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{{Selfref|For Wikipedia's policy concerning censorship, see Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not censored}}{{short description|The practice of suppressing information}}File:Life of Michael Angelo, 1912 - David + Fig Leaf Focus.png|upright=1.2|thumb|The plaster cast of David at the Victoria and Albert Museum has a detachable plaster fig leaf which is displayed nearby. Legend claims that the fig leaf was created in response to Queen Victoria's shock upon first viewing the statue's nudity, and was hung on the figure prior to royal visits, using two strategically placed hooks.WEB,weblink David's Fig Leaf, Victoria and Albert MuseumVictoria and Albert Museum{{Information science}}{{Censorship by country}}
Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient."WEB, censorship noun,weblink, 30 January 2019, WEB, cen·sor·ship,weblink, The American Heritage Dictionary, 30 January 2019, WEB, Definition of censorship in English,weblink, Oxford Living Dictionaries, 30 January 2019, Censorship can be conducted by governments,{{citation| title = censorship, n.| url =weblink| work = OED Online| publisher = Oxford University Press| date = June 2018| access-date = 8 August 2018}} private institutions, and corporations.Governments and private organizations may engage in censorship. Other groups or institutions may propose and petition for censorshipweblink "What Is Censorship", ACLU When an individual such as an author or other creator engages in censorship of their own works or speech, it is referred to as self-censorship. It occurs in a variety of different media, including speech, books, music, films, and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of claimed reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children or other vulnerable groups, to promote or restrict political or religious views, and to prevent slander and libel.{{multiple image|align=right|direction=vertical| image1 = | width1 = 235| image2 = | width2 = 235
Nikolai Yezhov, the man strolling to Joseph Stalin's left, was executed in 1940. Because of Censorship in the Soviet Union the soviet censors Damnatio memoriae of the photo.HTTP://WWW.NEWSEUM.ORG/BERLINWALL/COMMISSAR_VANISHES/VANISHES.HTM WEBSITE =THE NEWSEUMARCHIVEURL =HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20080320033922/HTTP://WWW.NEWSEUM.ORG/BERLINWALL/COMMISSAR_VANISHES/VANISHES.HTM, 20 March 2008, Such retouching occurred commonly during Stalin's rule.}}}}File:Chile quema libros 1973.JPG|thumb|upright=1.1|Book burning in Chile following the 1973 coup that installed the Pinochet regime.]]Direct censorship may or may not be legal, depending on the type, location, and content. Many countries provide strong protections against censorship by law, but none of these protections are absolute and frequently a claim of necessity to balance conflicting rights is made, in order to determine what could and could not be censored. There are no laws against self-censorship.


File:Victims of Communism Memorial DBKing A.jpg|thumb|upright=1.1|Chinese troops destroyed the statue Goddess of Democracy in Tiananmen Square in 1989, and continue to censor information about those events.NEWS, China blocks Tiananmen talk on crackdown anniversary,weblink 2013-05-08, Reuters, June 4, 2012, Sui-Lee Wee, Ben Blanchard, This statue, now known as the Victims of Communism Memorial, was recreated by Thomas Marsh in Washington, DCWashington, DCIn 399 BC, Greek philosopher, Socrates, while defying attempts by the Greek state to censor his philosophical teachings, was accused of collateral charges related to the corruption of Athenian youth and sentenced to death by drinking a poison, hemlock.The details of Socrates's conviction are recorded by Plato as follows. In 399 BC, Socrates went on trialM.F. Burnyeat (1997), The Impiety of Socrates Mathesis publications; Ancient Philosophy 17 Accessed November 23, 2017 and was subsequently found guilty of both corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens and of impiety (asebeia,Debra Nails, A Companion to Greek and Roman Political Thought Chapter 21 – The Trial and Death of Socrates John Wiley & Sons, 2012 {{ISBN|1-118-55668-2}} Accessed November 23, 2017 "not believing in the gods of the state"),Plato. Apology, 24–27. and as a punishment sentenced to death, caused by the drinking of a mixture containing hemlock.Fallon, Warren J. (2001). "Socratic suicide." {{PMID|19681231}}. US National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. 121:91–106. Retrieved September 12, 2013.Linder, Doug (2002). "The Trial of Socrates". University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law. Retrieved September 12, 2013."Socrates (Greek philosopher)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved September 12, 2013.R. G. Frey (January 1978).Socrates' student, Plato, is said to have advocated censorship in his essay on The Republic, which opposed the existence of democracy. In contrast to Plato, Greek playwright Euripides (480–406 BC) defended the true liberty of freeborn men, including the right to speak freely. In 1766, Sweden became the first country to abolish censorship by law."The Long History of Censorship", Mette Newth, Beacon for Freedom of Expression (Norway), 2010


