In the American society, there has been a controversy over the issue of sexual explicit information for quite sometime. This controversy has mostly pitted the government, religions and other conservative society members on one side, and the media and those propagating for such information on one side.
We will write a custom essay sample
on ACLU and Censorship or any similar
topic specifically for you
Those who have been opposed to the sexual explicit information in the society feel that such information dents the image of morality in the public. Therefore, such groups have been advocating for information in the media to be censored before it is released to the public. However, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been a strong opponent of this move since it was introduced in the early 20th century. According to ACLU, cases like pornography are just a way of expression which should be protected as per the First Amendment Act (Hill, para 3).
It has to be agreed that the society needs to have the freedom of expression in all manners, but it has also to be understood that the corporate world would fight to protect anything that fits their interests. This is the reason as to why most of the corporate world has taken task together with ACLU to fight censorship.
Impact of anti censorship
In the corporate world, it is obvious that the organizations that have got a big chunk of share dominate many things to their best interest. It is the sole responsibility of the government to regulate all types of the industry in the society. There is no any other body that is well mandated to carry out this activity. It is not possible to expect that the consumers would basically regulate what they get in the market.
Therefore, when the government has been handcuffed in controlling the media, most of the rich corporate are going to buy more speech compared to other stakeholders. It thus implies that with anti-censorship motions, those who will end up winning in the whole debate are those who have got a lot of, money that can enable them to buy as much as theywant. It is because of such issues that most of the censorship law suits taken up by ACLU have always been given a lot of publicity by the media organizations (Hill, para 8).
Page 2 ACLU and Censorship Essay
In essence, the media world has tried to use the First Amendment Act for their owncommercial interests. There have been various effects in the society because of the anti-censorship law suits that have been castigated by ACLU. For instance, in 1974, there was a law suit that was presented by ACLU that was against campaign spending. Since then, the case of Buckley v. Valeo has been used against various attempts to bring about campaign reforms.
ACLU has been also at the forefront in campaigning against any move by the government to restrict different forms of commercial adverts and speech. What has ended up in the society because of such moves has been to make the speech to be very expensive and only those can afford it, can thus make effective speech. In actual sense, any corporation that has got a lot of resources can use it to its benefits more than the society and just turn out to be either as bad as the government or even worse off. The government has been endowed to act as a referee in various issues, and it can as well apply to free media and the first amendment (Farber, para 6).
The issue of censorship has also been a controversy in the internet technology world. Much information especially pornographic information is relayed through the internet. This is what mostly the society and the government have been trying to control. However, ACLU has been also against this saying it is against the first amendment bill which seeks to suppress ideas or information passed basing only on content of the information. Therefore, it is the belief of ACLU that everybody has been guaranteed under the constitution to express themselves in all manners. Hence, it is not constitutional for any person to be restricted to express themselves on the argument that such acts are obscene or pornographic in nature matters (ACLU, 1994 para 7).
Many people who are opposed to pornographic materials especially the internet which is not easy to control feel that these movies usually indicates a form of discrimination directed at women. On the other hand, ACLU argues that pornography actually does not discriminate nor harm. In essence, ACLU believes that the argument of censoring any sexual related information like pornography is aimed at diverting the real problem of enabling women to acquire complete equality in the society in terms of legal matters (ACLU, 1995 para 5).
There are actually various institutions and activities that the government controls, which basically benefits both the public and the government. However, the refusal by ACLU to allow the censorship of information especially such as pornographic materials is actually uncalled for. There is need for the government to protect the entire society especially against the corporations that are ready to make profits at the expense of genuine moral issues that ends up affecting the society.
ACLU. Censorship of Obscenity Pornography and Indecency Policy Number 4 ˜ Policy Guide ˜ 1995. Retrieved on May 29, 2009 from http://w2.eff.org/Censorship/obscenity_and_censorship_aclu.article.
ACLU. Why The ACLU Opposes Censorship Of “Pornography”, 1994. Retrieved on May 29, 2009 from http://w2.eff.org/Censorship/aclu_opposes_porno_censorship.article.
Farber, Dave. ACLU Cyber-Liberties Analysis: Revised Exon Amendment, 1995. Retrieved on May 29, 2009 from http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/199505/msg00008.html.
Hill, Steven. Will the ACLU’s “Decency” Lawsuit Harm the First Amendment? Retrieved on May 29, 2009 from http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/Porn/HillACLU.html.