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Pointless Censorship

Posted by Tim on Sunday, July 18, 2004 | Permalink

My last post about free speech got me thinking about some of the utterly pointless (and patronising) forms of censorship that we've had to put up with.

For a long time, the voice of Jerry Adams (Sinn Fein president who supported the I.R.A.) was banned from UK media. You could watch a video clip of the guy talking, but his voice was dubbed by someone else. Now, I would have thought that it was what he was saying that was the problem - not the sound of his voice (irritating though it is). So ... what exactly was the point? He was still getting his point across wasn't he?

It's rather like when swear words were "bleeped out". You didn't need to be a lip-reading expert to work out what the actual word spoken was - so why did someone think it necessary to bleep the word out? It's not the sound of the word that "some viewers may find offensive", it's the meaning of that word.

Similarly in some publications writers cannot use the word "fuck" (for example) but are allowed to write "f**k". Are the letters themselves in some way offensive ..... or am I missing something here?


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