Paremos la censura
Nuevamente las tendencias tenebrosas, esta vez en México, pretenden acallar y quebrar nuestra derecho a la libre expresión con el pretexto de las buenas costumbres y la moral católica de comunidades sumidas en el atraso y la falta de oportunidades. En este caso sirvió de pretexto la performance “Cierra las Piernas” que realizara la accionista Rocío Boliver, alias La Congelada de Uva, en el evento “Primer Encuentro de Contracultura”. Al ser invitada nuevamente a participar en la Conferencia “Febrero, arte y erotismo en Casa Serrano” a realizarse el pasado 26 de Febrero en la ciudad Los Lagos, Guadalajara, México, se detuvo su participación ante amenazas físicas por parte de un grupo de la sociedad, el clero y autoridades del Estado. La Casa Serrano es administrada por el Centro Universitario de Los Lagos y su Rector el Sr. Roberto Castelán es amenazado y ordenado a renunciar en razón de autorizar la presentación de Boliver en el evento. Así se denuncia a los sectores regresivos del poder comunal, sobre todo al presidente de la Junta Comunal, el Sr. Francisco Torres Marmolejo, que se sienten amenazados en su poder político y un desafío a su status fundado en el temor religioso y en la pretendida moral irreprochable que pregonan.
El derecho de las autoridades municipales a protestar por lo que consideran impropio en el marco de la estrechez de concepciones que les impone el sistema educativo que les ha tocado en suerte es incontestable. Cuestionamos el intento por impedir la libre expresión artística de Rocío Boliver, artista del performance que se ha caracterizado por su compromiso inalienable contra la falsa moral y crítica acérrima de toda suerte de morales retrógradas o cimentadas en fundamentalismos, sobre todo en el campo del sexo y el erotismo. Sólo les faltó instalar un fogón en la plaza central de Los Lagos.
Por ello, solicitamos a todos los artistas del performance de todo el mundo a protestar ante esta conducta de las autoridades que pretende anular nuestro derecho a la libre expresión. La performance, en razón de su índole rebelde y marginal, se ha vuelto, en tanto forma de expresión artística, en uno de los medios más adecuados para comunicar esta constante satisfacción que puede provocar en nosotros la injusticia e inhumanidad propias del sistema en que vivimos y ofrece, generosa, las vías adecuadas para su denuncia.
Censorship is ever present in México nowadays. A group comprised of zealots, the clergy and government authorities stopped a performance feautered by Rocio Boliver, alleging “morally offensive conduct”. This claim, headed by Mr. Francisco Torres Marmolejo, president of The Communal Meeting and various local religious extremists. Rocio Boliver -a.k.a. The Frozen Grape- performed “Close the Legs” in the First Encounter of Counterculture. She was invited to participate in the Conference “February, Art and Erotism at Serrano House” on the 26th of February in Los Lagos city, Guadalajara, México. This participation was canceled because of the many violent threats they received. “Serrano House” is managed by both, the University Student Center and its Regent is Mr. Roberto Castelán. The censor group demanded Mr Roberto Castelán’s resignation as he allowed Boliver to participate in this event with her controversial performance.
We condemn the censorship of the free artistic expression of Rocio Boliver. Her performances have always criticized the false morality of the ruling class. We believe she is the victim of a true witch-hunt. Therefore we request all performance artists in the world to give us their support against censorship of performance as artistic expression from the margins, belonging to the underground movements. Raising your voice against oppression is a universal method to communicate these injustices and wrong doings to the wider public. Feedback, support comments for Rocio Boliver and the free artistic expression can be sent to this emails:
Rocío Boliver: firstname.lastname@example.org
Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful or sensitive, as determined by a censor. The rationale for censorship is different for various types of information censored:
- Moral censorship, is the removal of materials that censor deems to be obscene or otherwise morally questionable. Pornography, for example, is often censored under this rationale, especially child pornography, which is censored in most jurisdictions in the world. In another example, graphic violence resulted in the censorship of the “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” movie entitled Scarface, originally completed in 1932.
- Military censorship is the process of keeping military intelligence and tactics confidential and away from the enemy. This is used to counter espionage, which is the process of gleaning military information. Very often, militaries will also attempt to suppress politically inconvenient information even if that information has no actual intelligence value.
- Political censorship occurs when governments hold back information from their citizens. The logic is to exert control over the populace and prevent free expression that might foment rebellion.
- Religious censorship is the means by which any material objectionable to a certain faith is removed. This often involves a dominant religion forcing limitations on less prevalent ones. Alternatively, one religion may shun the works of another when they believe the content is not appropriate for their faith.
