Pictures of Boston Bombings and the Question of Censorship

I was browsing my Facebook feed when I came across a pic from the bombing about the story of the good Samaritan that helped the man being led from the scene in a wheelchair. You can clearly see the mangled stumps where the man's legs were and the helper visibly pinching a vein closed to stop him from bleeding to death. The recounting was for emotional impact, to show the amazing bravery of those willing to help and shed positive light on the tragedy.

I don't disagree with the intent - it's an action that I find indescribably admirable. I don't even really disagree with the posting of such a graphic scene, though it was obviously very hard to look at. My point is more of an observation than anything else:

Censorship has become pointless.

The internet has become an entity of information and expression, a force that legislation or control cannot, and frankly should not, contain. More than structured media like TV, games, or books, cyberspace is instantaneous and viral, moving content faster and farther than any human intervention can prevent. And the things we as a society deem reprehensible or unfit for impressionable minds can be found more easily than ever. Forget filtering porn or bad language - I come back to a simple wall posting on a Facebook page. One of my friends posted it, but a child could just as easily see it from a relative's post, and for good reason - this attack is the main topic right now: no one doesn't know about it and the real, tangible effects of death and lifelong disability are out in the open. It's something that cannot be censored, would most likely cause rage if it were, and is part of our post-9/11 society where not just established terrorist groups but seemingly "lone wolves" (the Boston bombers included) seem to be growing in frequency.

When stuff like this is available at all times, when violence and death are being discussed more than ever, is it really, truly, honestly important that our kids don't know what the "F-word" is? Or what sex is? And even if it were, do you really think they can be "shielded" from these things until "the time is right?" As far as I'm concerned, no, and while I probably won't become the parent that just tells my kids everything when they're 5 and let them sort it out (I'm honestly the kind of person that fears slipping a swear-word and hearing them repeat it while they're still in diapers Ala "Meet the Fockers"), it just doesn't make sense to be so prudish about the real world when the real world is banging on our doors harder than ever.

vid87:
When stuff like this is available at all times, when violence and death are being discussed more than ever, is it really, truly, honestly important that our kids don't know what the "F-word" is? Or what sex is? And even if it were, do you really think they can be "shielded" from these things until "the time is right?" As far as I'm concerned, no, and while I probably won't become the parent that just tells my kids everything when they're 5 and let them sort it out (I'm honestly the kind of person that fears slipping a swear-word and hearing them repeat it while they're still in diapers Ala "Meet the Fockers"), it just doesn't make sense to be so prudish about the real world when the real world is banging on our doors harder than ever.

Big difference between making kids aware that violence and sex exist, and allowing them to watch hardcore porn or slasher movies.

There's a difference between shielding them from a concept, and shielding them from the graphic and often disturbing realities of that concept.

I saw the same picture and it shocked me. Is disturbing and I think it's tasteless that its broadcasted. A similar event occurred a while ago, when the guy was killed in a luge(sp?) accident at the Vancouver Olympics. The news networks repeatedly and constantly played the footage of the accident... The rag doll bouncing and breaking off of pillars and all over the place still haunts my memories. Fake violence doesn't phase me. I can watch the goriest slasher flicks and barely bat an eyelash, but seeing it for real, knowing that that is a real person breaking and snapping like that disturbs me to the core. I had to avoid news networks for a while after that time, lest I see more of that horrific footage.

Now I don't think that it should be illegal or anything to post or broadcast stuff like that... I just find it tasteless and crass. Akin to those bastards in the computer lab when I was in high school watching Islamic extremists beheading their victims.

SonicWaffle:

vid87:
When stuff like this is available at all times, when violence and death are being discussed more than ever, is it really, truly, honestly important that our kids don't know what the "F-word" is? Or what sex is? And even if it were, do you really think they can be "shielded" from these things until "the time is right?" As far as I'm concerned, no, and while I probably won't become the parent that just tells my kids everything when they're 5 and let them sort it out (I'm honestly the kind of person that fears slipping a swear-word and hearing them repeat it while they're still in diapers Ala "Meet the Fockers"), it just doesn't make sense to be so prudish about the real world when the real world is banging on our doors harder than ever.

Big difference between making kids aware that violence and sex exist, and allowing them to watch hardcore porn or slasher movies.

There's a difference between shielding them from a concept, and shielding them from the graphic and often disturbing realities of that concept.

Of which I think you can only do so much, especially when the realities are beyond the powers of a parental lock or even avoiding certain sites. I've been on Google images searching for something completely harmless and I'll immediately come across scenes of gore, photoshopped or not. I wouldn't want to throw it in their faces but I'm feeling like it will inevitably happen no matter what I do and I'm talking the really nasty things like the scene from the bombings, something you would see in a war-zone that you never thought you would witness in your lifetime.

You're right - throwing up your hands wouldn't do anyone any good, but at the same time I wonder how you go about being responsible without massive censorship when so many horrible things are so easy to encounter these days?

Censorship is not pointless.

We have quite a few children of all ages in my family. Filters on computers work--especially when parents are responsible enough to pay attention and regulate how much internet time their children have and their usage--as is very successfully done with us.

Moreover filters will continue to evolve in sophistication just fine. Don't want your children to see mangled bomb victims any more than you want them to see pornography? Yeah, the technology is there for the most part and it will evolve because there is a demand for it. Demand=$$$$. Money talks.

I recognize that kids can gain access to their friends' etc, but the truth is that was always true. Playboy magazines weren't available at my house growing up but a friend of mine had gotten a few and when I stayed over at his house we leered at the pictures; this was pre-internet time--see what Movie Bob has to say about that on his review of Heavy Metal the Movie. It's funny and surprisingly enlightening to people who grew up with the internet. :)

Copper Zen:
Censorship is not pointless.

