Turn on thread page Beta

Societal consequences of political censorship watch

    • Thread Starter

    Today I saw a thread where one individual wanted to discuss reducing crime and the load on the welfare/benefits state via mass deportation of people based on their skin colour or religious identity. And the result of this thread was (unsurprisingly!) a barrage of people expressing very shocked & offended opinions at such an idea (and the thread was promptly deleted barely minutes into it's existence).

    I do not in any way agree with the guys views (and I can see exactly why the thread was deleted). But I also couldn't but help feel that by deleting the thread, opportunities were also missed for the individuals views to be intellectually challenged (and possibly changed) through open debate, education and new perspectives, and also for the opposing side to better understand how the individual arrived at their conclusions (and thus opportunities missed to become better equipped to battle such idea's).

    That essentially, by censoring the guys voice, it did not fundamentally help anything; he still goes away holding his toxic views (and is none the wiser) and will vote based on his views. And the opposition? Still dumbounded as to how an individual arrived at that state of mind (and are no better equipped to combat it).

    The thing is though that forum threads aside, we live in a broader society where racism is a major and thriving problem, and where via our democracy, we have voted to leave the EU, and Far Right groups are on the rise everywhere. And yet despite these serious times, few places are willing to hold host to any genuinely open debate on some of the major thought processes that have led a masses of people to vote to Leave, or have led people to hate others based on their colour or religion etc. Likewise, because of the societal ignorance brought about by censorship, many Remainers were also dumbfounded at how many real life people actually voted to Leave; many Remainers quite frankly had little idea of the scale of the opposition (nor how to effectively combat it).

    Instead of fostering political value unity, I believe that censorship of politically incorrect discussions may have actually allowed Far Right thinking to prosper, and that also be consequence, the Left Wing debates for combating such ideologies in the changing times, are increasingly dumbed down, ignorant of the opposition and ineffective in effect etc.

    While most people do not want to appear to condone racist or other unpalatable views, we need to be careful about the long-term effects of too much political censorship. I believe that if Left Wing arguments truly are correct, then they need to be able to survive by their own merits in a real life debate environment, as opposed to only externally existing (but true scale unknown) in a semi-artficial environment created by political censorship.
    Such a censored society will increasingly fail to understand and gauge the true dynamics of its more silent political morphing populations. Revolutions (for better and much worse) almost never happen out of the blue; they fester under the socially censored surface of society for a long time before breaking out to the surface in large force.

    How much do you believe in and agree with Free Speech; Do you believe that political censorship is productive to a more socially unified and civilized society, or is counterintuitive to one?

    To answer your question, I personally believe that political censorship is highly counterintuitive to a civilised society. Engaging in any form of censorship only allows ideas which are targetted to foster underground, not be challenged and strengthen. Furthermore, the ideas which are not censored, or agree with the status quo, just circulate in a giant safe space and isolate everyone within their own little bubbles.

    On a separate note, I have a quarrel with this:

    >we live in a broader society where racism is a major and thriving problem


    Censorship is counterproductive. Those on the the right who hold reasonable views feel like their being silenced, leading to the rise of a far right (and left)
    • TSR Group Staff

    TSR Group Staff
    You cannot reason someone out of a viewpoint they did not reason themselves into.

    Rationality, debate and evidence mean nothing to an extremist. If you invite them to debate all you'll end up with is a diatribe of nonsense claims, most of which will be presented without any evidence at all, others with discredited studies and biased reports.

    Debunking these spurious arguments to try and change the poster's view is an exercise in futility most of the time, they have no interest in actually looking at the facts objectively, all they want is a chance to "convert" others to their dogma.

    Of course some of them aren't even true believers anyway, they're just trolls and shills. In those cases you're doubly wasting your time, since the poster won't even care about what you've written, because all they're looking for is a reaction to what they've posted.
The home of Results and Clearing


people online now


students helped last year
A-level students - how do you feel about your results?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.