Discusses censorship of the Internet, books, hate speech, and motion-picture ratings.


Opinions on what constitutes censorship vary widely. When a publisher decides not to publish a book for reasons of morality, politics, or pressure from outside sources, some would consider that censorship. However, the publisher is investing money to produce the work, and anticipates a return on that investment. Doesn't that give the publisher the right to decide what will, or will not, be produced?

When an editor says the author must make changes because his or her view of the material differs from the writer's, some call that censorship. It's the editor's job to shape the material for publication, but where does shaping the author's work end and changing it begin?

The bookseller has a limited amount of space to display his wares. The bookstore is in business to sell books. When the store's racks display what may be trendy rather than what may be controversial or literary, some people consider that censorship.

Librarians have a limited budget to buy books. Circulation—how many books patrons take out—may be one of the factors that determines the amount of money provided to a library. When popular novels appear on library shelves . . .

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