We have quite a few children of all ages in my family. Filters on computers work--especially when parents are responsible enough to pay attention and regulate how much internet time their children have and their usage--as is very successfully done with us.

Moreover filters will continue to evolve in sophistication just fine. Don't want your children to see mangled bomb victims any more than you want them to see pornography? Yeah, the technology is there for the most part and it will evolve because there is a demand for it. Demand=$$$$. Money talks.

I recognize that kids can gain access to their friends etc, but the truth is that was always true. Playboy magazines weren't available at my house growing up but a friend of mine had gotten a few and when I stayed over at his house we leered at the pictures (this was pre-internet time--see what Movie Bob has to say about that on his review of Heavy Metal the Movie. It's funny and surprisingly enlightening to people who grew up with the internet. :)

Another thing to consider is that if someone wants to find out something, they will find a way past every barrier you put before them. No-one likes knowledge being kept from them.

Filters do work though.

kailus13:

Copper Zen:
Censorship is not pointless.

We have quite a few children of all ages in my family. Filters on computers work--especially when parents are responsible enough to pay attention and regulate how much internet time their children have and their usage--as is very successfully done with us.

Moreover filters will continue to evolve in sophistication just fine. Don't want your children to see mangled bomb victims any more than you want them to see pornography? Yeah, the technology is there for the most part and it will evolve because there is a demand for it. Demand=$$$$. Money talks.

I recognize that kids can gain access to their friends etc, but the truth is that was always true. Playboy magazines weren't available at my house growing up but a friend of mine had gotten a few and when I stayed over at his house we leered at the pictures (this was pre-internet time--see what Movie Bob has to say about that on his review of Heavy Metal the Movie. It's funny and surprisingly enlightening to people who grew up with the internet. :)

Another thing to consider is that if someone wants to find out something, they will find a way past every barrier you put before them. No-one likes knowledge being kept from them.

Filters do work though.

I remember in high school I was the kid with the list of proxies to get past the filters. I updated it daily to keep outdoing the filters. We were old enough so there was no point to having the filters.

Xan Krieger:

kailus13:
Another thing to consider is that if someone wants to find out something, they will find a way past every barrier you put before them. No-one likes knowledge being kept from them.

Filters do work though.

I remember in high school I was the kid with the list of proxies to get past the filters. I updated it daily to keep outdoing the filters. We were old enough so there was no point to having the filters.

They would keep one on anyway purely so that they don't get sued or something. If you use a proxy then the school cannot be held responsible.

Xan Krieger:
I remember in high school I was the kid with the list of proxies to get past the filters. I updated it daily to keep outdoing the filters. We were old enough so there was no point to having the filters.

I seriously doubt that all the kids in your school lined up to get you past the filters. Some? Sure. Dozens? Hundreds?

As I said there are are always ways past such barriers. Just having the filters up keeps plenty of kids who aren't in the "proxie crowd" loop from getting past the school filters.

It's like a line I read in a war book "Contraband is everywhere. As long as it doesn't interfere with unit integrity it's okay."

Or to put it another way: Just because some people get past the filters you shouldn't take declare the filters to be useless. If nothing else taking them away would leave the door wide open for abuse. Having them there keeps the majority of kids in line.

Censorship can unfortunately still be made efficient. But only at the cost of pretty much excluding one's child from social media sites, since all sorts of content can pop up there.

Trying to shield anyone from a reality they have to live in is foolish. But I suppose it'd not be as much fun to sneak peak at porn at 13, if there weren't anyone trying to withhold it. So it's still going to be a road to popularity to have the latest jazz records Playboy magazines open internet connections. And they'll go all the more at it once free of the parental control.

There are several problems with censorship, especially in situations like the Boston event.

1) It can lead to a false sense of what really happened. There was a news organization that photoshopped out many of the injuries in the photos they released. Wounds were magically healed and clothing restored. They did it to "protect" their viewers from the gore and horror of course but now what happens if their version of the photos are accidentally used in history books or documentaries? Future generations could see the altered reality and think, "Oh, that doesn't look so bad. How could anyone have died or lost limbs from that? They're barely even hurt." And thus the real cost and horror of it is lost to those viewers. You are essentially trying to re-write history simply because it was ugly.

2) By teaching our children to "don't look" or "look away" at disturbing things we're ensuring they don't know how to react if those very same situations happen to them one day. The Escapist recently had the news story of the stabbing in the gaming cafe overseas where the people near the stabbing just kept playing while the stabbing was going on right next to them.

Another event brought to my mind is the news story here in the U.S. where a security camera captured footage of a man attempting to rob (maybe rape?) a woman late at night. A homeless man tackled the robber which allowed the woman to get away but the hero was subsequently stabbed by the robber before the robber, too, ran off. The video then shows the homeless hero, injured, all through the night and most of the next day crawling and moaning on the sidewalk while passers-by walk by him, ignoring his pleas for help. He died of his injuries later that next day, alone on the sidewalk, with only the luck of that video camera being nearby to show what happened and the heroic act the man performed. How many of the pedestrians had been taught growing up to "look away" and "mind your own business"? Chances are that if they had been taught to look at situations around them and to not be afraid of blood maybe the guy would still be alive.

3) My final point. By showing the true horrors of these events we can get people to maybe truly see, and feel, a bit better what all those other countries that WE bomb are going through when they have innocent civilians as casualties. We tend to be like those anti-gay politicians who suddenly have a change of heart once they find out someone in their family is gay. We refuse to see things from other people's point of view until it happens to us. By censoring the harshness of reality we might accidentally be preventing that necessary shock needed to get people to see things from another view.

