questionswhat do you think about censorship?

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Some of this goes back to being "offended".

Someone says something, you chose to be offended. Why should someone else's opinion drive what I say or do?

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I can relate to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It was an 8th grade reading assignment for the entire class, everyone had a paperback copy. Someone(s) raised a concern or protest about Mark Twain's style of writing in the vernacular of the day and the book got pulled.
Same thing happened with the song White Christmas, it wasn't allowed to be sung at school and had nothing to do with religious protests.
I don't think voices should be quelled.

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I love censorship! But don't anyone dare censor my

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For the love of... some at Woot delete this question. We cannot allow just anyone to ask anything. No one has that right.... What? First who? Amend what?

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I'm not very sensitive to things, so none of those things bother me and I don't believe they should be censored. I also don't think we need to keep allowing crazy people to determine when others do things. That's how they win.

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I honestly think that life is way too short to get up in arms about every little thing. While I may not like the fact that some "entertainers" are foul mouthed idiots who act like buffoons on crack, and I will not allow their cd's or movies or videos in my house, I will defend with my last breath their right to be foul mouthed idiots. Why should I have the right to tell someone that what they believe, or do, or say is wrong? What would keep them from telling me the same thing? And who picks the people who decide what's right and wrong? Are you going to trust a politician who says, "Oh yes, we know EXACTLY what's right for you?"

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Post deleted due to content

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I like the fact that the questioner censored him/herself by typing "n word".

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The thing I hate at least as much as censorship is people who run around invoking "First Amendment" everytime they get their feelings hurt. (I'm not directing this at the comment from @red13red26, that was funny.) I mean the morons who are unclear on either the idea that (a) you can say whatever you want, but everyone else is also free to disagree with you, even loudly and rudely; or (b) that the First Amendment limits only the government, and most private entities can censor you to their little [redacted] heart's content.

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It all comes down to your definition of censorship. OP's question really only gets at one instance of classic censorship, which is the prior restraint or subsequent redaction of speech: private publishers' redaction of the "n-word" from Huck Finn.

The other examples are actually examples of free speech in action: one party speaks vulgarity, another protests. This is good. The KKK should be (and per a classic Supreme Court decision, is) able to march down the street spewing garbage. And I should be able to call them hideous, stinking morons lacking any regard for human decency. That is the epitome of the free speech our nation claims to value.

How about Huck Finn? This is censorship at its worst. It teaches children that art can and should be censored. It obscures an ugly part of American history and takes from teachers the opportunity to use the word to teach about that ugly past. It rewrites Mark Effing Twain. Is it legal? Sure. Is it despicable. Yes.

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@dupedyetagain: Also, how they made Greedo shoot first and the cops in E.T. have walkie talkies instead of guns. Censorship [mod would probably remove] sucks!

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I would censor the sites that show children in compromising positions, sorry.

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@dupedyetagain's point is key to this question: there's only one example of "censorship" in the OP's post; the remainder are either the exercise of free speech and the exercise of free speech in response to it, or marketing designs such as changing the name of a movie.

For books like Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, the original language is an integral part of understanding the social context and tone of the novels, but it's also one reason why unabridged versions aren't really appropriate for younger kids. When we read it in high school, discussing the language and our reactions to it were a big part of the lesson - and the part that I remember about studying it, all these years later.

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Unfortunately, what is often called "free speech" is more a desire to say and do anything without repercussions. Much of what is defended with free speech is nothing more than bad taste and a lack of civility. There is such a thing as self-censorship and civil discourse. A growing number of people, especially those in the media or entertainment do not practice either simply to be shocking and be noticed. Certain "reality shows" like Jersey Shore and Real Housewives are comprised of nothing but crude discourse and shock shlock.

Continued>>>>>>

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>>>>>
As for Mark Twain's books, they should not be censored for language. His writings were about the time period and the language is both period appropriate and literary appropriate. The language better illustrates the times and is a reminder of how certain words were created to try and diminish another person's or people's worth. It is especially ironic that Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn have been censored even as many in the African American community often use the "n-word" in general discourse with each other, usually in mock insult. Where is the desire to engage in censorship in this instance?

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"I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Voltaire

Or, put another way:
"America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free". - The American President

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Censorship is treason.
One of the great things about the "N" word in Mark Twain's stories is it opens the door to meaningful conversation. Just because a large group of people say or believe something, doesn't make it right. And that it still goes on. Bigotry against African, Asian, Women, Gay, Liberal, etc is a symptom of evil and poor upbringing. But as long as someone can make a buck, or pretend they're "good" by pretending someone else is "bad", it will seem to be acceptable behavior.
So I got to tell my kids, and now I tell my grandkids, the evilness of dehumanizing other groups of people. And that if someone will use Christs' name in doing justifying unChristian behavior they are basically a demon doing Blasphemy. Which is unhuman.

