A Responsible Government Must Act to Protect Its Citizens, and This Protection May Justifiably Include the Use of Censorship. Critically Assess This Viewpoint.

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‘Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and one of the basic conditions for its progress and for each individual’s self-fulfilment’ (Robertson G., as cited in Petley 2009). The growing concern caused by possible abuse of censorship in modern societies has raised numerous debates in regards to an appropriate balance between censorship and freedom of expression. This essay will argue that notwithstanding the fact that liberty of speech should hold a central place in today’s world in order to be consistent with democratic values and public interest, nonetheless this right can never be absolute due to possible repercussions resulting eventually in possible social chaos. Therefore, government’s interference in some cases is necessary to not only preserve the balance against certain rights, but also to comply with general duties involving responsibility for national security, protection of its citizens and prevention of public disorder or crime within the country. The scope of this essay will focus on defining censorship, analysing its function and most common forms as well as examining possible justifications and consequences of imposing restrictions on the public’s freedom of expression. Censorship gives governing bodies the right to not only control exchanged information, opinions and ideas but also allows to examine different forms of communication including but not limited to, press, TV, radio broadcastings or Internet, usually in pursuance of suppressing objectionable or offensive material. This right has inevitably been a hallmark of authoritarian regimes throughout the history where absence of democratic values makes it easier for government to impose repressing conditions on citizens (Petley, 2009). The Most effective form of controlling undesirable contents was prevention from ever being produced at all, what would probably be met nowadays with a wide objection across democratic countries (Petley, 2009)....
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