Censorship or Protection?

Freedom of speech is covered under our Constitution and is a right in America. This freedom comes with responsibilities that are overseen by the Federal government. Law.com defines censorship as, “the act of altering, adjusting, editing, or banning of any or all media resulting from the presumption that its content is perceived to be objectionable, incendiary, illicit, or immoral by the Federal Government of the United States”. Social media is censored by law enforcement agencies for any type of activity that is deemed violent, threatening, illegal, or damaging with the intent of causing harm to someone.

According to uslegal.com, the entertainment industry is the most obvious place to see censorship. Freedom of speech can be jeopardized by attempts to regulate movies, interfering with playwrights, screenwriters, filmmakers, performers, and distributors. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rates all movies based on age. These ratings have become more stringent over the years. Hometheather.com states Steven Spielberg was responsible for creating the PG-13 rating. His 1984 films, Gremlins, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom received complaints from parents who were concerned with some of the scenes. The laws do not prevent the industry from putting violence, sex, and/or profane language in films but they require ratings to advise when they are. The regulations have made it more difficult for children under the age of seventeen to buy movies and games without their parents’ consent. Many parents are pleased with this law because some people believe watching violent movies can bring out aggression in kids.

So how does this affect advertising? Does a change in movie regulation mean a change in its viewers? If so, advertisers will be challenged to adjust to a changing market.

What are your views on censorship? Can it go so far that we will lose our right to freedom of speech?

– Susan Willetts

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