Kuala BangoDango:
It can lead to a false sense of what really happened. There was a news organization that photoshopped out many of the injuries in the photos they released. Wounds were magically healed and clothing restored. They did it to "protect" their viewers from the gore and horror of course but now what happens if their version of the photos are accidentally used in history books or documentaries? Future generations could see the altered reality and think, "Oh, that doesn't look so bad. How could anyone have died or lost limbs from that? They're barely even hurt." And thus the real cost and horror of it is lost to those viewers. You are essentially trying to re-write history simply because it was ugly.

It reminds me of those iconic, Pulitzer-winning photos, like the one of the little Vietnamese girl, Kim Phuc, running down the street naked and crying after being sprayed with scalding napalm. Have we as a society actually come to any consensus if that's "censor-worthy?" (FYI she's still alive and still talks about her experiences). If you're teaching about the Vietnam War, how old must kids be until it's "the right time?" I wonder if this whole thing is even going to mentioned in school decades later?

vid87:
It reminds me of those iconic, Pulitzer-winning photos, like the one of the little Vietnamese girl, Kim Phuc, running down the street naked and crying after being sprayed with scalding napalm. Have we as a society actually come to any consensus if that's "censor-worthy?" (FYI she's still alive and still talks about her experiences). If you're teaching about the Vietnam War, how old must kids be until it's "the right time?" I wonder if this whole thing is even going to mentioned in school decades later?

I don't think you need to show photos that are horrific even to fully-grown adults in order to cover the major events of the Vietnam war. I think there isn't much to be gained in trying to hammer home the "horror" of war when kids are young. Of course we should teach them history and not try to convince them wars are fought with paintball guns and marshmallows, but until they're old enough to actually hold an intelligent dialog regarding the ethics of war there's really no benefit to pushing those horrific photos onto young kids.

Lilani:

vid87:
It reminds me of those iconic, Pulitzer-winning photos, like the one of the little Vietnamese girl, Kim Phuc, running down the street naked and crying after being sprayed with scalding napalm. Have we as a society actually come to any consensus if that's "censor-worthy?" (FYI she's still alive and still talks about her experiences). If you're teaching about the Vietnam War, how old must kids be until it's "the right time?" I wonder if this whole thing is even going to mentioned in school decades later?

I don't think you need to show photos that are horrific even to fully-grown adults in order to cover the major events of the Vietnam war. I think there isn't much to be gained in trying to hammer home the "horror" of war when kids are young. Of course we should teach them history and not try to convince them wars are fought with paintball guns and marshmallows, but until they're old enough to actually hold an intelligent dialog regarding the ethics of war there's really no benefit to pushing those horrific photos onto young kids.

Right, but in the case of Boston, you don't need to "push it" on kids - someone can put a photo on FB, and if we're living in the type of online society where someone could commit a crime, brag about it on Twitter, and be surprised when they're caught, then I can only assume that for every one person who stops and thinks about the children connected to their profile who would see the disturbing image, there's probably several more who would throw it on there (or even just share it with a click) without thinking at all.

I know that sounds "apples to oranges" but I can't help thinking the same thing would've happened if FB existed in the 60's.

vid87:
Right, but in the case of Boston, you don't need to "push it" on kids - someone can put a photo on FB, and if we're living in the type of online society where someone could commit a crime, brag about it on Twitter, and be surprised when they're caught, then I can only assume that for every one person who stops and thinks about the children connected to their profile who would see the disturbing image, there's probably several more who would throw it on there (or even just share it with a click) without thinking at all.

I know that sounds "apples to oranges" but I can't help thinking the same thing would've happened if FB existed in the 60's.

Your entire post had to do with the Vietnam War example, so that's what I addressed.

As for the rest, of course people would have put those terrible pictures on Facebook. People also put terribly sexual and inappropriate things on Facebook, that doesn't mean kids should be seeing them all the time. And no, we aren't going to keep kids from discovering these things. No generation has ever successfully gotten kids to have zero access to porn or things they don't want them to see in general, and I don't think anybody is saying we're going to start succeeding now, especially with the Internet.

However, there is a level of appropriateness when it comes to what we show in controlled environments like classrooms, and there are things that are necessary and things that are unnecessary. We can teach them that people were burned and raped or whatever else during wars and tragedies without actually showing people getting burned and raped. If kids want to look it up, then they will. However, none of that is necessary in the classroom setting, and again until they are old enough to understand the full context of what those things mean and are able to discuss them with that context in mind, there's really no point in bringing it up in that setting. It's just not necessary. They are powerful images, and should only be invoked if there is something to be gained from it. In fact, everything brought forward in school should be treated that way.

Lilani:

vid87:
Right, but in the case of Boston, you don't need to "push it" on kids - someone can put a photo on FB, and if we're living in the type of online society where someone could commit a crime, brag about it on Twitter, and be surprised when they're caught, then I can only assume that for every one person who stops and thinks about the children connected to their profile who would see the disturbing image, there's probably several more who would throw it on there (or even just share it with a click) without thinking at all.

I know that sounds "apples to oranges" but I can't help thinking the same thing would've happened if FB existed in the 60's.

Your entire post had to do with the Vietnam War example, so that's what I addressed.

You did, and while I thought I could make a comparison of how historically significant but questionably obscene pictures are readily available and the possibility of their graphic natures to actually inspire or inform, I apologize if I took your post out of context.