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@thetexastwister: So, things you find offensive, you want censored (Jersey Shore, etc.), but things that someone else may find offensive (Twain's use of "n word"), you want to keep. Not very academically consistent.

@gidgaf: Wow. They're evil demons, huh? I don't believe in the supernatural so I like to think of them as ignorant or hateful. Calling them demons or blaming evil, in my mind, takes away some culpability from the person.

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@kylemittskus:
Well, its' a give and take thing.
Didya ever notice that the only people ever affected by demon possession are only the people who A) believe in that, and B) believe they deserve it.
And if you really are a kind of Xian, any kind, then you believe that your Creator does not stick voices in your head. Especially those that tell you to do any breaking of Commandments. Especially those that espouse doing evil to others.

By definition, anyone who has declared that God came to them in a voice, that God loves them best, God told them what to do, and it means doing something bad to otherwise good people, they have declared themselves soul less demons by their own beliefs. The RNC as an example of a conglomeration of them.

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@kylemittskus: Typical Straw Man attack. Misrepresent rather than deal with the argument at hand.

To clarify:
We should have the respect of others to censor ourselves. Organizations which monitor the content of television shows exist largely because many in the television industry no longer have respect for us, their viewers, and therefore do not engage in appropriate self censorship.

As for the "reality show," Jersey Shore, Real Housewives and others like them popularize crude and disrespectful behaviour to others as a matter of normal discourse. This is not healthy to a society which seeks to preserve civility and respect of others.

Mark Twain's works were typical of the American experience at that time. Twain was quite observant of the human condition and put much of what he observed in his works. They were usually some from of critique of contemporaneous societal institutions. "Reality shows" cannot claim either as a defense.

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@thetexastwister: a straw man argument would be me creating something to attack. I'm attacking exact what you're saying. You want some things censored and some not. Twain, as you state, represented a time period of an area (I love Twain) that could, and does, spark intelligent conversation. I don't see how Jersey Shore does anything different. Isn't JS creating academic, intelligent debate right now (I have never seen an episode, but I assume I'd hate it). But because you find it baseless, offensive, etc. you support some group censoring it because the TV industry doesn't. By your argument, Twain should be censored because someone, somewhere found it offensive. Cont...

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...This takes me to your first point. You assume that what you would find respectful and what I would are fungible. They're not. You want X show censored because you find it disrespectful according to whatever rubric you decide. That is not universal. Hence, my belief that all censorship that is not imposed on self (my use of "n word" instead of using the word) is absurd.

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@gidgaf: I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm not trying to be a jerk or funny; I am totally lost.

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@dupedyetagain: I don't know if you or anyone else here remembers why Mark Twain's books were being "censored". It was because groups, like the ones that OP was mentioning, were complaining that the original text was offensive (because of the word that was later "censored") and should not be read by their childeren. So a publisher ran a custom "censored" edition (the book was not just randomly censored because of PC BS, but in response to a specific issue) to ensure that these important literary classics could still be allowed in the schools. Maybe their motives were actually money and not as noble as I've ascribed them to be. Maybe the parents should have not been so ignorant and closed-minded. Maybe the people who make these decisions at the school district should get spines and stop bending to the whims of angry mobs of parents. I'm not sure what the best course of action should have been, but I don't think that the "censorship" in this case was as bad as its been made out to be.

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As far as the Madonna incident, people were already upset because she started four hours late. The gun skit was just fuel to her own fire.

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I'm not sure exactly how I feel about censorship. I think it needs to be self imposed, first and foremost, and I'd LOVE to be able to turn on the television with children in the area without worrying about all the sex talk and swearing. It would be nice to be able to ride in the car with my dad (I'm a girl) and not have to hear Bruno Mars talking about someone's sex bringing him to paradise, or listening to Rihanna talk about sex being in the air and how she loves the smell of it and about how chains and whips excite her. Not only is it embarrassing, but I have to hear about it and it's happened so many times, I can't even listen to the radio in the car with my dad unless it's an oldies station. Nor can I watch even PG13 movies with him because they HAVE to put a sex scene or very dirty talk into it, and he always pauses it and tells me I need to leave. I don't get offended by swearing, I do it quite often as well as talk very dirty at times, but does it have to be so public? CONT

