What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Censorship?

advantages-disadvantages-censorship Credit: Kristin Schmit/CC-BY 2.0

Censorship is the control of information through the suppression of media outlets, including books, television, news publications and other media of information. Perceived advantages are subjective and can range from political control to the reinforcement of religious values and ideals. Disadvantages include violations of individual rights, limiting education and restricting business growth, according to Ashley Poland of Chron. What one sees as an advantage, another may see as a disadvantage.

According to Youth Village, a South African website, political and religious blogs and websites are the most targeted for censorship. The website cites national security, protection from inappropriate material such as pornography, reduction in online scams, copyright protection and protection from online bullying as advantages to some forms of censorship. The site goes on to say that censorship can give the government too much control over what can be accessed, which may limit freedom of speech, education and the ability of a society to advance to greater understandings of the world.

Banning books is a common form of censorship. Parents Against Bad Books in Schools is an organization that focuses on banning or restricting access to certain books in schools or public libraries. According to the American Library Association, motivating factors for this include family values, religion, political views and minority rights. A typical reason cited to ban a book is that it may be harmful to the reader in some way.