The rationale for censorship is different for various types of information censored:
  • Moral censorship is the removal of materials that are obscene or otherwise considered morally questionable. Pornography, for example, is often censored under this rationale, especially child pornography, which is illegal and censored in most jurisdictions in the world.JOURNAL, Child Pornography: Model Legislation & Global Review,weblink International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, 2008, 5, 2012-08-25, harv,weblink" title="">weblink 2012-11-20, dead, WEB,weblink World Congress against CSEC,, 2002-07-27, 2011-10-21, dead,weblink" title="">weblink March 16, 2012,
  • Military censorship is the process of keeping military intelligence and tactics confidential and away from the enemy. This is used to counter espionage.
  • Political censorship occurs when governments hold back information from their citizens. This is often done to exert control over the populace and prevent free expression that might foment rebellion.
  • Religious censorship is the means by which any material considered objectionable by a certain religion is removed. This often involves a dominant religion forcing limitations on less prevalent ones. Alternatively, one religion may shun the works of another when they believe the content is not appropriate for their religion.
  • Corporate censorship is the process by which editors in corporate media outlets intervene to disrupt the publishing of information that portrays their business or business partners in a negative light,BOOK, Why We Curse: A Neuro-psycho-social Theory of Speech, Timothy Jay, 2000, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 978-1-55619-758-1, 208–209, BOOK, Regulating the Changing Media: A Comparative Study, David Goldberg, Stefaan G. Verhulst, Tony Prosser, 1998, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-826781-2, 207, or intervene to prevent alternate offers from reaching public exposure.WEB, McCullagh, Declan,weblink Microsoft's new push in Washington, CNET, 2003-06-30, 2011-10-21,



{{See also|Eastern Bloc information dissemination|Censorship in Cuba|Censorship in the People's Republic of China|Censorship in North Korea}}



Cuban media used to be operated under the supervision of the Communist Party's Department of Revolutionary Orientation, which "develops and coordinates propaganda strategies".WEB,weblink 10 most censored countries, The Committee to Protect Journalists, Connection to the Internet is restricted and censored.WEB,weblink Going online in Cuba: Internet under surveillance, 2006, Reporters Without Borders,weblink" title="">weblink 2009-03-03, dead,


The People's Republic of China employs sophisticated censorship mechanisms, referred to as the Golden Shield Project, to monitor the internet. Popular search engines such as Baidu also remove politically sensitive search results.WEB,weblink Baidu's Internal Monitoring and Censorship Document Leaked (1), China Digital Times (CDT), WEB,weblink Baidu's Internal Monitoring and Censorship Document Leaked (2), China Digital Times (CDT), WEB,weblink Baidu's Internal Monitoring and Censorship Document Leaked (3), China Digital Times (CDT),

Eastern Bloc

Strict censorship existed in the Eastern Bloc.{{Harvnb|Major|Mitter|2004|p=6}} Throughout the bloc, the various ministries of culture held a tight rein on their writers.{{Harvnb|Major|Mitter|2004|p=15}} Cultural products there reflected the propaganda needs of the state. Party-approved censors exercised strict control in the early years.{{Harvnb|Crampton|1997|p=247}} In the Stalinist period, even the weather forecasts were changed if they suggested that the sun might not shine on May Day. Under Nicolae CeauÅŸescu in Romania, weather reports were doctored so that the temperatures were not seen to rise above or fall below the levels which dictated that work must stop.Possession and use of copying machines was tightly controlled in order to hinder production and distribution of samizdat, illegal self-published books and magazines. Possession of even a single samizdat manuscript such as a book by Andrei Sinyavsky was a serious crime which might involve a visit from the KGB. Another outlet for works which did not find favor with the authorities was publishing abroad.



