Media Censorship, Research Paper Example
Words: 3454Research Paper
Media censorship as a worldwide phenomenon has foreseen information outlets for ages. A primary basis for censorship is maintaining an orderly nation, while the underlying intention is to keep the people unaware of the data likely to threaten the governance. The global internet connection in the current century permits the passage of information across and beyond boundaries in a limited amount of time. Therefore, many media users rely on the network for many messages. According to history, accessing news has never been as easy as it is currently. In European nations, the press in the 18th era was under the draconian leads of suppression (Miao et al., 2021). The 19th era gradually reduced censorship because of people’s demands. However, dictatorial and strongly centralized administrations currently employ censorship openly or subtly to restrict those who oppose the administrations in different countries. Private reporters, technicians, and journalists constantly pass information using social media websites, blogs, and reports to curb the information coup. To survive, governments employ strict network surveillance tools that conveniently ban websites and intelligently filter the data. Therefore only the preferred news is permitted to pass through the media firewalls (Ng et al., 2021). In addition, the government detains citizens and tech-savvy who access the disregarded websites to instill fear, intimidation, and persecution. Since the media does not function to bring an unlimited or filtered message to the people, they mustn’t trade on selling unreasonable information that can threaten citizens, races, or even religions. The literature review focuses on the role of media censorship in information coup. It will also evaluate the role of media in cultivating tolerance and responsibility to the people at large.
The use of censorship is to legally regulate and suppress any form of information that can result in jeopardy of the state order. In the past, censorship has been applied to manage social morals and the awareness of a state’s citizens. It has also been employed as a tool against government opposition. Chang et al. (2022) mention that Socrates was among the first to suffer censorship’s consequences. The victim was penalized for consuming poison for his regard of nonconformist theologies in 399 BC. Therefore, the roots of censorship can be said to have originated in Rome, but the censor office was formed in 443 BC. China implemented its first restriction policy in the 300AD (AlAashry, 2020). Conventionally, administration controls evaluate newspapers, articles, and books, among other sources, before they are published to remove questionable concerns.
Freedom Versus Accountability
Anti-suppression activists recite refrains against the limitation of the freedom of speech, expression, and information restriction. Autocratic leaders and developing democracies conceal media censorship to maintain law and order, while the actual intent is to sustain social ignorance. Knight and Tribin (2022) state that the third president of the U.S. reunited because the independent and free news media favored him. In 1807, the president wrote to Thomas Seymour. In the letter, he stated that he cooperatively offered himself as a participant in a significant test to prove that propaganda of the press can never bring down a government that performs with honesty and mutual agreement. The test expected the world to show the false ploy that freedom of the media is contrary to an orderly government.
Alsubaie et al. (2021) also confirm the significance of the press while stating that the media is crucial to a free administration and a society that regards different perceptions, intellectual and creative ferment. It is also essential in cultivating a vital subject and ensuring a self-aware citizen. Autocracy employs brutal force to minimize or close the uncooperative press. It also sends the media outlets to exile, detain or execute the press individuals. With the notion of maintaining law and order, dictatorial administrations ravage news and implement censorship. As a result, only the minority individuals living in developed democracies can use different and independent data sources. The press contributes significantly to promoting democracy and transparency in society. In addition, it plays a crucial part in eliminating global illiteracy.
- How is information subjected to coup through media censorship
- How is the media responsible for cultivating tolerance and responsibility to the citizens
The methodology used in the literature review include reports from peer-review article and journals of previous studies. The sources include information on the history of censorship and the example of victims of censorship. Understanding the definition of media and censorship was crucial to determining the required research sources. In addition, there was the scrutiny of information on the research topic concerning the publication time. Finding efficient data on the existing advancement and censorship trends in different countries and their effect worldwide is critical. It also helped track the progress of anti-censorship movements and law enforcement efforts to help address the phenomenon of media censorship. The sources for the research were not more than five years after publication. The survey was explicitly based on reviewed articles, reports, and journals. It was essential to obtain accurate and approved information on the media censorship topic. More than 25 sources were critically scrutinized to select the most relevant to the study and had enough evidence of the topic. Besides, of the 25 sources, only ten were considered to contain the required data on the topic.
Nevertheless, there were difficulties in evaluating the sources as several had data on the topic and publication year yet unreliable numerical data on similar assessments. It made it more challenging to discover accurate data among the sources. It was time-consuming and tiresome to verify their data. On the contrary, the literature review proved to be the best method because it gave a deeper assessment of the problem of the study. It gave detailed data and historical encounters with the challenge of censorship and freedom of expression in the media. It also presented methods employed to fight the problem. Ethical considerations in the research were first considered, and anonymity was maintained during the exploration. Similarly, evaluations were made on the sources to select the ones that complied with ethical considerations during their examinations.
