ABSTRACT

The past several years in the United States have witnessed a remarkable debate over whether and how to control media content. The discussion has included most of the media-film, television, popular music recordings, computer games and video games, and, of course, the Internet and the World Wide Web (traditional print media have been largely ignore d)-and has ranged from arguments about whether controls are needed at all, to what kinds of controls best fit U.S. political and social needs. One recent upshot of this debate, although hardly the end of the discussion, has been Federal legislation mandating that a V-chip be installed in virtually every new television set sold in the U.S., the industry announcement of a companion TV rating system in January 1997, and a remarkable outpouring of public and government dissatisfaction with that system, leading to its modification less than a year later.