The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees every American citizen the freedom of speech, which means a right to freely express one’s thoughts and ideas. The freedom of speech is an integral American value—one of the pillars on which American society was built. However, the right to express one’s thoughts without constraint can be controversial; expressing hatred, for example, is also allowed. The main issue here is to guarantee others’ safety and make sure a person expressing hatred would not go further than expressing his or her position without committing illegal acts. Censorship is meant to regulate such controversies; on the other hand, censorship can be compared to a poisonous gas: it can turn against the attacker if the wind changes (ACLU).
The first recorded case of censorship in the United States occurred in 1734-1735, when a New York-based newspaper printer John Peter Zenger, who was accused of slandering the governor of New York (Zenger published a seditious libel criticizing the authorities) and was taken into custody. Zenger was defended in court by Andrew Hamilton, who proclaimed in his famous speech “Truth cannot be Libel.” This court case was historic in terms of empowering the freedom of press by the Constitution, even though there were numerous attempts to limit it—such as John Adams’ Alien and Sedition Acts adopted in 1798, or the Sedition Act of 1917 (Censorship in America).
Today, the U.S. media finds itself in an ambivalent situation. It is shielded from revealing their sources, as it is protected by the First Amendment, and Obama’s administration even offered a federal shielding law for journalists. Besides, digital media sources and the Internet are more difficult to control, monitor, and censor. On the other hand, media ownership, combined with financial issues, traditional institutions trying to stay afloat and prevent the appearance of undesired information and political partisanship, as well as the government’s attempt to reveal whistleblowers, negatively affect the freedom of speech (Index on Censorship).
As for the quality of content being published online and in printed media, censorship is mostly applied to materials that match such criteria as obscenity, provocations, pornography, religiously or culturally sensitive issues, calls for violence, and certain other problematic topics, such as racial discrimination.
At the same time, it seems censorship is not limited only by these fields. Copyright legislature and surveillance pose one of the biggest threats for a free distribution of information over the Internet. As for surveillance in general, Google Transparency reports testify the United States takes first place in the world for the numbers of requests for users’ personal data; the number of court orders for content removal is also among the highest in the world (after Brazil). Considering that media companies in the United States tend to comply with governmental requests regarding users’ personal data, Americans tend to self-censor their electronic communications to avoid possible legislative issues (Index on Censorship).
The situation with the freedom of speech in the United States is controversial. Though it is guaranteed by the First Amendment as a right to freely express one’s thoughts and ideas, there are topics that are being monitored and censored, such as pornography, obscenity, religiously and culturally sensitive problems, calls for violence, and several others. American journalists are usually protected by state laws, which guarantee them their ability to work. At the same time, the American government is known to request telecommunication companies for users’ personal data, which results into Americans self-censoring their electronic communications. Copyright legislation is also considered to be a threat to the free distribution of information in media.
“United States: Free Expression Constrained by Cultural and Political Factors.” Index on Censorship. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2014. <http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2013/08/united-states-free-expression-constrained-by-cultural-and-political-factors/>.
“Censorship.” American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014. <https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/censorship>.
“History of Censorship in The U.S.A.” Censorship in America. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. <http://www.censorshipinamerica.com/p/history-of-censorship-in-usa.html>.
Sign up and we’ll send you ebook of 1254 samples like this for free!
- 80+ essay types
- 1000+ essay samples
- Pro writing tips
Related Writing Guides
Writing an Expository Essay
def internet censorship essay.
Michael harris index censorship essay Dawn Barnes.
College writing from paragraph to essay macmillan pdf viewer .
encore information systems.
Essay about soccer conclusion words.
Conclusion internet censorship essay Utop a.
Radio censorship essay Digital Music.
Internet censorship china essay conclusion Natalia Palombo.
Reasons against media censorship essay SUCESOS UNHEVAL bass multi effect pedals comparison essay.
Israel internet censorship essay joeai org.
internet censorship essay compucenter coargument paper censorship and the internet at comessay on argument paper censorship.
codex espangliensis analysis essay.
Essays moi qatar .