- Corporate censorship is the process by which editors in corporate media outlets intervene to halt the publishing of information that portrays their business or business partners in a negative light. Privately owned corporations in the business of reporting the news also sometimes refuse to distribute information due to the potential loss of advertiser revenue or shareholder value which adverse publicity may bring. See media bias. Trade secret law may be used by corporations as a censorship device. For example, trade secret law may help keep company-sponsored research confidential, when revealing it would reveal negative health effects of the product researched.
Censorship of state secrets and prevention of attention
In wartime, explicit censorship is carried out with the intent of preventing the release of information that might be useful to an enemy. Typically it involves keeping times or locations secret, or delaying the release of information (e.g., an operational objective) until it is of no possible use to enemy forces. The moral issues here are often seen as somewhat different, as release of tactical information usually presents a greater risk of casualties among one’s own forces and could possibly lead to loss of the overall conflict. During World War I letters written by British soldiers would have to go through censorship. This consisted of officers going through letters with a black marker and crossing out anything which might compromise operational secrecy before the letter was sent. The World War II catchphrase “Loose lips sink ships” was used as a common justification to exercise official wartime censorship and encourage individual restraint when sharing potentially sensitive information.
An example of “sanitization” policies comes from the USSR under Joseph Stalin, where publicly used photographs were often altered to remove people whom Stalin had condemned to execution. Though past photographs may have been remembered or kept, this deliberate and systematic alteration to all of history in the public mind is seen as one of the central themes of Stalinism and totalitarianism.
Censorship of educational sources
The content of school textbooks is often the issue of debate, since their target audience is young people, and the term “whitewashing” is the one commonly used to refer to selective removal of critical or damaging evidence or comment. The reporting of military atrocities in history is extremely controversial, as in the case of the Nanking Massacre, the Armenian Genocide, The Holocaust (or Holocaust denial), and the Winter Soldier Investigation of the Vietnam War.
Religious groups have at times attempted to block the teaching of evolution in publicly-funded schools as it contradicts their religious beliefs, or have argued that they are being censored if not allowed to teach creationism as science in those schools, though their arguments have been rejected by United States courts in cases such as Edwards v. Aguilard and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. The teaching of sexual education in school and the inclusion of information about sexual health and contraceptive practices in school textbooks is another area where suppression of information occurs. Political correctness sometimes prohibits the open discussion of divergent views.
In the context of secondary-school education, the way facts and history are presented greatly influences the interpretation of contemporary thought, opinion and socialization. One argument for censoring the type of information disseminated is based on the inappropriate quality of such material for the young. The use of the “inappropriate” distinction is in itself controversial, as it changed heavily. A Ballantine Books version of the book Fahrenheit 451 which is the version used by most school classescontained approximately 75 separate edits, omissions, and changes from the original Bradbury manuscript.
Suppression/falsification of scientific research
Scientific studies may be suppressed or falsified because they undermine sponsors’ commercial, political, religious or other interests or because they fail to support researchers’ ideological goals. Examples include, failing to publish a study which shows that a new drug is harmful, or truthfully publishing the benefits of a treatment while failing to describe harmful side-effects. Scientific research may also be suppressed or altered to support a political or religious agenda. In the United States some government scientists, including NASA climatologist Drew Shindell, have reported governmental pressure to alter their statements regarding climate change.
Censorship in music and popular culture
The original cover of nude Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins provoked an outrage, prompting distributors to sell the album in a plain brown wrapper. Copies of the album were impounded as obscene in several jurisdictions (including 30,000 copies in New Jersey).
American musicians such as Frank Zappa have repeatedly protested against censorship in music and pushed for more freedom of expression. In 1986, Zappa appeared on CNN’s Crossfire to protest censorship of lyrics in rock music, denying that harm will be done or unrest caused if controversial information, lyrics, or other messages are promulgated.
Music censorship has been implemented by states, religions, educational systems, families, retailers and lobbying groups – and in most cases they violate international conventions of human rights.
Aside from the usual justifications of pornography, language and violence, some movies are censored due to changing racial attitudes or political correctness in order to avoid ethnic stereotyping and/or ethnic offense despite its historical or artistic value. One example is the still withdrawn “Censored Eleven” series of animated cartoons, which may be innocent then but “incorrect” now.
A related example is dance censorship, which can be found across the globe, both today and historically. Dancing’s associations with youth, sexuality, and expression have often made it a target for religious reformers and government control.
