques can be used to protect children without censorship and tight age-group laws.

There seems to be a bit of contradictory reasoning here. Parent already DO hold the right to show anything they wish to their childre. Indeed, babies have been taken to see the "Passion of Christ" because some Christian think that is beneficial to their children. It is not my place to say to these people how they should raise their child, but the censorship exists to keep the violence, sex, and other undesirable aspects from children should the parent not be around to censor the material themselves. This is why we have TV and internet parental blocks, but not all parents utilize these tools, which is why TV censors some materials that are readily playing on TV with a click of a remote control button. This is because parents can't be around every time their child turns on the TV.
Debate Round No. 2
RationalZack

Con

RationalZack forfeited this round.
whatledge

Pro

I have no further arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
RationalZack

Con

RationalZack forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
RationalZack

Con

RationalZack forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by RationalZack 3 years ago
RationalZack
I don't feel that bias counts as censorship. Not showing the other side's opinion is not censorship because censorship would be making it illegal or restricted by age group to see the other side. Bias does not entail the restriction of seeing information, just the lack of presenting some information.
Posted by Logicblock 3 years ago
Logicblock
I think "Censorship" needs to be defined in a clear manner before this debate proceeds. Let's use the news as a form of Media to prove my point. Generally speaking, Media (News) is often one-sided and portrays a biased view of the situation. So technically speaking; isn't the Media "censoring" the truth in order to fulfill their own political agendas? Depending on one's definition of "Censorship," the media is already censoring the other side of the story through taking a biased stance.
Posted by eNo 3 years ago
eNo
I would love to debate this with you... Should be fun!! I'm out of town at the moment... But if no one accepts by the time I get back I will pony up. If not, I will eagerly follow the debate. Good luck!
Posted by RationalZack 3 years ago
RationalZack
Yeah, that applies.
Posted by eNo 3 years ago
eNo
Define what you mean by the "media". For instance if a cooperation activity censored it's press releases and the "media" simply acted as a conduit of information to the public... Would that apply to your definition?
No votes have been placed for this debate.