The censorship of music restricts free access to musical works in society. Some of the primary motivations for music censorship are related to moral, political and religious reasons. There is debate over whether censorship is good or bad in the music industry. There are many advantages to music censorship that can result in positive effects on children, adults and society.
Limit Influence of Lyrics That Glorify Violence
Because music can be influential, a young child could be persuaded by violent music if he's vulnerable or immature. Music that glorifies violence might incite young children and adults to engage in violent behavior. If music is censored, parents would likely not purchase the violent music for their children, which could result in a decline in violent crime statistics.
Reduce Negative Stereotyping
Music can be socially harmful because it affirms negative stereotypes. For example, some songs reaffirm stereotypes such as violence and physical spouse abuse. Proponents could argue that the government should censor negative stereotyping, as it does when it regulates criminal behavior. By censoring negative stereotypes, the government can help eliminate the already damaging social stereotypes reinforced by uncensored music.
Help the Government Meet a Moral Obligation
Advocates for censorship could argue that the government has an obligation to censor music because it helps protect the morals of society. Some say the censorship of vulgarity and obscenity in music could deter the corruption of children. Young, easily influenced minds of children wouldn't be exposed to graphic lyrics they're unable to fully comprehend or could misinterpret. Some children may not even be able to separate fantasy from reality at a young age, providing the government with another moral obligation to censor music.
Upholds the First Amendment
Because the music industry doesn't self-regulate the content of lyrics, the government is needed to do the regulating. This can help prevent the glorification of lyrics that threaten or offend its listeners.
Helps Limit Intolerance in Youths
Some youths might be exposed to the repetition of certain lyrics that display disrespect to a particular individual or society. After repeated exposure, youths might become desensitized to the severity of intolerance for that particular individual or group. Moreover, censorship might enable youths to be more tolerant to these individuals or groups.
Possible Increased Profitability
Censorship could lead to increased profitability for artists in the music industry. By producing a censored album, the artist could appeal to a younger audience that was previously unable to buy it. This could also help increase the artist's fan base by appealing to a more diverse range of listeners' age.
Aubrey Warshaw has experience working in federal, state and local levels of government. He has a Master of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in political science. Warshaw's written work includes policy briefs for a 9-12 institution, letters to constituents and various reports involving policy issues such as education and poverty.