In any case, I still feel intense material is very easily viewable, wanted or not, and while a lot of you have made the case that censorship still matters, I think we're living in times where difficult subjects are coming close enough to our normal lives that it feels like, regardless of that normal "variable rate of success" with obscene things kids get their hands on, it's a lot harder to ignore it, or at least not discuss it. That photo was not from some far-off war-torn nation - it was in our country and the intensity of it was going to be brought up by some people.

I get what you're all saying about "these things happen" and that we still need to be vigilant with what we show others, but it just seems...not as simple to do anymore, to me.

I don't know that it needs to be censored, but it absolutely needs to be hidden, so to speak.

Extremely graphic photos should never be on the front page of a newspaper or the cover of a magazine. They should never be somewhere they can be viewed accidentally. There should be warning links on web pages so you have to deliberately tell the site "yes, I want to see this".

Freedom of speech works because we have the option of not listening. As long as people have the option of not seeing those photos, it's all good.

vid87:
You did, and while I thought I could make a comparison of how historically significant but questionably obscene pictures are readily available and the possibility of their graphic natures to actually inspire or inform, I apologize if I took your post out of context.

In any case, I still feel intense material is very easily viewable, wanted or not, and while a lot of you have made the case that censorship still matters, I think we're living in times where difficult subjects are coming close enough to our normal lives that it feels like, regardless of that normal "variable rate of success" with obscene things kids get their hands on, it's a lot harder to ignore it, or at least not discuss it. That photo was not from some far-off war-torn nation - it was in our country and the intensity of it was going to be brought up by some people.

I get what you're all saying about "these things happen" and that we still need to be vigilant with what we show others, but it just seems...not as simple to do anymore, to me.

Appropriateness of imagery still applies in adulthood. You wouldn't pull out highly graphic images of dismembered and decomposing bodies to casually talk about murders or debate about historical events. You wouldn't pull out highly sexual imagery in a casual or even scientific conversation about sex. If we don't show some sort of example of what is and isn't appropriate to show in casual or formal settings, then that is a lesson we have failed to teach them, and they are lesser for it.

And no, it has never been simple. Again, nobody is saying it is. But when it comes to the settings we do have control over, we should exercise that control. If your logic was applied to other things in life, it wouldn't make sense. "Kids are going to find porn anyway, so let's show them some hardcore porn in sex ed." "Kids are going to get ahold of dangerous stuff anyway, so why don't we sell them high-grade explosives and fireworks." "Kids are going to experiment with drugs and alcohol, so why don't we just sell them everything over the counter if they ask." "Kids are going to find ways to experiment with driving, so why don't we give them the keys and say 'Go!'"

I don't know if this next thought should be a separate thread: I've noticed TV is allowing for a lot more language - "shit" can now be said un-bleeped after a certain time of day, and that wasn't too long ago. I've heard the need for censorship for the really important things, but I guess my next question is: what do you think the censors will ease up on in the next few years?

It might be moving a little off topic but has anyone heard of all the TV censorship going on because of the Bombing? Lots of TV episodes are getting pulled, even off the web, because they contain bombs, references to the city of Boston, etc. The worst part is that the next episode of Hannibal is being pulled because it has a character that brainwashes children to kill each other. Nothing to do with bombs or Boston, just too sensitive for our grieving nation to deal with right now.

Events like this are tragic, but we always react like a little child who locks himself in his room for a week because he had a bad day. America needs to learn how to pull its head out of the sand, and carry on with life. I think the "Ostrich with it's head in the sand" analogy is perfect for how America handles these kinds of events.

cthulhuspawn82:
It might be moving a little off topic but has anyone heard of all the TV censorship going on because of the Bombing? Lots of TV episodes are getting pulled, even off the web, because they contain bombs, references to the city of Boston, etc. The worst part is that the next episode of Hannibal is being pulled because it has a character that brainwashes children to kill each other. Nothing to do with bombs or Boston, just too sensitive for our grieving nation to deal with right now.

Events like this are tragic, but we always react like a little child who locks himself in his room for a week because he had a bad day. America needs to learn how to pull its head out of the sand, and carry on with life. I think the "Ostrich with it's head in the sand" analogy is perfect for how America handles these kinds of events.

A Family Guy episode got pulled because it had a joke with Peter running over marathoners with his car. In the same episode, in a completely separate scene, he set off bombs with a cellphone. Some jackass decided to edit the two scenes together to make it look like one scene - Peter wins the marathon by setting off bombs.

.....okay:

-The episode aired before the attacks.

-McFarlane stated the episode had nothing to do with this and was upset over the attacks too.

-The show is watched by millions of people and somehow said jackass figured no one would call him/her out on it.

I feel like this is a lot like that incident with the woman who bashed two guys making sexist jokes and got them fired, only to get fired herself - it doesn't matter anymore what the truth is because any kind of uproar, valid or not, is too dangerous for corporate PR.

I don't see images like that and I frequent the Internet every day. You kind of have to be looking for this stuff to see it.

Pluvia:
I don't see images like that and I frequent the Internet every day. You kind of have to be looking for this stuff to see it.

Agreed! I am on the internet nearly 24/7 and I rarely see images like that.

But I have say this... because I don't click on the link! My wife has enough free time that I get tumblr and twitter links often. Recently she sent me a tumblr link that was about acid attacks against women. I clicked it and closed it within twenty seconds.

I knew I didn't want to see that, the same applies here. Just don't click the link, and if you do, consider it bad and move on. If others want to see, so be it, it doesn't hurt me to close the NSFW link. Why does it hurt anyone? Every single person who wants to see the victims CHOOSES to click a link.

Heck, to put in real perspective, I have only seen the World Trade Center collapse three times. One of the day it happened, one in Penn and Teller's Bulls**t, and one on tenth anniversary. I chose to avoid that imagery. Why can't we all?