Censorship essay essay about inside out and back again.
Essay comparing two food or drinks Digital Music zidovudine synthesis essay.
Resume Examples Research Paper Topics On Censorship Phrase .
Essay fahrenheit censorship essay Fast Fans.
Internet censorship china essay conclusion Ayurveda in salalah.
Royal society science essay conclusion White and Blue.
Writing conclusion for argumentative essay .
Censorship Essay Is censorship a good or bad idea Censorship is all about .
racism essay thesis statements COAnet org.
music censorship essays music censorship essay we write .
Essay Writing Skills General structure of an essay .
anti censorship essay conclusion.
Original broadway cast death of a salesman essay .
Apartheid history essay conclusion.
art exhibit censorship essay It Just so Happened.
ros barber poem analysis essay Natalia Palombo.
slide encore information systems.
Sonnet comparison essay Patriot pen writing essay.
music censorship essays music censorship essay we write essays about music censorship essays research papers fc music censorship research paper essaysforstudent com.
China censorship essay conclusion After Hours Tees hamlet unweeded garden essay.
internet censorship essay censorship essay internet censorship Utop a.
conclusion about progressive era essay Pleasant River Garden Club.
Reasons against media censorship essay government music censorship essays homework for you government music censorship essays image.
Amandine Mallen Paris.
music censorship essay Music Essay Examples Rajipesek Resume Gets You Goin Essay Music College Music Essay.
Ratings system of censorship essay using the word you in an essay.
Plato and nafisi censorship essay.
essay about inside out and back again.
essay about inside out and back again.
IX ConclusionIn conclusion .
Ratings system of censorship essay .
Conclusion internet censorship essay kamp associates.
The best present ever essay writer.
Body language research essay sigma mm f art review essay.
internet censorship essay censorship essay internet censorship .
Bleep censorship essay Natalia Palombo how to write a reflective essay personal reflection essay how to reflective essay course how to.
essays about music censorship.
Censorship essay .
Diabetes essay conclusion .
Amandine Mallen Paris Europe media censorship essay COAnet org.
Chinese internet censorship essay COAnet org.
Nammavar censorship essay Amandine Mallen Paris.
Amandine Mallen Paris Europe media censorship essay .
Nis america censorship essay dow jones internship application essay.
Conclusion internet censorship essay The Ghana Society anthropology culture relativism essays.
Resume Examples Research Paper Topics On Censorship Phrase hius essay quiz .
Surveyor Link Limited.
Censorship essay popular encore information systems.
Film censorship essay conclusion SlideShare.
music censorship essays music censorship essay we write The Bourne Consultancy.
Chellenges essay .
JFC CZ as.
Ap lang rhetorical analysis essay democratic primary JFC CZ as anti censorship essay conclusion.
Film censorship essay conclusion.
Nicholas censorship essay .
Essay Outline There should be no censorship of DVDs and CDs Shawn Morse For Mayor .
Film censorship essay conclusion .
Pixelated censorship essay encore information systems .
Fairness and justice essay conclusion Amandine Mallen Paris.
Pixelated censorship essay Ayurveda in salalah Image .
Censorship essay thesis help encore information systems.
Censorship in film essaye.
Good things about internet censorship essay Luftlager essay bns censorship essay Halide velioglu dissertation writing .
Locavore essay appearance Amandine Mallen Paris tilted arc essay help.
Good things about internet censorship essay .
An essay on censorship encore information systems .
Essay fahrenheit censorship essay Pleasant River Garden Club.
Censorship in film essay.
anti censorship essay conclusion Home Mahapre India .
Radio censorship essay Smart Trading.
Censorship in film essay Taos using the word you in an essay.
German media censorship essay anti censorship essay conclusion.
Conclusion internet censorship essay JFC CZ as http essay writing service co uk reviews of the walking.
Censorship essay thesis help Nicholas Walker internet censorship essay compucenter coargument paper censorship and the internet at comessay on argument paper censorship.
the sapphires movie essays.
Locavore essay appearance.
reflective essay conclusion example of reflective essay self encore information systems ros barber poem analysis essay.