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FEPP Archives - Issues - Violence in the Media

Friend Of The Court Brief In Indianapolis Video Games Censorship Case
(November 8, 2000) - Scholars and authors specializing in the field of media and communications submitted a brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit explaining that there is no scientific or empirical justification for a censorship law that barred access by any person under 18 to any video game that contains simulated "graphic violence" and is considered "harmful to minors." In March 2001, the court invalidated the law.

Scholars Ask American Academy of Pediatrics to Reconsider Misstatements About Media Violence
(2001-02) - FEPP and a group of media scholars asked the American Academy of Pediatrics to reconsider its November 2001 Policy Statement on Media Violence because of its "many misstatements about social-science research on media effects." The AAP responded, but refused to allow its letter to be published.

Not In Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, And The Innocence Of Youth
(2001, 2nd edition 2007) - From Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter, Internet filters to the v-chip, censorship is often based on the assumption that children and adolescents must be protected from "indecent" information -- whether in art, in literature, or on a Web site. In Not In Front of the Children, FEPP Director Marjorie Heins explores the fascinating history of indecency laws and other censorship aimed at youth.

A Psychologist Surveys the Wreckage
(June 19, 2002) - University of Toronto Professor Jonathan Freedman's comprehensive examination of "media violence" research is a must-read for anyone interested in whether social-science studies have actually proved anything about the effects of entertainment. Media Violence and Its Effect on Aggression: Assessing the Scientific Evidence.

FEPP Asks AMA To Stop Playing Politics With Media Violence
(June 2002) - At a panel on media violence in May 2001, Dr. Edward Hill, chair-elect of the American Medical Association, said there were "political reasons" for the AMA to sign on to an inaccurate statement claiming scientific proof of adverse effects from media violence. A year later, in the wake of continuing misstatements about the social science research, FEPP asked the AMA to reconsider its policy.

Friend of the Court Brief by 33 Media Scholars in St. Louis Video Games Censorship Case
(September 25, 2002) - 33 media scholars, historians, psychologists, and games researchers filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, opposing a law that bars minors from video games containing "graphic violence." The scholars' brief explains that, contrary to popular belief, most efforts to prove adverse effects from media violence have yielded null results, and that "experts on childhood and adolescence have long recognized the importance of violent fantasy play in overcoming anxieties, processing anger, and providing outlets for aggression."

Appeals Court Strikes Down St. Louis Video Games Law
(June 3, 2003) - The decision agrees with FEPP's brief on behalf of 33 media scholars that experimenters have not proven violent content to have widespread adverse effects.

Media Researchers Cancel
(November 21, 2003) - Why did two media violence researchers back out of their scheduled appearance at the FTC?

image: war of our fathers by richard marin


The Free Expression Policy Project began in 2000 to provide empirical research and policy development on tough censorship issues and seek free speech-friendly solutions to the concerns that drive censorship campaigns. In 2004-2007, it was part of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. The FEPP website is now hosted by the National Coalition Against Censorship. Past funders have included the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, the Open Society Institute, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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