DeimosMasque:

Pluvia:
I don't see images like that and I frequent the Internet every day. You kind of have to be looking for this stuff to see it.

Agreed! I am on the internet nearly 24/7 and I rarely see images like that.

But I have say this... because I don't click on the link! My wife has enough free time that I get tumblr and twitter links often. Recently she sent me a tumblr link that was about acid attacks against women. I clicked it and closed it within twenty seconds.

I knew I didn't want to see that, the same applies here. Just don't click the link, and if you do, consider it bad and move on. If others want to see, so be it, it doesn't hurt me to close the NSFW link. Why does it hurt anyone? Every single person who wants to see the victims CHOOSES to click a link.

Heck, to put in real perspective, I have only seen the World Trade Center collapse three times. One of the day it happened, one in Penn and Teller's Bulls**t, and one on tenth anniversary. I chose to avoid that imagery. Why can't we all?

I didn't choose to see the pic and I didn't have to click on anything to view it in full - it was right there on my feed. Just yesterday someone shared a link for a fundraiser for a baby with a brain tumor. I was scrolling down and right there in plain view is the pic of a baby with flesh bubble the size of nerf football growing out of the side of its head.

Seriously, I don't expect these things to just appear one day and I'm honestly considering making an announcement on my profile for people who want to post these things to leave me out of it if they can.

The insane part is that these are not meant to be scandalous or obscene - they're meant to inspire, motivate, or at least guilt-trip you into action like the anti-smoking ads that show decaying lungs and full-view surgeries. Asking people to take it down might come off as an insult. Maybe that's the real problem - traumatizing people with horrific images is supposed to be a GOOD thing now because it shoves reality in their faces and demands them to act.

....I think I'm actually more bitter and creeped out by all this than I thought when I first posted.

Lilani:

vid87:
It reminds me of those iconic, Pulitzer-winning photos, like the one of the little Vietnamese girl, Kim Phuc, running down the street naked and crying after being sprayed with scalding napalm. Have we as a society actually come to any consensus if that's "censor-worthy?" (FYI she's still alive and still talks about her experiences). If you're teaching about the Vietnam War, how old must kids be until it's "the right time?" I wonder if this whole thing is even going to mentioned in school decades later?

I don't think you need to show photos that are horrific even to fully-grown adults in order to cover the major events of the Vietnam war. I think there isn't much to be gained in trying to hammer home the "horror" of war when kids are young. Of course we should teach them history and not try to convince them wars are fought with paintball guns and marshmallows, but until they're old enough to actually hold an intelligent dialog regarding the ethics of war there's really no benefit to pushing those horrific photos onto young kids.

I've bolded the part I found interesting.

Here's a point: How can anyone become intelligent enough to discuss a subject when they know nothing about it? They're not going to know anything about it either if you're keeping them from hearing about it.

In fact, I reckon a person would be more shocked at this sort of thing if you showed it to them when they were older than if they were younger - If they find out about it when they're younger, they accept it as a fact of life. If they find out about it when they're older, then you've been shielding them from it for so long that it becomes a shock to them.

Sex, for instance, is a natural part of life, and yet we keep kids from finding out what it is until they're a certain age. Hell, we don't even like the thought of kids seeing the opposite gender's genitals for some reason, even though they are just another part of our bodies and shouldn't be anything to be ashamed of.

Basically, the longer you with-hold something from someone, the harder they'll find it to accept when you allow them to access it.

Captcha: Live free - Quite appropriate, don't you think?

frobalt:
I've bolded the part I found interesting.

Here's a point: How can anyone become intelligent enough to discuss a subject when they know nothing about it? They're not going to know anything about it either if you're keeping them from hearing about it.

In fact, I reckon a person would be more shocked at this sort of thing if you showed it to them when they were older than if they were younger - If they find out about it when they're younger, they accept it as a fact of life. If they find out about it when they're older, then you've been shielding them from it for so long that it becomes a shock to them.

Sex, for instance, is a natural part of life, and yet we keep kids from finding out what it is until they're a certain age. Hell, we don't even like the thought of kids seeing the opposite gender's genitals for some reason, even though they are just another part of our bodies and shouldn't be anything to be ashamed of.

Basically, the longer you with-hold something from someone, the harder they'll find it to accept when you allow them to access it.

Captcha: Live free - Quite appropriate, don't you think?

I think there are a few reasonable barriers that can be drawn.

Is a child below the age of 10 going to be both attuned and well versed enough on the Red Scare and pre-Cold War political scene to discuss whether or not the Viet Cong were a threat? Probably not. Until they get older and the history lessons get that intricate and detailed, I think "they made war" is detailed enough. You don't need to bring up imaginary numbers in order to teach a kid long division, and you don't need to show imagery of people on fire to teach a kid that in the 1960s we had a war in Vietnam, and that it wasn't very popular with people.

EDIT: Or hell, you could just describe these things and the kids can look them up if they're that curious. You don't need to see something to know that it happened. I know some people who got physically ill when they saw pictures of what happened to that one basketball player's leg a couple of weeks ago. While the history we teach should be thorough, there are ways to do that that don't require handing out barf bags. The kids can mentally scar themselves all they wish, I just don't want the school doing it institutionally.

Lilani:

frobalt:
I've bolded the part I found interesting.

Here's a point: How can anyone become intelligent enough to discuss a subject when they know nothing about it? They're not going to know anything about it either if you're keeping them from hearing about it.

