Censorship vs Restrictions
Censorship and restriction are two aspects against freedom of expression that are exercised by force either by government or by an authority. One of the basic human rights is the freedom of expression and a true democracy realizes that there can be difference in opinions between political parties, organizations and individuals. In democratic countries, freedom of speech is respected and dissent is allowed as everyone is entitled to have his own opinion. This is how talent can be nurtured if people are allowed to have diverse opinions. Unity in diversity is a concept that democratic countries have learnt very early, and one can see that these are the countries that believe in freedom and liberty. Freedom and liberty do not mean freedom to do any business or freedom of movement alone, it is incomplete unless there is freedom of expression.
Can you tell an artist what he should paint and what he has to avoid? This is like putting chains in the creative mind of an artist. The same applies to all creative people in the fields of fine arts and entertainment. Censorship and restrictions are enemies of creativity and freedom of expression. However, freedom of expression is not an absolute human right in most of the countries and governments have placed many types of restrictions and even censorship in place to quell all voices of dissent or voices that they feel are detrimental for the moral (so called) well being of the society.
Censorship and restriction are the two aspects that are exercised by force either by government or by an authority. Censorship can be described as the suppression of speech and expression of an individual or a community. Restriction can be described as the walls created by the authority for the individual or for the group so that the spread of the deeds do not spread in public. Censorship can be categorized as the censorship of the media like print media, internet or other electronic media. Censorship is considered as the last option by any government to restrict the domestic news growing into a mass movement. Restrictions are posed mainly to the individuals to restrict them from spreading misdoings of the authority among the public.
There is some difference between censorship and restrictions as is evidenced in many countries of the world. Restrictions are milder in nature and appear to be akin to politely asking someone not to do something. Censorship on the other hand is harsher in the sense that people are not allowed to engage in some particular activities as the government feels that these activities are not right to indulge in.
One example of censorship is the censor board that awards certificates or ratings to a film based upon its content. Members of such a censor board view the film and then decide whether entire public should be allowed to view the movie or should there be any restrictions like only adults to be allowed to watch the movie. Restrictions are more in terms of moral policing as to what women in particular should be wearing, which is what is followed in some countries, particularly in Arab world.
In recent times, censorship has taken the form of banning websites, particularly social networking sites as conservative countries feel that their populations will hear about freedom and liberty as experienced in the west and will demand the same in their own countries. Some countries that deliberately ban websites are Iran and communist China. But what governments in countries like this fail to realize is that knowledge and freedom are inevitable and no one can create artificial walls to prevent people from knowing what is happening in other parts of the world.
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