Copy, picture, and writer approval
Copy approval is the right to read and amend an article, usually an interview, before publication. Many publications refuse to give copy approval but it is increasingly becoming common practice when dealing with publicity anxious celebrities. Picture approval is the right given to an individual to choose which photos will be published and which will not. Robert Redford is well known for insisting upon picture approval. Writer approval is when writers are chosen based on whether they will write flattering articles or not. Hollywood publicist Pat Kingsley is known for banning certain writers who wrote undesirably about one of her clients from interviewing any of her other clients.
Censorship of maps
Google Earth censors places that may be of special security concern. The following is a selection of such concerns:
- The former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam had expressed concern over the availability of high-resolution pictures of sensitive locations in India.
- Indian Space Research Organization says that Google Earth poses a security threat to India and seeks dialogue with Google officials.
- The South Korean government has expressed concern that the software offers images of the presidential palace and various military installations that could possibly be used by North Korea.
- Operators of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor in Sydney, Australia asked Google to censor high resolution pictures of the facility. However, they later withdrew the request.
- The government of Israel also expressed concern over the availability of high-resolution pictures of sensitive locations in its territory, and applied pressure to have Israeli territory (and the Occupied Territories held by Israeli forces) appear in less clear detail.
- The Vice President of the United State’s residence (Naval Observatory) in Washington, DC has been pixelated, as has the Federal Gold Depository at Fort Knox.
- In Morocco, the partially government owned Maroc Telecom Internet access provider banned all its subscribers for over two years for using Google Earth, but early in 2008 the censorship was removed.
In this form of censorship, any information about existence of censorship and the legal basis of the censorship is censored. Rules of censoring were classified. Removed texts or phrases were not marked.
In this form of censorship, censors rewrite texts, giving these texts secret co-authors.
Censorship is regarded among a majority of academics in the Western world as a typical feature of dictatorships and other authoritarian political systems. Democratic nations are represented, especially among Western government, academic and media commentators, as having somewhat less institutionalized censorship, and as instead promoting the importance of freedom of speech. The former Soviet Union maintained a particularly extensive program of state-imposed censorship. The main organ for official censorship in the Soviet Union was the Chief Agency for Protection of Military and State Secrets generally known as the Glavlit, its Russian acronym. The Glavlit handled censorship matters arising from domestic writings of just about any kind — even beer and vodka labels. Glavlit censorship personnel were present in every large Soviet publishing house or newspaper; the agency employed some 70,000 censors to review information before it was disseminated by publishing houses, editorial offices, and broadcasting studios. No mass medium escaped Glavlit’s control. All press agencies and radio and television stations had Glavlit representatives on their editorial staffs.
Some thinkers understand censorship to include other attempts to suppress points of view or the exploitation of negative propaganda, media manipulation, spin, disinformation or “free speech zones.” These methods tend to work by disseminating preferred information, by relegating open discourse to marginal forums, and by preventing other ideas from obtaining a receptive audience.
Sometimes, a specific and unique information whose very existence is barely known to the public, is kept in a subtle, near-censorship situation, being regarded as “subversive” or “inconvenient”. Michel Foucault’s 1978 text “Sexual Morality and the Law” (later republished as “The Danger of Child Sexuality”), for instance – originally published as La loi de la pudeur [literally, “the law of decency”], defends the decriminalization of statutory rape and the abolition of age of consent laws, and as of July 2006, is almost totally invisible throughout the Internet, both in English and French, and does not appear even on Foucault-specialized websites.
Suppression of access to the means of dissemination of ideas can function as a form of censorship. Such suppression has been alleged to arise from the policies of governmental bodies, such as the FDA and FCC in the United States of America, the CRTC in Canada, newspapers that refuse to run commentary the publisher disagrees with, lecture halls that refuse to rent themselves out to a particular speaker, and individuals who refuse to finance such a lecture. The omission of selected voices in the content of stories also serves to limit the spread of ideas, and is often called censorship. Such omission can result, for example, from persistent failure or refusal by media organizations to contact criminal defendants (relying solely on official sources for explanations of crime). Censorship has been alleged to occur in such media policies as blurring the boundaries between hard news and news commentary, and in the appointment of allegedly biased commentators, such as Nancy Grace, to serve as anchors of programs labeled as hard news but comprising primarily commentary.
The focusing of news stories to exclude questions that might be of interest to some audience segments, such as the avoidance of reporting cumulative casualty rates among citizens of a nation that is the target or site of a foreign war, or in the prevention, treatment, and curing of disease, is often described as a form of censorship. Favorable representation in news or information services of preferred products or services, such as reporting on leisure travel and comparative values of various machines instead of on leisure activities such as arts, crafts or gardening has been described by some as a means of censoring ideas about the latter in favor of the former.
Self-censorship: Imposed on the media in a free market by market/cultural forces rather than a censoring authority. This occurs when it is more profitable for the media to give a biased view.