In his book Edited Clean Version Raiford Geins discusses the technologies used to enforce control culture and the changing role of censorship in relation to consumer’s lives. With the development of these new technologies computers and television create new obstacles and make it more difficult to control what people watch.
Technology now gives power to the consumer. The consumer can now decide what to watch.
“Control becomes normalized, if nor willfully accepted and embodied, as a preference, action and product for free choice” (18).
Parents are given power in deciding what their children are allowed to be exposed to. Parental controls are now incorporated into hardware to filter out “unsuitable” content and prohibit children from accessing the material. “Governance comes from within and is orchestrated within the familiar space of the home and in cultural technologies like television” (17). The Parent is given ultimate control. This new technology creates a new problem. People are no longer being censored by one governing force, but are rather doing the censoring themselves. “This ethos requires citizens to govern themselves and to become ‘experts of themselves’ for their own self-governance” (178). This however hinders not only the parent, but ultimately the child from cultural freedom. If the parent controls what they watch how are they able to be exposed to anything outside from what their parents believe to be appropriate? What can we watch now?
The decision of what to watch is now left up to the parent to protect their child by controlling what they watch. Every parent has a different method of parenting in relation to censorship. Some parents believe their children
shouldn’t be exposed to certain content at all, others think moderately in that viewing content is okay in the presence of an adult, and some parents don’t believe in censoring their children at all. Every child is going to be exposed to different forms of censorship, but ultimately censorship within the home will not prevent a child from viewing content. “At the same, the authority of expertise regarding the parental function has broadened its scope to include non-family values institutions” (178). Technology now makes it nearly impossible for a parent to entirely censor what their child watches. As what the parent believes is suitable only applies in their home where they have total control. Basically if someone really wants to see something they will find a way to see it.
Guins, Raiford. Technology and the Culture of Control. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2009. Print.