The First Amendment is a hot topic right now and for good reason. Everyone knows the First Amendment offers protection for free speech, but many people misunderstand this amendment and do not realize it may not always provide protection in every circumstance. Avoiding government censorship of information may not be possible, even though the First Amendment expressly protects American citizens’ rights to free speech.
Speech Censorship Is a Slippery Slope
In recent years, corporate censorship has become an increasing problem. Although it is clear that the First Amendment only prevents the government from censoring individuals, is there a shadow system going on right under the noses of American citizens?
Everyone knows Communist China censors its citizens to the extreme level. Some in America fear censorship could one day reach China’s levels if citizens do not demand their free speech rights be protected.
Political Censorship Happens All Over the World
It is frightening to think about political censorship where the government holds back information from its citizens. Governments will often withhold information to prevent rebellious uprisings among citizens. Is this happening in the United States?
Censorship is the suppression of words, ideas, or even images that may be offensive. Censorship is carried out by private corporations on a daily basis and by governments. While government censorship is inherently protected by the First Amendment and therefore illegal, there are ways the government can suppress ideas without expressly doing so on the surface.
While Americans are more protected with free speech laws than most any other country, it has become increasingly evident that problems with censorship are rising. Americans are concerned with the topic of wondering how far the government can overreach and what can be done to stop this blatant attack against the First Amendment.
Media Censorship Is a Growing Problem
Anyone who has paid any attention to the media over the last decade has realized media censorship plays a vast role in the information that is released to the public. The news Americans are given each day is vastly decided by censorship. How much information is being withheld and how does it affect the average citizen?
Media censorship is not just in the news. Censorship happens with books, photographs, newspapers, and even radio reports. While some degree of censorship is necessary for the media, such as with the protection of crime victims, censorship can go too far. When it does, Americans may be impacted more deeply than they realize.
It is not against the law for authors to censor their own works. While media companies are supposed to serve the interests of American citizens, many people wonder if the government has a hand in censorship. How much does the government influence private corporations or the media?
If America is to remain a free and prosperous country, its citizens must be guaranteed free speech. When the role of government becomes one of censorship, American citizens are likely to find other freedoms they hold dear to start to erode away over time. Free speech is a right that cannot be taken away without dire consequences.