The most chronic assaults on freedom of expression are experienced in nations with challenging democracies, new or without democracies. While half of the globe’s populace lacks an independent media outlet, nations with top media censorship include Cuba, China, Iran, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia. Other nations with press restrictions are Ethiopia and North Korea. According to studies, the accounts of the press trace back to the newsletters that were evident in some Indian regions during the 16th century. Since then, Switzerland led by establishing the first news source in 1610, marking the beginning of a chain of responses (Golovchenko, 2022). Other European nations followed, such as England, France, Denmark, and Poland, followed afterward in that order.
Nevertheless, the ruling administration did not consider the rapid development of information channels and open access to all information types. To cut the dissemination of the free message, Britain introduced the Licensing Act in 1962 (Ng et al., 2021). The act remained effective until after a great plague. In addition, Germany cut its press effectively using censorship and trade limitations. It also claimed that there were limited papers to print the news. The citizens demanded a free media outlet, and a domino decree was passed in the European nations. Sweden afterward abolished the restricting policies by passing its law to guarantee free press activities.
Upon the first amendment of the U.S constitution, freedom of speech and expression was ensured, and France afterward put a declaration of the right of citizens in 1789. The bill of rights addressed the free expression of thoughts and perceptions as one of the most valuable rights of citizens. It also expressed their rights to write and publish freely. In most western nations, state-controlled censorship was banned in the 19th and 20th centuries (Golovchenko, 2022). However, colonial administrations such as Russia and Britain practice extreme censorship over their regimes. In addition, the Soviet Union suspended the most extended censorship duration in the 20th century.
Since the restriction was initially disregarded, administrations devised other ways of instilling censorship. For instance, legislative acts on state security, offensive acts, and libel policies were implemented to limit freedom of expression. In particular, the libel policies overcame the censorship policies and freely conducted a similar role of censorship because it had an expansive interpretation. Currently, the laws are still employed to harass and persecute artists and press individuals who question the pretexts of state security and blasphemy. AlAashry (2020) states that censorship has not been addressed for more than 2000 years, and even those administrations in stable democracies harass the press today.
Media Censorship In Times Of War And Conflict
The first mode of action against a threat in the authority of a state is the application of censorship to ensure an information coup. The imminent threats include but are not limited to rebellion or resistance. The media outlets are significant in any misunderstanding and are also the first war victim. To promote social ignorance during conflicts, the press experiences restrictions through modes such as suppression of the media personnel and the state taking charge of the news being released. For instance, during the First World War in 1914, the release of data regarding state defense was banned through the Espionage Act (Ng et al., 2021). The Espionage Act was amended to include other offenses, such as disloyalty to the United States administration and abusive language. All nations participating in the conflict during the Second World War blocked the media outlets. During that time, militaries that participated in the war also restricted the information through letters channeled by soldiers. They removed the enemy and could undoubtedly utilize any data.
In addition, even the conventional indications of hugs or kisses were edited as they were perceived to signify a code potentially. The United States and British press, among other offices, still practice self-censorship in times of misunderstanding. In addition, the United States censorship administration provides the code of conflict standards for the American press. In 2011, the Arab rebellion can be used as an example of how resilience and postponed efforts of the media and independent journalists can overwhelm the information blockage on the network (AlAashry, 2020). In that year, the military personnel and the nation regulated the information released by the media. As a result, the country’s citizens received contaminated information from state-sponsored sources. Nevertheless, the media could be conveniently managed since the connection in the African nations had already made it easier to access news statewide and globally.
A similar case was evident in the fight between Russia and Ukraine and the Hurricane, which attacked the state of Florida in the United States in 2022 (Corduneanu-Huci & Hamilton, 2022). Social media not only permitted access to data and news but also enabled the freedom of expression. When the press could not access the locations due to suppression from the state authorities, unanimous people uploaded images and videos of the present state of events in Russia and Ukraine. Perhaps, the uploaded pictorials were the only accessed proof of the ongoing wars in the nations. Therefore, the internet contributed significantly to linking people and ensuring the flow of information during events.
Electronic Monitoring Of The Media
The media offers the fastest channel for delivering and receiving information or material without identifying whether the data could be intended to track activities. Similarly, the media can outdo the print methods, radios, and televisions regarding the capacity of availability to approximately all people with access to online channels. Lane et al. (2021) assert that the development of the internet foresaw the fall of censorship. Hypothetically, the current technological improvement makes it much impossible, if not more challenging, to censor the data available for internet use. However, when pressing the internet realm, digital restriction followed with methods such as sorting, hacking, delaying, and redirecting; the technically skilled activists studied disseminating data through the media and overcame the most challenging censorship methods.
