The Slippery Slope of Censorship


Self-Censorship is most commonly practiced by state-controlled newspapers, or in magazines which belong to right-wing theocratic or conservative political philosophies.

HumSub represents the liberal social and political philosophy. It allows freedom of speech, which surely hurts the sentiments of one group of people or the other. You can not please everyone all the time. However, it will never censor or deprive you, from your right of speech.

Mr. Muhammad Ata has written an article about NoorJehan, which is full of misogyny and utter hate. I, as a reader, would definitely condemn his thoughts, choice of words and would love to expose his fallacies, but I can not give him a shut up call as it’s his right to say whatever he feels like. This basic principle of liberal philosophy exists because of the logical fallacy of “Slippery Slope”

A Slippery slope is a point in the action, where once you put your one foot on a slope, you cant stop from slipping into more depth. This is exactly what happens when you start censoring what you “personally” don’t like. For example, Today you want to censor Mr. Ata because his views about NoorJehan are absurd, will it stop here?

No, tomorrow you will have another reason to censor Mr. X because he writes against your political hero. Next day, you will censor Mr. Y for writing against your faith and in the last, you will reject all those articles which do not start with the praise, applaud, and compliments to the editor.

Hence, the liberal magazine gives you a platform like Hyde Park where you have every liberty to express your thoughts within the technical requirements ( Guidelines for Authors) to write. If a particular article fits those requirements, it will be published, regardless of “philosophical association of author or content”. It’s not about what is written, it’s about how it is written. The decision to accept or reject the philosophical content of the article is in the hands of readers, that is you. You have every right to close the tab on your browser and move to next article or shut the website. It’s you, who will decide what do you want to read.

When you demand a censorship, you actually deprive other readers of reading and making their own informed decision to accept or reject a given point of view or opinion. You take their right to choose or reject an opinion, in your hands, and make a decision for them like a dictator which is a violation of their fundamental right to knowledge and information.

Because of the same principle, internet Neutrality is a burning issue in today’s era. Should porn be banned on the internet? No, tomorrow you will demand a ban on the website of your rival politicians too. Understand the slippery slope before cursing the editorial board, or calling it a publicity stunt like few did when few pictures of Sunny Leone were published.

I hope my dearest friends, understand this basic demand of liberal and free journalism.

Thank you

Dr. Bilal Fazal


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