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If I'm in a public place, with people around me (particularly children) I slap a filter on. I find it disrespectful to display that sort of behavior in front of children. Those parents may swear in front of their kids all the time for all I know, but I'm polite enough to replace my words so as not to offend people and also not be a bad influence on children. I have a friend who dislikes swearing and I try my best not to slip up even though she never gets mad at me or anything if I do swear, but I know she isn't a fan of it. I'm not saying someone should force you to not use profanity, but people should do it on their own.
And as for that new movie that has the n-word (one of the only things I refuse to say in real life) in it over 100 times, it is essential to the movie and should NOT be censored in theaters. It wasn't kittens and rainbows back then, they use that word so people REALIZE what it used to mean and how it was used to degrade. No comment on you MT book as I haven't read it

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@kylemittskus: The existence of anything can prompt intelligent debate. That does not mean the thing has merit. This is not unlike being famous for being famous. Twain's work was a source of both adventurous fun and intellectual enlightenment. "Reality shows" like Jersey Shore and others have no such redeeming quality.

My point, though, is that we as a society should have minimum standards by which we should be able to censor ourselves as a substantive action of respect to others. By doing so there would be little need for independent oversight by third parties to do the censoring for us.

Persons who find Twain's work offensive because of the "n-word" do so out of a desire to be offended, often to remain in the public eye and for continued employment of their lawyers. Those who find Jersey Shore and others like it offense do so because it is inherently offensive. It genuinely undermines social discourse, civility and respect for others.

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@kylemittskus: Incidentally, I would like to point out that it is common for those who support censorship of Mark Twain for the "n-word" because they find it racially insensitive often times decry any criticism of Jersey Shore and Real Housewives, et al., on the grounds that such criticism is a form of censorship or that it supposedly violates the First Amendment protection of Free Speech. Go Figure.

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@pinchecat: Perhaps it was because you added no value to the conversation, you were just being rude and proving a point that didn't need to be proven. There are plenty of other ways to give your opinion. A "Screw Censorship" would have been well enough. Did you choose the F word because you knew it was most offensive, did you WANT to get censored on here to complain about it, or could you not think of anything else to say? Also, why do you have to space it in capital letters? And add a link which I have yet to watch? You're just being RUDE. Plus, people over 18 can be offended by swearing, and you don't have to be 18 to participate in discussions, correct?

TL;DR You are entitled to you opinion but you don't have to be rude.

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@kylemittskus: Apologize, I do. I was very tired and frustrated, and I ranted.
I've run into too many people who believe they have the freedom to tell you what freedom you are allowed.
After some resistance, they often bring up A Magical Invisible Friend to back them up. Or they resort to self induced self righteous hysteria to show you how serious they are. All just to tell you that you have Wrong Think going on.

You don't like Madonna? Don't go to her concerts. Don't buy her music. Don't dare to tell me not to!
I listened to Metallica- and a lot of my Xian friends said they'd pray for me. Why? You actually believe that has an effect?
Show me that devil music lyrics. There wasn't any. They never listened, read or knew, but they had friends who said-, and they had friends who said-, etc. Censorship, based on petty bigotry, ignorance and self righteousness.

It's our culture. Book, record and cross burnings. PC speak and zero tolerance. My affected offense trumps your reason.

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@gidgaf: what are you referring to as "Xian" - what i know it to be (a chinese city with ancient historical significance) doesn't seem to mesh with your usage. I might just be missing something.

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@kllangellier: the concept that any particular word is any "worse" than another is rooted in the same little house on the prairie logic that brought us the muslim rule that women must cover their hair, and the thinking that prostitution somehow legally affects those who aren't engaging in the act. shaping societal rules and perceptions around the strictest of body shame beliefs is as ridiculous as the religions that originate them.

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@thetexastwister: my issue is the very nature of a "minimum standard." Who decides what is offensive and what is not? I literally find nothing offensive. I'm a MOT. Recently, there was a movement in SF against circumcision and ads were posted that were really anti-semetic. I disagreed with the ads, but found none of them offensive.

My issue, I guess, is the entire idea of something being offensive. You want some standard by which we censor ouselves. But what standard would that be? What if I think it goes too far? Or not far enough. What if you say yes and I say no? There is no way to standardize offensive. Look the other way if you don't like what you see. But censor nothing.

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I suppose I'm just very different from most people in this conversation. My goal is to NOT offend people, or rather, not hurt their feelings or make them feel the need to leave my presence. Sure, people want to act how they want to act, and I'd like to be able to say "I F*ing love you!" semi-loudly in a public place when my friends say something that makes me laugh, but I think about how I would feel if I heard someone telling someone they were a fattie or fat ass (hint: I'm fat). I'm semi-offended by fat jokes, or rather, it makes me very uncomfortable and reminds me of being teased and bullied, and if I don't like when someone does it (though I don't say anything) I figure there are things I do that a large group of people find offensive or make them uncomfortable, perhaps I shouldn't do it.
Also, the reason I don't use the n-word is because where I come from, it's NEVER used as just a word, it's used in disgust, people are really racist here. AND my nephew is black, so I won't.

