Technology May Make Censorship Obsolete

from the one-can-only-hope dept

Under various guises, like public ownership of the airwaves, the government, from time to time, engages in censorship. The famous seven words you can't say on the air proved an irritant to Howard Stern in his early days. Eventually, a new technology (satellite radio) allowed him to broadcast outside the reach of the FCC, and he's now free to say whatever he likes. This week, the WB announced that they would self censor an episode of their racy drama The Bedford Diaries, to avoid the FCC's wrath, but they also announced that the unedited version would be available online. As Adam Thierer argues, technological progress signals the death of government content controls. Conversely, government content controls hasten the death of free broadcast media, as they're an impetus to distribute over new platforms. While this is a great trend, this could also result in a backlash elsewhere -- such as giving the FCC regulatory powers over internet content. Already, some want the FCC to regulate indecency on cable TV. There's no public-ownership excuse there, that's just censorship.
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  1. identicon
    Glenn Allen, 24 Mar 2006 @ 4:43am

    Think

    The problems of society BEGIN with parents not actually raising their children but leaving that chore to, among other things, TV and learning it "on the street" (which includes schools). This particular country (U.S.) was founded on the principle that every citizen has the right to decide for himself and his family (women not having specific rights back then) what should or should not be "learned"; government was mandated to stay out of everyday life as much as possible. Nowadays, everybody seems to want to involve themselves in everybody else's life. I'm not going to tolerate someone else telling me what I have a right to hear or see or know. You can choose for yourself and your family, but you ain't gonna choose for me. I find it disturbing that people are offended by words as opposed to the meaning behind the words. I find it disturbing that people consider the sole methodology for creating life--sex--to be something "dirty". The primary impetus for so many problems seems to be the overwhelming desire of too many people to try to control and manipulate nature instead of simply living in harmony with it. Thought is natural. Sex is natural. Knowledge is a good thing. Wisdom does NOT come with age, only with experience; the only thing age makes you is older. My point? Raise your children to learn as much as possible and to think for themselves.

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