In fact, I reckon a person would be more shocked at this sort of thing if you showed it to them when they were older than if they were younger - If they find out about it when they're younger, they accept it as a fact of life. If they find out about it when they're older, then you've been shielding them from it for so long that it becomes a shock to them.

Sex, for instance, is a natural part of life, and yet we keep kids from finding out what it is until they're a certain age. Hell, we don't even like the thought of kids seeing the opposite gender's genitals for some reason, even though they are just another part of our bodies and shouldn't be anything to be ashamed of.

Basically, the longer you with-hold something from someone, the harder they'll find it to accept when you allow them to access it.

Captcha: Live free - Quite appropriate, don't you think?

I think there are a few reasonable barriers that can be drawn.

Is a child below the age of 10 going to be both attuned and well versed enough on the Red Scare and pre-Cold War political scene to discuss whether or not the Viet Cong were a threat? Probably not. Until they get older and the history lessons get that intricate and detailed, I think "they made war" is detailed enough. You don't need to bring up imaginary numbers in order to teach a kid long division, and you don't need to show imagery of people on fire to teach a kid that in the 1960s we had a war in Vietnam, and that it wasn't very popular with people.

You're thinking of a learning curve there - You should always teach the basics before you teach more advanced stuff. It has nothing to do with age. Not directly anyway.

Hiding a subject from them completely until a certain age is a completely different thing.

Sex is a very common thing that is just outright hidden (or attempted to be hidden, anyway) from people until they reach a certain age. Hell, in some cases people are lied to about it so they won't want to do it at an age society has deemed they are too young.

As I said in my other post as well, the opposite gender's genitals is also something that is attempted to be hidden from people until they are a certain age - Especially women's, for some reason.

Ironically, censorship can cause people to seek out what is censored more than they would if no-one made a big deal out of it.

Would there be as many perverts in the world if no-one cared about displaying their nude bodies and clothes were worn for anything but hiding your body?

Would people say swear words as much if they were considered just normal words? Maybe, but then again, no-one would care as we wouldn't have been raised to believe they are wrong. Swear words are seen as disliked as they are often used aggressively.

All it boils down to is what society as a whole has deemed as acceptable and unacceptable which isn't even universal within our own species.

frobalt:
You're thinking of a learning curve there - You should always teach the basics before you teach more advanced stuff. It has nothing to do with age. Not directly anyway.

Hiding a subject from them completely until a certain age is a completely different thing.

Sex is a very common thing that is just outright hidden (or attempted to be hidden, anyway) from people until they reach a certain age. Hell, in some cases people are lied to about it so they won't want to do it at an age society has deemed they are too young.

As I said in my other post as well, the opposite gender's genitals is also something that is attempted to be hidden from people until they are a certain age - Especially women's, for some reason.

Ironically, censorship can cause people to seek out what is censored more than they would if no-one made a big deal out of it.

Would there be as many perverts in the world if no-one cared about displaying their nude bodies and clothes were worn for anything but hiding your body?

Would people say swear words as much if they were considered just normal words? Maybe, but then again, no-one would care as we wouldn't have been raised to believe they are wrong. Swear words are seen as disliked as they are often used aggressively.

All it boils down to is what society as a whole has deemed as acceptable and unacceptable which isn't even universal within our own species.

I know that children mature at different ages, but at this point age is the most objective and stable measuring stuck we've got.

Also, I don't understand why we've drifted from the topic of the media showing gruesome images of maimed bodies to public nudity. I see how they sort of intersect with that naked Vietnamese girl, but nudity isn't the only thing that makes that picture gruesome. In fact, I would say it's the least gruesome thing about it. And nudity wasn't the reason the media has avoided showing some pictures taken at the Boston Marathon bombings. I put this in an edit to that post, but I guess I just missed you. I know people who became physically ill after seeing pictures of what happened to that basketball player's leg a couple of weeks ago. Is showing a picture and video of what happend really necessary to tell that story? Yes it provides more in a sense, but does it really add so much to the story that it's worth making people who just wanted to read an article physically ill? People will look it up if they want to see it, I don't think anybody is trying to claim otherwise. But you should start with the basics first, and if people feel it is necessary they can personally make that journey farther if they choose.

Lilani:

frobalt:
You're thinking of a learning curve there - You should always teach the basics before you teach more advanced stuff. It has nothing to do with age. Not directly anyway.

Hiding a subject from them completely until a certain age is a completely different thing.

Sex is a very common thing that is just outright hidden (or attempted to be hidden, anyway) from people until they reach a certain age. Hell, in some cases people are lied to about it so they won't want to do it at an age society has deemed they are too young.

As I said in my other post as well, the opposite gender's genitals is also something that is attempted to be hidden from people until they are a certain age - Especially women's, for some reason.

Ironically, censorship can cause people to seek out what is censored more than they would if no-one made a big deal out of it.

Would there be as many perverts in the world if no-one cared about displaying their nude bodies and clothes were worn for anything but hiding your body?

Would people say swear words as much if they were considered just normal words? Maybe, but then again, no-one would care as we wouldn't have been raised to believe they are wrong. Swear words are seen as disliked as they are often used aggressively.

All it boils down to is what society as a whole has deemed as acceptable and unacceptable which isn't even universal within our own species.

I know that children mature at different ages, but at this point age is the most objective and stable measuring stuck we've got.