The government, however, struck them with the skill of surveying online matters and retransmitted the flow of messages and information. Press events are being monitored, and unruly press individuals are being blocked or tracked down. What follows is the harassment, beatings, and imprisonment of these individuals. In addition, these press individuals are forced to participate in lawful wars, and intimidation of potential administration-supported litigation is used as a restraint. Nations such as China, Russia, Venezuela, and Australia are among the areas with formalized electronic monitoring. The states restrict press freedom among other media outlets (AlAashry, 2020). They censor access to social data by employing taxations on the users and owners of the media. Moreover, they also ban agendas and suspend media licenses.
According to an editor in Venezuela, the methods of media censorship in the 21st century include the state administrations purchasing the new source and using the newspaper as a delegate, litigating the journalists for libel, eavesdropping in the media communications and publishing it before them in a government media. Miao et al. (2021) confirm that media censorship is contagious. The less stable democratic nations such as Hungary and developing countries worldwide are increasingly employing the protocol of media censorship used by autocratic states. Golovchenko (2022) states that the information available in the media is being suppressed either openly or subtly in nations such as Russia and Ukraine with the notion of fighting propaganda through media censorship. According to studies in multiple countries, the administrations, in the broader view, appear as democrats who embrace subtle censorship (Golovchenko, 2022). It is done through acts such as subcontracting, suspending funds, obtaining annoying information, and planning transfers of the anti-censorship journalists.
Approximately 24% of internet users are China residents, which is about 3 billion people. In addition, the United States comprises about 12% of internet users (Ng et al., 2021). China is among the leading censorship governments facilitating effective firewalls to suppress inappropriate content and unfamiliar websites. According to González-Quiñones et al. (2019), the Chinese state’s use of monitoring procedures and suppression methods is not only intelligent but also successful in convincing the citizens that other people are not monitoring them. However, in other parts of china, such as Hong Kong, conventional means are being used to censor the media by starting a war against the media journalists and editors, instilling too many withdrawing ads on the media, and promoting cyber-attacks, among others.
Press Freedom and Responsibility
Corduneanu-Huci & Hamilton (2022) argue that magazines can be split into two: those that sell illogic sensation and those that release educational information and meaningful commentary on vital topics. Generally, the media may contain an overlap of informative and sensational data; thus, it may be challenging to differentiate between precise and inappropriate pretexts. According to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the country is prohibited from suppressing freedom of expression and speech (Ng et al., 2021). Freedom of expression entails all kinds of press, notwithstanding whether it releases pornography or inappropriate images. It happens to be a comprehensive investment with social media as its primary source of dissemination. With a reliable network that permits anonymous use of inconvenient websites, learners and youngsters can access damaging content from the network. The assurance of anonymity results in opportunities for the young generation to access pornographic content legally prohibited for children (Knight and Tribin, 2022). To address the concern of inappropriate content to children, the United States Congress decreed the Communications Decency Act to prevent uploading patently abusive items on the internet that children can access. According to the act, the violators are sentenced to one year in prison with a fine of 250 000 dollars (Ng et al., 2021).
Nevertheless, the country’s Supreme Court found the act to be unlawful. Instead, the court barred the act and encouraged parents to access effective software from the website. The software was projected to restrict children from accessing inappropriate content upon installation on children’s devices. The United States Congress suggested another bill to safeguard youngsters from accessing inappropriate websites. The Children’s Internet Protection Act was implemented in 2000 (Knight and Tribin, 2022). It required public learning centers and libraries with access to the internet to install the software to filter harmful content. While the act is still influential today, it is only used in public schools and libraries that acquire discounts through plans that facilitate the affordability of particular communication amenities and items, such as the E-rate plans.
In 2000, the Federal Communications Commission provided policies for the CIPA enactment. In addition, it was also published and updated in 2001. The guidelines included financial assistance for learning institutions and libraries connected to their certification (AlAashry, 2020). The policies ascertained that the CIPA had successfully utilized the decreed internet safety rule. According to the procedure, the installation of protective software on devices was used by the youngsters to suppress or filter access to inappropriate depictions conveniently. An amendment to the Protecting Children Act in the 21st Century Act was enacted in 2008 (Ng et al., 2021). The law stated that the institutions under the CIPA were required to provide guiding learners on the appropriate internet conduct. The conduct included associating with other people on the media sites and in the video conference rooms. It also included creating awareness of cyberbullying acts and reactions. As a result, the CIPA was responsible for two additional certification necessities, including surveillance of internet activities for children and creating awareness by guiding the children concerning explicit internet conduct (Knight and Tribin, 2022). However, the random safety of media under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution is not ensured worldwide. Some nations demand obligations from the press and the new platforms. For instance, in its 10th article on human rights, the Council of Europe states that media outlets are accountable for their roles and responsibilities.
