What kinds of things should be censored? I suppose that depends on who's doing the censoring and why. Parents routinely censor their children's access to the internet for obvious reasons and I doubt anyone has a problem with that except the children. Below I give my opinions and reasons for what I believe should be censored in the media, and to what extent.CSI & Police Tactics: Crime scene investigation and police interrogation tactics should always be kept secret. I'm surprised that the average person can turn on their TV and find out how the police solves crimes. Shows like "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" are how-to manuals for criminals, who learn how to dispose of evidence and get away with crime. Another show called "The First 48" follows actual homicide detectives and explains how they think and how they find & talk to suspects. Future murderers can watch this show and learn to skillfully cover up their crimes and evade capture. And if they're captured, they'll know what kinds of tricks the detectives use to get people to confess. They will build mental defenses during the interrogation and avoid falling into psychological traps the detectives may have set up. In my opinion, all police procedures and methods associated with solving crimes should be kept secret and never be shared with the public. We rightfully keep military information secret when it might be helpful to our enemies. Why don't we employ the same strategy with police information?
How to kill people, how to bomb, how to poison, etc.: Any information on how to commit crimes against people or property should be prohibited. We do have the freedom of speech but it rightfully has limits. We cannot yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater because doing so may result in a stampede where people are injured or killed. Similarly, information on how to be a successful hitman or arsonist, how to hold up a bank, or how to poison the water supply has no legitimate use. Distributing such information can only lead to harm and should therefore be illegal. A counter-argument I recently thought up to legitimize the public distribution of such information is as follows: If the information is presented in a certain way, it can be rightly claimed to be artistic in nature and presented for entertainment purposes. For example, in a James Bond movie, a villian kills a politician in some ingenious way and gets away with it. The method used to carry out the assassination can be very complex and innovative and thus entertaining. This kind of artistic expression should not be illegal. If information on how to poison people is banned, then a movie featuring a wife who cleverly poisons her husband will be banned as well. It seems that for every argument in support of censorship, an argument can be made against it.
Pornography & Violence: I find society's attitude toward pornography and violence to be extremely confusing and irrational. If pornography is censored on the grounds that it might traumatize young children, or it might give teenagers some bad ideas, or it might offend the delicate sensibilities of some adults, then why isn't violence censored for the same reason?
The following are questions for people at cable networks who decide what to censor.
Why is it that you do not censor:
- Concentration camp footage from WW2 that shows mountains of corpses being pushed by bulldozers
- Ultimate Fighting Championships where people beat each other viciously and bleed profusely
- Movie scenes where people are tortured, shot, stabbed, ripped apart, etc.
- Corporal punishment videos from the Middle East where people are beaten, seriously hurt, and abused
- Farm slaughterhouse footage where bloody intestines spill out of disemboweled cows
- Accidents where people break their arms or legs, with close-ups of the unnaturally-folded, grotesque limb
Yet, you gladly censor:
- A woman's nipple
- Two inches of someone's buttocks
- The word "shit"
Please explain who you are trying to protect with your censorship. What is your definition of offensive or indecent? Does there exist a child or teenager who is more traumatized by the sight of a boob than by bloody corpses and vicious violence? Why is it okay to show death and violence at 2pm on a Saturday when children will likely be watching, yet it's not okay to show a topless woman even at 3AM on a weekday? It seems you are very lax with violence, but very strict with even the mildest nudity. Why is that?
What is more indecent and offensive? A prisoner's stab wounds or a Playboy Centerfold? One of those is attractive yet routinely censored while the other is repulsive and disgusting and not censored. It seems you approve of violent, disgusting, revolting images and prohibit attractive pretty images. Why? Who is more offended by a woman's breast than by a violent death in a prison yard? How do you decide what to censor and what not to censor? Who came up with the guidelines and how were they determined? I'm not being sarcastic, I would honestly like answers to those questions. Thanks.