Sometimes the effect of censorship is the opposite of what is intended. Instead of avoiding the New York Museum of Art's recent controversial exhibit, many were drawn to it out of curiosity because of Mayor Guilliani's attempts to censor it. The same thing happens with banned books. People only read the book to find out what is so bad about it.

People censor actions and comments daily, depending on individual circumstances or audiences. Children are often sheltered by their parents, who choose to censor inappropriate material. Teens are allowed more personal freedom and what they are exposed to is broadened.Many organizations in the media must, on a routine basis, censor information. They base decisions on appropriate subject matter on certain standards they uphold. There are some situations where censoring information is extremely necessary. Police investigators on the verge of a breakthrough do not want the media to share everything about the investigation with the public for obvious reasons.

However, taking censorship to an extreme can also have negative effects. People need to be informed and able to make decisions based on unbiased information. If everything was censored according to personal beliefs, it would be difficult to discern truthful and complete information.

Individuals have a lot of responsibility because, ultimately, despite any banned book list or exhibit, they have the final decision. People can, in most cases, choose what to be exposed to or what they want to expose to others. This is why it is difficult to make a general statement about everything and say censorship is always good or vice versa.