Censorship vs. Restrictions

Difference Between Censorship and Restrictions

Restriction and censorship are two factors applied by force against freedom of expression by an authority or government. One of the fundamental human rights is freedom of speech and real democracy is aware that there may be a difference in opinion between political parties, organizations and individuals. In democratic countries, freedom of expression is respected and the disagreement is permitted, as everyone has the right to have his own opinion. This helps talent to nurture since it allows people to form different opinions. Unity in diversity is a concept that democratic countries have learned very early and we can see that these are countries that believe in freedom and liberty. Freedom and liberty do not mean freedom to do any business or freedom of movement only; it is incomplete unless there is freedom of expression.

Can you tell that an artist should paint and should be avoided? It’s like putting chains in the creative spirit of an artist. The same applies to all creative people in the fields of fine art and fun. Censorship and restrictions are enemies of creativity and freedom of expression. Yet, freedom of expression is not an absolute human right in most countries and governments have placed many types of restrictions and censorship in the same place to stifle all voices of protest or voice that they feel are detrimental for moral (supposedly) welfare of society.

Censorship is described as speech suppression and expression of an individual or a community. Walls created by the authority for an individual or a group so that their deeds do not influence or affect the public are called restriction. Censorship can be categorized as censorship of mass media such as print, Internet or other electronic mass media. Censorship is regarded as the last option for any government to restrict domestic news from becoming a mass movement. Restrictions are applied to the individuals to expand misdoings of authority among the public.

There are differences between restrictions and censorship as seen in many countries. The restrictions are similar to an act of a polite request to someone not to do something and are milder in nature. While censorship is not polite in the sense that government do not allow people to engage in some specific activities such as they consider that these activities are not fair to give in.

An example of censorship is the Censor Board that awards certificates or estimates a movie based on its content. The members of such board of censors saw the movie and then decide if the entire public should be allowed to see the movie or should there be restrictions such as only adults being allowed to watch the movie. The restrictions are in terms of morality as to what women should wear in particular, which is what is followed in some countries, particularly in the Arab world.

Recently, the censorship is seen in the form of banning websites, especially social networking sites such as conservative countries believe that their people will hear of freedom and liberty as known in the West and ask the same in their own countries . Some countries who prohibit websites deliberately are Communist China and Iran. But governments in countries fail to realize that freedom and knowledge are inevitable. It is not possible to keep people away from what happens in other parts of the world as artificial walls cannot be created.


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