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Censorship: A Brief Summary

Updated: May 21

Since the start of media, humans have always pushed for certain messages to be included. Whether that be for shock value, representation, or simply to bring the topic to light. But

with these people, there has been another kind of push. The push for “privacy” or to keep secret topics in the dark. Possibly for seeing them as too graphic or taboo. And thus, censorship was born. Interestingly enough, the term censorship originates from the officer of censor, from ancient Rome. Conducting the census was in charge of limiting/regulating morals of the citizens and what was acceptable. 

Skipping ahead from 443 BCE, the first book banning on record here in the U.S. took place in 1637 in Quincy, Massachusetts. When Thomas Morton published his book, New England Canaan, which was then banned by the Puritan government. This was due to the fact that it was thought to be too harsh and critical of Puritan customs and structures. Since this ban, many more have taken place. Within books, movies, music, any form of media really has experienced their own form of censorship. Especially in the most recent years within schools, libraries, and even book stores. Even within media, it is spoken about. 

There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. ― Ray Bradbury

"Banned books" has even become a whole genre, that people take pride in reading. A 91% increase in books being banned has been scored in the past 5 years. These books mostly include graphic violence, race, gender identity, sexuality, and the list goes on. This brings

the argument of censorship REALLY helping or hurting? By blocking out the chance to learn about topics, does that block the student's mind? Or is it protecting them from dangerous topics? 

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