Censorship can be defined as "the practice of examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts."
So then why are bad words bad? Well, it usually dates back to some time in history when the word received a bad connotation. This was often times a result of class dispute, or if the word was seen as insulting to God. This often times means that in media today, the words are censored. For how much fuss people can put up about suppression of bad words, this is not even close to the worst kind of censorship.
So how many kinds of censorship are there?
Bad words are censored for the same reasons as gore, nudity, and drug use in popular media: They are seen as too socially unacceptable to be shown to the public lightly. This is practiced in America, though it's been declining with shows such as The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. However, there are much more sinister kinds of censorship.
In 1998, China initiated the Golden Shield Project. This was a program, headed by the Chinese government, to ensure that all internet usage was controlled and filtered by the state. In a TED Talk from Michael Anti, he outlines the "Great Firewall of China". They have blocked most, if not all, international Internet services, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Instead, they've replaced them with clones: Baidu, Renren, Weibo, and Youku, respectively. This keeps the network contained entirely in China, and the server in Beijing, so that the government can access it at any time.
In this same way, they've been trying to contain everything speaking ill of the Chinese government. And artist from China, Ai Weiwei, has been actively working against the Chinese state, reflected by his art. The government has destroyed a gallery of his, kept him under surveillance, and sent officers to beat him.
Russification is defined as a process of assimilation in which a non-Russian culture is forced to become more like Russia. Through censorship of a culture, and deliberate use of exclusively Russian culture, Russia forces cultures out of existence.
What I'm referring to when I say that censorship is bad isn't censorship of explicit material, but censorship of ideas, the use of censorship to oppress people, and censorship of culture.
And if it seems bad in China or Russia, the situation is far worse in North Korea.
In North Korea, there is no freedom of the press. The government directly controls the one news agency, aptly named the Korean Central News Agency. Internet access is illegal, and only select government officials have it. All citizens must use a strictly North Korean network called Kwangmyong. Koreans are lied to outright by the government, completely isolated from the world outside of North Korea. They believe that they live in paradise on Earth, and the media only reinforces the personality cult surrounding Kim Jong Un. This means that many people nearly worship him as a god.
In actuality, the country is in famine, poverty, and people are tortured daily in "political prison camps", where prisoners and their families are held in lifelong detention and forced to work. They are essentially concentration camps from Germany during World War II. But all of this is kept from the people. Censored.
This is all terrible, but surely it wouldn't happen in a country like America? Well, while we don't have anything nearly as bad, America has its own sort of censorship.
In George Orwell's book, 1984, he details a dystopian society where the Ministry of Truth individually combs over all media and removes anything found disagreeing with the government or supporting ideas or culture. If you were to act at all against the government, even in private, the Thought Police would find you and eliminate not just you, but your ideas. And perhaps the worst of it was that the citizens would help to support the regime, friend turning on friend and child turning on parent, reporting them to the government for acting out.
It seems now that the key to and infinite energy source is clear: If we hook up a generator to George Orwell's grave, the world could by powered by how fast he is spinning.
AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY AND WHY I CHOSE THIS TOPIC
"Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 29 May 2014.
"How China's Internet Police Control Speech on the Internet." How China's Internet Police Control Speech on the Internet. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2014.
Jacobs, Andrew. "Visit by Google Chairman May Benefit North Korea." The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 Jan. 2013. Web. 29 May 2014.
Orwell, George. 1984. Milano: Mondadori, 1984. Print.
"Prédateurs - Kim Jong-un - Reporters Without Borders." Prédateurs - Kim Jong-un - Reporters Without Borders. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2014.
"Russification." The Free Dictionary. Farlex, n.d. Web. 29 May 2014.
"Why Are Bad Words Bad?" YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 29 May 2014.
"World Press Freedom Index 2014." Reporters Without Borders. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2014.