What is censorship?

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Censorship refers to the control or suppression of ideas or information that are often considered harmful or objectionable to other people. Sensitive and private material for example is frequently a subject of censorship because many people considered them inappropriate for viewing or use by other people. The meaning of censorship does not involve an absolute control or suppression over some information that may have been considered as illegal or politically incorrect for example. The implementation of censorship depends on the beliefs and values of the people involved in them. One idea may be objectionable or sensitive for one group but the same idea could be acceptable for others. Curtailment or control in the expression of this same idea is considered an infringement of freedom or the basic right to self-expression.

Written material such as books and magazines are typically subject to censorship. In many countries, there are agencies that regulate the release of so-called objectionable ideas and stories that are published on any written format. In many cases, authors and writers are obliged to have their written material reviewed and classified for a specific audience or age group. The same is true for movies and TV shows. Many people often see different censorship ratings for their favorite TV program or movie. One such program may be labelled as “General Patronage” which means that this particular program can be viewed by all audiences regardless of age. Some movies and TV programs however may have “Restricted” ratings that can only be legally distributed or marketed to adults or people with a minimum age. The reason for this is basic program censorship. A certain movie or TV agency for example may regulate the content of shows and label them accordingly based on the content which could be considered inappropriate for minors or young children for example.

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