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What is Censorship?

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Chelsea Dockery

on 28 January 2015

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Transcript of What is Censorship?

What is Censorship?
According to aclu.org, censorship is the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive".
A book is censored when someone in authority limits publication of or access to it.
This usually happens because of cultural responsibilities and agents of social change.
What is censored?
News reports
Why is Censorship Dangerous?
It makes critical thinking difficult.
If we are not able to read a variety of materials, showing the different ideas and beliefs, it will be difficult for critical thinking and dealing with controversial ideas.
It makes it difficult to learn from the past.
A lot of books that are banned because of things like racial slurs, like "To Kill a Mockingbird". We simply cannot improve if we don't know where we have went wrong.
It can hinder our right to knowledge.
This one is simple. If books, or any source of information is taken away from us, we lose all of that information. We cannot learn from those stories, or build upon ideas if they're no longer accessible.
Why have these books been banned?
According to Newsday.com The Hunger Games was banned because "its challengers cited violence, sexually explicit content and religious viewpoint as reasons, and have claimed it's unsuitable for certain age groups".
The Huffington post says that Harry Potter was banned because of the witchcraft. Since most religions do not believe in witchcraft, this caused controversy.
According to the article Banned Book Awareness, To Kill a Mockingbird was banned because of racial slurs, rape, profanity, and blunt dialogue.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was banned mostly because its theme of race.
Lastly, Lord of the Flies was banned because of inappropriate behavior of a young boy.
Banned Book Awareness
Honestly, I did not even know that books were banned. I feel like it violates some of our rights here in America so it seems kind of crazy that this could even happen. A few things I might do to bring awareness for banned books would be:
Create an online article or even a Facebook page. This could bring banned book awareness since media is a very influential component of today's society.
Create a group that lets people know the harms of censorship. And focus on the value of open access to information.
Create flyers that let people know what this is and how it affects them.
Books that have been banned:
Below are a few books that have been banned, surprising to me:
The Hunger Games
Harry Potter
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Lord of the Flies
Banned Book Week
ACLU. (2006, August 30). Retrieved 2, from American
Civil Liberties Union website: https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/what-censorship

Banned Books Awareness. (2012, July 30). Retrieved from

Newsday. (2014, September 22). Retrieved from Newsday website:

Olukotun, D. (2012, September 7). Huff Post Books. Retrieved from The Huffington Post
website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deji-olukotun/the-banning-of-harry-pott_b_1864502.html

Who censors?
Private Groups
Full transcript