Have you been looking for good General Paper sample essays on the topic of Censorship? Aiming to prepare this sub-topic of Mass Media as one of your main content topic for your upcoming GP exam, and is seeking for complete full length answers?
Bookmark us, so that you can return to this site easily , as we update this site often.
Q1: The only means to censorship is self-regulation.” Do you agree?
Censorship is purposeful and deliberate withholding of information or entertainment of any medium from an individual’s observation. However administered, one loses sources of information of any kind. Censorship is generally implemented to protect the individual’s mind from external influence of any kind, since information often carries with it values and ideals as appurtenances to the raw details. As a tool, it reinforces the need for propriety in society as enforced by institutions, standards and conventions, and is thus implemented in strict accordance with the social code. Self-regulation, as a form of censorship, is the deliberate exclusion of materials and information by the individual himself and the medium itself and is thus unique to other forms of censorship, which stress fundamentally on an externally administered disciplinary force. In consideration of the benefits of self regulation against the overwhelming difficulties and in adequacies of other means of censorship, I agree with the statement that self-regulation is perhaps the only means to censorship if that means is to be successful.
Self-regulation is a manifestation of an individual’s sense of discipline – it is a means entrenched within his mind, and functions continually in the individual; it is omnipresent, and, in a way, omniscient. Other forms of censorship include an inherent element of the necessity for a disciplinary authority. Be it the film censor who denies people beneath the correct age group to view so called “adult” films, or the parent who imposes strict rules on quality viewing, there is the need for a person or a group of persons to be able to monitor the actions of the individual.
Man, however, is a slippery, intelligent creature – the means of obtaining the information come in a multiplicity of ways open to the resourceful individuals. The films one cannot watch are easily available on video tape, while books banned in one country may be easily available in another. In part, this availability is due to the diversity of the mass media industry, where technology has played a large role in the widespread dissemination of information and heightened abilities of duplication have increased the opportunities to obtain such information. Also, this availability is attributed to the very human trait of covetousness, which allows the profiteer to recognise in the banned materials a very lucrative trade, since people would easily pay high sums for such “valued” items. The two therefore render externally-administered means of censorship grossly inadequate and ineffective as a means of withholding information.
If availability is the main point defeating other means of censorship, then self-regulation is easily its nemesis. However convenient and available the sources of restricted information are, self-regulation imposes a rule over the individual that the black-market profiteer can never hope to breach. Whenever he goes, the self-regulatory control within the individual is there to give the warning signs. However secret the profiteer or source is able to operate his trade, this control is never ignorant of an advance towards the individual – hence the “omniscience” – and thus protects him effectively against corruption or influence of any sort. Hence, self-regulation may be the only means of censorship.
Self-regulation here, though, may not be thoroughly effective, since its force stems from the individual’s character and integrity. Should these traits falter, self-regulation becomes an even worse way of censorship than any other.
Self-regulation may also be seen as the only means of censorship in the light of how other forms of censorship produce a negative side effect. Human curiosity is often prompted by such deliberate withholding of information. Furthermore, the significance and force of this information is accentuated by the strictness of the measure, and this renders the information even more attractive to the individual. The strict measures evoke in the individual another very human trait: aggression, provoked by such apparently arbitrary oppression of the human mind, manifests in a sense of rebelliousness. The somewhat perverse approval of rebellion-ness as a sign of strength and freedom by one’s peers in a society riddled by elements advocating extreme freedom, and the subsequent popularity that might ensue, provide a very powerful incentive for the individual to obtain the restricted information. The above combination makes for individuals who directly seek to subvert regulatory forces in society, hence defeating the aim of censorship. The youths of today are particularly susceptible to such symptoms, mainly because of the advent of liberalism and materialism. To cope with such subversive forces, society might implement even firmer, stricter measures, only to find the subversive force has increased as a result.
Self-regulation controls the curiosity and rebellioness of an individual in a way no external authority could. Be cause self-regulation is home of discipline and a firm, entrenched understanding of the undesirable nature of restricted information, curiosity and rebellionness are controlled by these characteristics. In this context, it is the only means of censorship, since other means only intensify the undesirable side effected.
The desirable nature of self-regulation may also be seen by comparing the short and long-term effects of this and other means of censorship. As noted before, other means of censorship require dominant authorities to enforce the regulation of materials. In the short-term, these means are far more effective than self-regulation, since self-regulation requires an education of some sort – be it from the family or the school or some government campaign-to inculcate the proper values of restraint and discipline that render the device effective. In the long term however, these other means of censorship may fail in protecting the psychological and mental health of a people since many things might occur to defeat these authorities. Anew government may be formed, relaxing the regulation in censorship. Wars and natural disasters may read the authorities temporarily paralyzed, but this is sufficient for an explosion of information to hence people’s minds. As a result, the effort and money put into the censorship may be wasted eventually. Now, however where externally-administered agents of censorship falter, self-regulation may ultimately triumph.
Fuelled by personal desire and borne of individual discipline and rectitude, external elements face a psychological wall resistant to penetration. Where new tyrannies may hope to subvert the society, such as dictatorships, the mind is buttressed against the corruption of such subversive ideas, In the long-run, therefore, self-regulation may well be the only means of censorship.
However, the persistency of self-regulation may well stultify the mental growth of an individual. Once one’s mind is narrowed by self-regulation based on a strict doctrine, one loses the open-mindedness needed for creativity, innovation and a general broadening of one’s horizons. This self-regulation, if enforced by the strict bar raging of one’s mind by education, becomes a result of brainwashing. Self-regulation, therefore, to be effective as well as conducive to the individual’s mental growth and development, must also include a general flexibility and open mindedness.
In terms of goals to be achieved, self-regulation may well be the only means of censorship. Censorship hopes to train the individual to be a responsible member of society without excessive corrupt influences, and through the exclusion of such influences, strives to create a discerning and responsible individual, well trained in the ideals of moral rectitude and discipline, necessary for social cohesion. Self-regulation, though, is already a product of these ideals-without these it cannot succeed. There fore self-regulation, in being the eventual goal of all forms of censorship, may be the only means of censorship.
In conclusion, one may see that self-regulation, while being an intangible asset borne of mental and moral capabilities may be difficult to implement. However, in the light of the general inefficiency of other forms of censor ship, it can be considered the best, if not the only means of censorship. Perhaps it should be noted that self-regulation is best when administered alongside other forms of censorship, each reinforcing the impact of censorship of the other. The only other means of censorship to control people, perhaps, is complete arbitrary control by a single dominant authority, but that would result in a “zombified” people – sluggish and uncreative mentally, and forever backward in innovations and development.
Perhaps here self-regulation’s greatest benefit is shown: borne of the individuals’ own discernment and moral code, it not only trains the individual in mental toughness and resolution, it allows a wide lassitude for the entrance of new, stimulating ideas, allowing the individual to become well-rounded and complete in his intellectual accomplishments.
GP tuition teacher’s comments: Bring in S’pore’s Fake News Law. In effect since oct 2019, this is a subsidiary legislation of the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA).
Links to other GP model essays on other topics: The Arts | Philosophy | “Repeated Trends” | Science & Technology | “Singapore” | Global & regional Issues | Economics Issues | Politics | Religion | Books & Media | Film & Media |