Censorship is a complex issue often creating unlikely political allies. Most people think of sexuality when they hear the word censorship, and censoring sex has certainly been an obsession in the US. The rise of the World Wide Web has raised the issue once more, as pornography has become far more widely available than ever before. in need of censorship than sex. Some of these are the same folks who wish to control sexual representations, some are of a quite different political bend. There are others who believe that violent representation is more damaging than any representation of sexuality could be. And still others would censor political views deemed extreme.
Beyond these there is another kind of censorship, one far less talked about. It is represented by the Benetton parody ad on this page. One might call it censorship by corporate power - all the ways in which a more complicated and diverse flow of information is stifled by the profit motive that is the bottom line of corporate media. The sites below raise questions about all these kinds of censorship, and others.
- ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). The ACLU Free Speech page.
- EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation). Online Censorship and Free Expression site.
- Free Speech Coalition.
- The Freedom Forum and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt University.
- Index on Censorship. Index on Censorship was founded in the UK in 1972 by Stephen Spender with the goal to protect the basic human right of free expression. For the past 25 years, Index has reported on censorship issues from all over the world and has added to the debates on those issues. In addition to the analysis, reportage and interviews, each Index contains a country by country list of free speech violations.
- Items the censors don't want you to see.
- Banning Censorship. First-amendment attorney Marjorie Heins claims that both sides of the debate are arguing an unproven point: that minors need to be protected. But it isnt necessarily so.
- A Content Analysis of Internet-Accessible Written Pornographic Depictions. An article by Denna Harmon and Scot B. Boeringer, Appalachian State University.
- "Do Violent Films Shape or Reflect?" An article from Christian Science Monitor on the role of pop culture films in shaping images of Arabs for a US audience.
- Marketing Pornography on the Information Superhighway. For a Carnegie Mellon study, a research team downloaded all available pornographic images from five popular Usenet boards over a four month period. This study on pornography on the Internet was featured in Time magazine and on ABC-TVs Nightline.