I believe in censorship. I really do! I think it's a hugely important tool available to us all. You believe in censorship too. No, you do...honestly. You might think you don't but I can assure you that you not only believe in it you actively practice it almost all the time. Don't bother to disagree, I'm definitely right.It could be you're sat there shaking your head fooling yourself that you're completely anti-censorship then how do you feel about child porn? Do you think that should be available? "That's different" you might say "that's illegal!". Well, yes. Illegal and repugnant it most certainly is but it's still censorship.
If that's a bit extreme then how about this, would you allow your child (or A child) look at hard core pornography? Censorship. "But that's obviously not the right thing to do!" you might respond and I would completely agree. Hence we censor it. We, as people, are constantly practicing censorship be it in the form of censoring others or, even more often, self censorship. It doesn't even have to be anything as dramatic as the above examples. Did you ever tell your meaningful other they looked great in any given clothing item even when you thought they maybe didn't? If not...how's single life treating you?
Censorship is nothing more than a part of our lives and most times it's just the way the world works. Although I avoid talking about LiveLeak too much on here I believe it's valid to do so now. On LiveLeak we censor certain things. We don't allow "flaming" because all you end up with is flame wars in comments. We don't allow racial slurs because, again, that's all you'll end up with while you hemorrhage advertising and watch you site either swamped with porn ads or go down the toilet.
The important thing for me is what's not censored and where. If someone has private property be it a website or a house then whatever rules or censorship they put in place is their business. But if they choose not to censor anything which isn't illegal (the obvious things like child porn and the like, not the new bad things such as upsetting someone) then that should be their right too, and this is where my believing in censorship hits a brick wall very hard because these rights are slowly being taken away from the individual and handed over to 'authority' to decide.
It's my belief that whilst we might censor language on LiveLeak we should never, ever censor opinions or beliefs no matter how ignorant, no matter how outlandish. A person's beliefs and opinions are their own and they have every right to share them just as others have every right to refute or ignore them. This is why we'll never censor opinion. That being said if I was a member on another site that I enjoyed but they banned mention of the word "gusset" I wouldn't complain, I'd just weigh up whether the level of censorship was acceptable to me and if it wasn't I'd leave.
If the government decided the word gusset was banned it would be a different story. The whole element of choice has now been taken away and this is something we're seeing more and more often. Not the word gusset (yet) but people not being allowed to have an opinion in case it 'offends' the sensibilities of others. That, however, is for another blog entirely regarding personal accountability.
Censorship is important, we all practice it, we all believe in it. But we need to protect and cherish our ability to choose the level of censorship we operate within and not have it imposed on us.