Limitations of the Literature Review
The study involved a global view of how information is subjected to coup through media censorship and the responsibility of the media to nurture tolerance and accountability to its citizens. Further research should be done to evaluate the perception of media censorship from a specific country.
In summary, studies suggest that censorship of media information can worsen the situation of a country in an attempt to maintain law and order while depriving the public of access to information to prevent threats to the administration. Prohibiting the press from freedom of speech and expression can encourage the media and the citizens to seek other ways of being informed. As a result, it can result in the development of a new independent society who do not trust its leaders. On the other hand, while offensive expression and mythical perceptions are perhaps non-optimal ways of expression and passing data, ways of addressing the acts and notions may result in further harm even when the press has good intentions. The press should therefore be responsible for cultivating tolerance and responsibility for its citizen’s buy by ensuring the use of appropriate languages in addressing their concern in the media. Social media administrators can also help maintain law and order in countries by creating awareness of proper ways of expression to air their challenges. Censorship can be employed to prevent children from accessing inappropriate website content. It can also be genuinely used to maintain an orderly nation rather than keeping the people unaware of the data likely to threaten the governance.
AlAashry, M. S. (2022). A critical analysis of journalists’ freedom of expression and access to information while reporting on COVID-19 issues: a case of selected Arab countries. Journal of Information, Communication, and Ethics in Society. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Miral-Sabry-Alashry/publication/362631063_A_critical_analysis_of_journalists’_freedom_of_expression_and_access_to_information_while_reporting_on_COVID-19_issues_a_case_of_selected_Arab_countries/links/62f51eccb8dc8b4403d6b4ce/A-critical-analysis-of-journalists-freedom-of-expression-and-access-to-information-while-reporting-on-COVID-19-issues-a-case-of-selected-Arab-countries.pdf
Alsubaie, A., Lyndon, N., Salman, A., & Hoe, K. C. (2021). The enlivenment of public opinion in the new era: Exploring the power of social media on political consciousness in Saudi Arabia. Humanities and Social Sciences Letters. http://myscholar.umk.edu.my/bitstream/123456789/1925/1/The-enlivenment-of-public-opinion-in-the-new-era-Exploring-the-power-of-social-media-on-political-consciousness-in-saudi-arabiaHumanities-and-Social-Sciences-Letters.pdf
Chang, K. C., Hobbs, W. R., Roberts, M. E., & Steinert-Threlkeld, Z. C. (2022). COVID-19 increased censorship circumvention and access to sensitive topics in China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(4), e2102818119. https://www.pnas.org/doi/pdf/10.1073/pnas.2102818119
Corduneanu-Huci, C., & Hamilton, A. (2022). Selective control: The political economy of censorship. Political Communication, 1-22. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10584609.2022.2074587
Golovchenko, Y. (2022). Fighting Propaganda with Censorship: A Study of the Ukrainian Ban on Russian Social Media. The Journal of Politics, 84(2), 639-654. http://golovchenko.github.io/articles/VK_JOP_preprint.pdf
González-Quiñones, F., & Machin-Mastromatteo, J. D. (2019). Media censorship, freedom of expression, and journalism risks in Mexico. Information Development, 35(4), 666-670. https://doi.org/10.1177/0266666919866266.
Knight, B., & Tribin, A. (2022). Opposition media, state censorship, and political accountability: Evidence from Chavez’s Venezuela. The World Bank Economic Review, 36(2), 455-487. https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w25916/w25916.pdf
Lane, J. E., McCaffree, K., & Shults, F. L. (2021). Does social media censorship reinforce radicalization? arXiv preprint arXiv:2103.12842. https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/2103/2103.12842.pdf
Miao, W., Huang, D., & Huang, Y. (2021). More than business: The de-politicization and re-politicization of TikTok in the media discourses of China, America, and India (2017–2020). Media International Australia, 1329878X211013919. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Weishan-Miao/publication/351559321_More_than_business_The_de-politicisation_and_re-politicisation_of_TikTok_in_the_media_discourses_of_China_America_and_India_2017-2020/links/60b74a0b92851cde884b2fb7/More-than-business-The-de-politicisation-and-re-politicisation-of-TikTok-in-the-media-discourses-of-China-America-and-India-2017-2020.pdf
Ng, A. H., Kermani, M. S., & Lalonde, R. N. (2021). Cultural differences in psychological reactance: Responding to social media censorship. Current Psychology, 40(6), 2804-2813. https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/129253/1/Ng_et%20al_2019_CP_post-refereeing%20final%20draft.pdf
Time is precious
don’t waste it!