Also, I don't understand why we've drifted from the topic of the media showing gruesome images of maimed bodies to public nudity. I see how they sort of intersect with that naked Vietnamese girl, but nudity isn't the only thing that makes that picture gruesome. In fact, I would say it's the least gruesome thing about it. And nudity wasn't the reason the media has avoided showing some pictures taken at the Boston Marathon bombings. I put this in an edit to that post, but I guess I just missed you. I know people who became physically ill after seeing pictures of what happened to that basketball player's leg a couple of weeks ago. Is showing a picture and video of what happend really necessary to tell that story? Yes it provides more in a sense, but does it really add so much to the story that it's worth making people who just wanted to read an article physically ill? People will look it up if they want to see it, I don't think anybody is trying to claim otherwise. But you should start with the basics first, and if people feel it is necessary they can personally make that journey farther if they choose.

I'm not necessarily talking about public nudity here - Clothes would still be worn for fashion/comfort/warmth etc even if people were comfortable with showing their genitals.

I'm also talking about nudity in the media as well. I have no idea what you mean by nude Vietnamese child - I've not heard/seen about it.

I'm not saying that the details have to be shown to make a story believable. I just believe that the details shouldn't be hidden

frobalt:
I'm not necessarily talking about public nudity here - Clothes would still be worn for fashion/comfort/warmth etc even if people were comfortable with showing their genitals.

I'm also talking about nudity in the media as well. I have no idea what you mean by nude Vietnamese child - I've not heard/seen about it.

I'm not saying that the details have to be shown to make a story believable. I just believe that the details shouldn't be hidden

Ah, sorry, I guess you weren't a part of that conversation lol. Well to summarize--there was a photo taken during the Vietnam war of a girl scalded by napalm and running in the street in agony. The OP brought this up saying that because children aren't usually shown this photo when learning about the Vietnam war they are missing out on history. And that ties into the title of the thread as well, about pictures of the Boston Marathon not being shown on TV broadcasts.

I understand your concern about things not being hidden, but I think that hinges upon how the stories are written and presented, not on the images they do and don't choose to show. Yes images can be more revealing, but when the media censors a story they don't stop at images. And really, with social media, images are the easiest truths of a story to find. It's the facts that surround these images that get distorted. I can go on Google images right now and find hundreds of raw photos from Syria, or the uprisings in Egypt. But finding truthful and impartial commentary on the stories behind those images? Very difficult to find. Yes the mass media alters and censors images, but I don't think that is the worst or most damaging censorship they engage in. And I think it is necessary, to some degree. Again, the broken leg of that basketball player comes to mind.

Lilani:

frobalt:
I'm not necessarily talking about public nudity here - Clothes would still be worn for fashion/comfort/warmth etc even if people were comfortable with showing their genitals.

I'm also talking about nudity in the media as well. I have no idea what you mean by nude Vietnamese child - I've not heard/seen about it.

I'm not saying that the details have to be shown to make a story believable. I just believe that the details shouldn't be hidden

Ah, sorry, I guess you weren't a part of that conversation lol. Well to summarize--there was a photo taken during the Vietnam war of a girl scalded by napalm and running in the street in agony. The OP brought this up saying that because children aren't usually shown this photo when learning about the Vietnam war they are missing out on history. And that ties into the title of the thread as well, about pictures of the Boston Marathon not being shown on TV broadcasts.

I understand your concern about things not being hidden, but I think that hinges upon how the stories are written and presented, not on the images they do and don't choose to show. Yes images can be more revealing, but when the media censors a story they don't stop at images. And really, with social media, images are the easiest truths of a story to find. It's the facts that surround these images that get distorted. I can go on Google images right now and find hundreds of raw photos from Syria, or the uprisings in Egypt. But finding truthful and impartial commentary on the stories behind those images? Very difficult to find. Yes the mass media alters and censors images, but I don't think that is the worst or most damaging censorship they engage in. And I think it is necessary, to some degree. Again, the broken leg of that basketball player comes to mind.

One of your earlier posts mentioned the Red Scare and Communism and it occurs to me the bomb scares and hiding under desk drills my parents grew up with were in fact examples of part of a point I made in the OP - the horrors of the real world becoming unavoidable. Your comment here about truthful commentary makes me wonder what could've been worse - never telling kids why they hiding and drilling or letting them know they could die at any moment in a nuclear holocaust? Certainly now with 9/11, Newtown, and Boston and all the security measures that came afterwards that there is no hiding what kind of world we live in.

At the very least, I think I mis-spoke about my original point with graphic images. I think that, in addition to just being really annoyed that such things can pop into my view without warning, I'm confused about our priorities with censorship - I mentioned sex and language as being somewhat superfluous, but what I wonder more about is why showing a breast or saying a swear word is cause for alarm, but the images used on FB posts and on TV advocacy ads (anti-smoking, donating to children with debilitating illnesses like brain tumors, showing heroism in a nasty situation) don't seem to be questioned because they are in fact meant to be disturbing to galvanize people.

vid87:
One of your earlier posts mentioned the Red Scare and Communism and it occurs to me the bomb scares and hiding under desk drills my parents grew up with were in fact examples of part of a point I made in the OP - the horrors of the real world becoming unavoidable. Your comment here about truthful commentary makes me wonder what could've been worse - never telling kids why they hiding and drilling or letting them know they could die at any moment in a nuclear holocaust? Certainly now with 9/11, Newtown, and Boston and all the security measures that came afterwards that there is no hiding what kind of world we live in.

I think you're forgetting the middle ground that can be achieved. The red scare was more politically motivated than anything else, and the Cold War was also purely politics and saber rattling. I believe the nations did get close to firing off the bombs, but I also think that a huge part of the reason things got so close is because everybody on both sides was scared shitless. Not just the politicians and leaders, but also the people. While their fear was justified, mass panic is never helpful in any situation. I wasn't alive then so I don't know exactly what part the media played in the public's feeling of impending disaster, however there is no doubt in my mind that the politicians were using that fear to make sure people never for a moment pitied or trusted the other side.

