Censorship: Conducive or Counterproductive?
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Censorship: Conducive or Counterproductive?
Startling realities predicted in Fahrenheit 451
Curated by Kelly O'Neill
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Rumor Fever

Rumor Fever | Censorship: Conducive or Counterproductive? | Scoop.it

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury delves
into censorship as literature becomes illegal and is replaced with easily-digested
information and entertainment for the masses on the basis that it will induce happiness.
Likewise, China’s government has taken action to censor the Internet as a
measure to ensure social order and public “health,” as demonstrated in “Rumor
Fever” by David Bandurski. Precautions instituted by the government to protect
the general welfare of the public are, of course, necessary and welcomed;
however, censorship is an unnecessary precaution and actually a disadvantage
for the public. Censorship allows the government to handle the public with
ease, controlling the information they are receiving and consequently
controlling their thoughts. China, an intensely populous country, censorship
minimizes dissent and cloaks malcontent as well as pertinent issues to maintain
public amity, such as
the Guo Meimei affair that questioned the government-run Red Cross Society of
China and the public demonstrations against a chemical project in Dalian
(Bandurski). Beatty
explains in Fahrenheit 451 that “Once, books appealed to a few people, here,
there, everywhere. They could afford to be different. The world was roomy. But
then the world got full of eyes and elbows and mouths. Double, triple,
quadruple population. Films and radios, magazines, books leveled down to a sort
of pastepudding norm…,” implying that to create mass content, censorship
through the burning of books was obligatory (54). Fahrenheit 451 depicts the
implosion of a censored world, minds empty and unwilling to truly think
independently or even concentrate. Perhaps, in theory, censoring the Internet
in China is a solution, but in reality, the censorship is more of an issue
since the population is denied an abundance of outside information not provided
publicly. While the world is in quest for new information, withholding
information is counterproductive rather than conducive.

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Slaughterhouse-Five banned by US school

Slaughterhouse-Five banned by US school | Censorship: Conducive or Counterproductive? | Scoop.it

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury suggests that its
censorship sugarcoats media to homogenize society to benefit society. Similarly
“Slaughterhouse-Five banned
by US school” by Alison Flood tells of two novels, considered profane and
inappropriate by school officials, banned in a school’s curriculum and library to
shelter young minds in Republic, Missouri. As Beatty and Montag discuss the
need to burn books as they do, Beatty explains the progression from free media
to censorship, summing it up with: “Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up
your typewriters” (Bradbury 58). The society in Fahrenheit 451 wants to erase controversy and instill only happy
thoughts in its citizens. According to “Slaughterhouse-Five banned by US school,”
the school district of Republic, Missouri felt it was essential to ban Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut,
for its profane language and subjects, and Twenty
Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, for “sensationalising of promiscuity.” Somehow,
the school found it their duty, rather than that of the parents, to censor
students from controversial novels. Not wanting to promote sexual promiscuity
or profane actions or language in school is feasibly understandable, but
teaching controversy as a method of deeper thinking should be allowed in
school. The widespread rumor that zero copies of the Bible, religion being
controversial, existed in the society in Fahrenheit
451 is parallel to the banning of the two books: the banning of literature
found possibly controversial. The Bible, Slaughterhouse-Five,
and Twenty Boy Summer are not
found offensive by the majority, but by the minority. To base censorship by the
opinion of the minority to appease everyone is not sensible since it interferes
with the information given to the majority. Censoring media that is otherwise
harmless because of a small faction disagrees with the message is not conducive
to society as a whole.

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Indian courts challenge Facebook, Google content: report

Indian courts challenge Facebook, Google content: report | Censorship: Conducive or Counterproductive? | Scoop.it

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury exhibits censorship euphemizing media to mediate society
into a complacent utopia. The burning of books rids of any negative
sentiments or differences between groups of people, forming one unified stance.
According to “Indian courts challenge Facebook, Google content: report” by
Frank Jack Daniel court in Delhi, India issued nineteen summonses to Internet
companies requesting them to remove material offensive to Hindus, Muslims, and
Christians and another court requested the websites “to remove photographs,
videos or text which might hurt religious sentiments.” Specifically, Metropolitan
Magistrate Sudesh Kumar and Telecoms Minister Kapil Sibal spoke up, urging
websites including Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Yahoo! to remove “offensive”
content. If these websites complied with the censorship, the situation would be
similar to that of Fahrenheit 451. Because
officials in India would like to have certain things, probably mildly offensive
since the websites already have content regulations, censored, an unknown
number of website users would face unnecessary censorship. Beatty says in Fahrenheit 451, “Bigger the population,
the more minorities. Don’t step on the toes of the dog lovers, the cat lovers,
doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians,
second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites,
Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico,” reasoning that censorship prevents clashing
(56). The world is large and full of different groups of people with differing
views that should be respected. Taking away that information, especially on the
Internet, is not fair, considering that many Internet users are guaranteed the
right to read or view any information they please. Censorship is like walking
tiptoed, afraid to make too much noise. Information should be available for the
taking, regardless. A broad span of information in the hands of the people is
conducive, spurring advancements, deeper thinking, and awareness of themselves
as well as the world around them.

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