Is censorship good or bad

Lexicon: censorship

On the one hand, the word censorship refers to the grades you get in school. But there is also what is known as censorship of the media. But what does that mean? In short, it means information control.

A certain ministry controls all books, newspapers, magazines, films, scripts and so on, and looks at what is in each media or what people say and write. If they find something that can't be said, they forbid it - so there is no freedom of the press. For example, if the agency finds something that criticizes the state, it is removed from newspapers or films, or they change it and sometimes they ban a book or other medium altogether. In this way they want to ensure that the people only get to hear and read the opinion that the state prescribes. With this they want to influence the opinion of the citizens. Because if people do not notice the problems in the country and the criticism of the government, then they will complain less quickly.

Of course, the respective government presents the censorship very differently: They justify it with the fact that they only want to protect the people from harmful content, i.e. everything is done for the benefit of the people. In dictatorships, the media are usually censored in the interests of the government.

In general, a distinction is made between pre-censorship and post-censorship. With pre-censorship, all media, such as newspapers, books or films, are checked before publication. Sometimes the works have to be changed before they are published or they end up on black lists, i.e. the works are not allowed to be published and are even prohibited. With post-censorship, works can still be banned afterwards or they can be changed.

In Germany, too, there were times when the media was censored, for example in the Third Reich. Many writers were no longer allowed to write books, for example because they belonged to the Jewish faith or criticized the state. In order to demonstrate to the people in Germany how shameful such books are, there were public book burnings. Among other things, the books of the well-known children's book author Erich Kästner were burned.

There is also a weakened form of censorship - if, for example, a bad swear word is used in a program or a film, a beep is placed over this word so that the viewer cannot hear the word. This is done a lot in America, for example. Or when a naked person can be seen on television, certain parts of the body are covered by black bars.