That isn't a problem of censorship so much as how the information is presented to the public. Again, I don't think kids or the public should be lied to in order to make them feel safer. And now with the Internet we're more or less at the point where that's impossible to achieve. It is possible to practice drills without instilling fear. Fear causes panic, and while fear may cause people and children to pay close attention during drills, it can also drive them to a point where they are totally useless if a crisis does occur.

I live in Missouri, in the middle of Tornado Alley, and we have frequent tornado drills in schools. Signs are posted in school buildings that tell you where to go in case of a tornado, kids practice at least twice a school year, and every first Wednesday of the month at 10 AM the tornado sirens in all the towns across the state are tested. You really can't live here very long without having all the steps drilled into your head--find a place surrounded by sturdy walls and no windows, ideally on the lowest floor of the building, if you can't find a place like that then hop in a bathtub and put some sheets over you, have a radio or some communication device with you so you know what's going on, keep your head covered, etc. If you're in a car then pull over, get out, hide in a ditch or some recessed area and cover your head. When the tornado is over open up some doors and windows because the air pressure outside will have radically changed and could possibly shatter windows if it's left unchecked.

I've been near a few tornados, but I've never been in a building that was damaged. But still I know all these things, and when the sky turns green and tornado conditions do arise I know what to do. I feel a sense of urgency, but I don't panic, because I know what to do. And most everyone around here is the same way. We all know the power of tornados--Joplin a couple years back and Branson just last year have made sure nobody forgets. But we're familiar enough with them and the type of risk they pose that while we will protect ourselves, we can also keep it in perspective and move on with life.

During these drills, we're never shown pictures of tornado damage in order to get us to take it seriously. Of course nobody is going to take a drill completely seriously, I know as a kid I never did, but if you do something enough it becomes second nature. As long as people know the steps they're supposed to take, they'll be as prepared as they can be. If someone isn't going to take a drill seriously, then showing them tornado damage isn't going to change their mind. It's pointless, and in the end just unnecessary. And it's not that anybody's trying to deliberately hide the damage that can be caused. It's just not necessary for a drill. You don't need to show people a sinking boat to show them how to put on a life jacket, or a crashing plane to show them where the emergency exits are.

So again, I feel like there's a middle ground to be struck. You don't have to instill the fear of God into kids in order to teach them what they should do during a tornado, or an earthquake, or if there's a bomb threat or an intruder in the school. Just practice enough so that they know the steps and when the time comes they'll know what to do. The best we can do is equip them with the knowledge they need and let them do what they can. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. And showing that horse pictures of terribly dehydrated horses is not going to change its mind.

At the very least, I think I mis-spoke about my original point with graphic images. I think that, in addition to just being really annoyed that such things can pop into my view without warning, I'm confused about our priorities with censorship - I mentioned sex and language as being somewhat superfluous, but what I wonder more about is why showing a breast or saying a swear word is cause for alarm, but the images used on FB posts and on TV advocacy ads (anti-smoking, donating to children with debilitating illnesses like brain tumors, showing heroism in a nasty situation) don't seem to be questioned because they are in fact meant to be disturbing to galvanize people.

The reason I mentioned the politicians earlier was because stirring the public into a frenzy with shocking news stories and vivid images of a nuclear apocalypse helped them achieve what they wanted. This technique is also used by those graphic anti-smoking, anti-texting and driving, and donation ads. They're using shocking imagery to forward a cause. The reason people don't call them out is because their intention is a net positive--to get people to behave safely and help others in need. When the media does it, 9 times out of 10 it's just to get attention and TV ratings. It is the same technique, and it's just as cheap no matter who uses it, but the media gets more crap for it because they're just being greedy--stirring the public into a frenzy in order to make more bank.

I'll agree that we are a bit prudish when it comes to nudity and language. I wouldn't mind America adopting Europe's standards on these things. I don't know about sex--I think there are certain things that don't need to be on public access TV or on the giant screens in Times Square. Our priorities are messed up in some of those regards, but the way you were saying it earlier it seemed as though you were trying to say all forms of censorship are unnecessary, but that's just untrue.

Conspiracy theories. Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory. Except this one makes a pretty good case for the double amputee. Why they would need to stage it I don't know, there already are genuine deaths. I just cant see how a guy could go through that much trauma and still be concious.

http://enfordummies.com/wordpress/more-proof-evidence-boston-bombing-man-leg-blown-off-fake/

Lilani:
Our priorities are messed up in some of those regards, but the way you were saying it earlier it seemed as though you were trying to say all forms of censorship are unnecessary, but that's just untrue.

In essence, that was what I was saying, and I realize from the comments here that I went too far too fast with my assumptions. I think on a personal level I tend to make sweeping statements when something bothers me, like I want to declare something in order for it to make sense, and I've really, really, really need to stop doing that. I honestly appreciate the feedback - perspective is a wonderful thing. Still, I stand by my thought that the rules of censorship aren't particularly clear and agree with a good deal of your points, including looking at the "Europe model."

Lilani:
I don't know about sex--I think there are certain things that don't need to be on public access TV or on the giant screens in Times Square.

I know it goes against what I've been saying, but just the thought of it is hilarious. Like, everyone's walking around normally and suddenly a sex scene pops up for a second and a giant sex moan is blared from the speakers and everything comes to a screeching halt. It's like that scene from Fight Club on a bigger scale.

I'll just ring in with a little idea here.

Isn't stuffing the headlines, front pages and screend with the one big carnage for teh ratings also a form of "censorship", by omission, since all the other stuff that may well still be relevant and something people have "the right to know" basically being shoved aside?

 

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