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@kylemittskus: Like most common standards of this nature they would be derived from a moral or ethical standard. A standard that is consistent over time rather than relative. In this case it would be a standard of civility that is both positive and that should be emulated. This standard should also recognize that there is a difference between true art (Twain) and profanity for the sake of profanity (Real Housewives). This standard, when upheld by individuals would help to maintain a healthy and civil society, and when upheld by society would help to maintain healthy and civil individuals.

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My opinion on "Free Speech" is as follows:
As much as some people's opinions and hateful words tick me off - we should not censor. Better to let someone out themselves as a (insert hateful person moniker here), than to have them silently rage and surprise you with their crazy/stupid/annoying.

Really though, Free Speech is not free from consequences. It is your right to vocalize your thoughts/opinions/whatever, but that doesn't mean anyone else wants or has to listen to you do it. If someone hears you and is offended, they have the right to vocalize that as well.

What we do not have the right to do is silence those we disagree with. Even if what they are saying is hateful.

~~~~~~~~
As to the changing of names, editing movies, etc. in the name of "sensitivity" - eh, that depends on each case. Sometimes it would be better to leave it alone and let people deal with seeing something (the WTC in Spiderman). Sometimes, not shoving someone's face in painful reminders is best.

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@thetexastwister: You want a universally recognized and agreed upon, unchanging, standard based upon morals or ethics that you also assume are universally recognized and agreed upon and unchanging. Can you get any more absolutist?

You realize that morals, ethics, language, offensiveness, people, society, culture, art, and on and on are always changing, right? In the '20s, a woman with bobbed hair was considered a slut; the hair cut was offensive to people (read Fitzgerald's "Bernice Bobs Her Hair). Do you think that now? If yes, you're insane. If no, you completely undermined what you claim should exist.

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@kylemittskus: You're doing a straw man again.
The basic or fundamental morals and ethics of self censorship I speak of will never once achieve the level of detail you try to project on my argument. I am looking for a basic and broad level of civility, not the micromanagement you seem so determined to use to improperly and incorrectly redefine my argument so you can reject it out of hand. Remember, I'm talking about self censorship and respect for others where as you seem to want to define everything as someone else censoring us arbitrarily.

Think of what you learned in kindergarten about how to treat others around you. That is a good start. Also there is the golden rule "treat others as you would like to be treated." No one standard will ever be accepted by everyone, nothing ever will. But that should not stand in the way of creating meaningful, minimum standard of civility.

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I'll strike a different view, since frankly, i think most people who say "i'll defend to the death your right to say it" are full of absolute BS.

I'm fine with censorship. Not unilaterally, or heavy handed... but lets face it... hiding behind freedom of speech is what gives wack-jobs like the westboro church a false legitimacy. The problem with a censorship-free society, combined with sensationalist media is that it takes two platforms... pro and against whatever.. and allows it to be co-opted by the extremists. You get to see someone who has dedicated a life's work to a subject, has proven to be impartial, and can relinquish actual data supporting a side, and then, in a split screen next to him/her, you'll have someone with literally no credentials, blustering opinion, and nothing to back it up, yet they are made to be arguing on equal standing. It's silly, and some people and positions absolutely deserve to be censored. (continued)

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BUT - therein lies the problem. Who gets to decide? who gets to determine what is and isn't a legitimate argument, or does or does not contribute to society (or even that contribution should play a factor) - therefore - since censorship in general has historically wound up being abused by those who control it... if we are to call ourselves a free society, we have to stand against it. But don't insult anyone's intelligence by saying for instance.. that the group of hate mongers protesting (well, cheering about) your gay son's death will be defended "to the death" by you, at least not willingly. At best, you'll do it as part of your job, and under command of a superior, if you're in the military or law enforcement. As for privately controlled chat boards, such as this - censor away as you see fit. free speech isn't guaranteed as an inherent right within private organizations.

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sidenote - that quote is constantly being inappropriately attributed to Voltaire. He never said it. The only time it appears in print, related to him, is in a 1906 book called "Friends of Voltaire" - and it was a phrase coined (not by Voltaire, but the author of this 1906 book) to illustrate his supposed attitude towards a philospher's works (which he disapproved of) being burned (which he also disapproved of). Voltaire might have championed free speech in that particular case, but certainly never stated it to be a mantra, nor did he use the actual words