Iraq under Baathist Saddam Hussein had much the same techniques of press censorship as did Romania under Nicolae CeauÅŸescu but with greater potential violence.{{citation needed|date=April 2010}}

North Korea


{{See also|Censorship in Serbia}}According to Christian Mihr, executive director of Reporters Without Borders, "censorship in Serbia is neither direct nor transparent, but is easy to prove." Censorship in Serbia is easy to prove - RWB, B92, 19/02/2015. Retrieved 12/10/2016 According to Mihr there are numerous examples of censorship and self-censorship in Serbia B92, 19/02/2015. Retrieved 12/10/2016 According to Mihr, Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vučić has proved "very sensitive to criticism, even on critical questions," as was the case with Natalija Miletic, correspondent for Deutsche Welle Radio, who questioned him in Berlin about the media situation in Serbia and about allegations that some ministers in the Serbian government had plagiarized their diplomas, and who later received threats and offensive articles on the Serbian press.Multiple news outlets have accused Vučić of anti-democratic strongman tendencies.WEB,weblink How a Premier May Become a Strongman in Serbia: QuickTake Q&A, Filipovic, Gordana, March 27, 2017, Bloomberg, 2018-09-18, WEB,weblink Beware the chameleon strongmen of Europe, Nougayrède, Natalie, 2018-04-11, the Guardian, en, 2018-09-18, NEWS,weblink Serbia's latest would-be savior is a modernizer, a strongman – or both, Karnitschnig, Matthew, 2016-04-14, Politico Europe, 2018-09-18, en-US, WEB,weblink EU and the Balkans: Brussels' favorite strongmen, Janjevic, Darko, June 18, 2017, DW, en-US, 2018-09-18, NEWS,weblink Serbia's Vucic stronger than ever, Anastasijevic, Dejan, April 4, 2017, EU Observer, 2018-09-18, en, In July 2014, journalists associations were concerned about the freedom of the media in Serbia, in which Vučić came under criticism.Die Tageszeitung:Die Pampigkeit des Herrn Vučić - In Serbien werden Internetseiten attackiert, Blogs gesperrt und Blogger festgenommen. Die Betroffenen berichteten wohl zu kritisch über die Regierung (German) - The stroppiness of Mr. Vučić - In Serbia being attacked websites, blocked blogs and arrested bloggers. The victims reported probably too critical about the governmentDie Tageszeitung:"Serbische Regierung zensiert Medien - Ein Virus namens Zensur",; accessed 9 December 2015.{{de icon}}In September 2015 five members of United States Congress (Edie Bernice Johnson, Carlos Curbelo, Scott Perry, Adam Kinzinger, and Zoe Lofgren) have informed Vice President of the United States Joseph Biden that Aleksandar's brother, Andrej Vučić, is leading a group responsible for deteriorating media freedom in Serbia.NEWS,weblink What is Andrej Vučić occupation?, Čogradin, Snežana, 4 November 2016, Danas,


{{unreferenced section|date=May 2019}}{{further|Censorship in Singapore|Media censorship in Singapore}}In the Republic of Singapore, Section 33 of the Films Act originally banned the making, distribution and exhibition of "party political films", at pain of a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years. The Act further defines a "party political film" as any film or video
(a) which is an advertisement made by or on behalf of any political party in Singapore or any body whose objects relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore, or any branch of such party or body; or
(b) which is made by any person and directed towards any political end in Singapore
In 2001, the short documentary called A Vision of Persistence on opposition politician J. B. Jeyaretnam was also banned for being a "party political film". The makers of the documentary, all lecturers at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic, later submitted written apologies and withdrew the documentary from being screened at the 2001 Singapore International Film Festival in April, having been told they could be charged in court. Another short documentary called Singapore Rebel by Martyn See, which documented Singapore Democratic Party leader Dr Chee Soon Juan's acts of civil disobedience, was banned from the 2005 Singapore International Film Festival on the same grounds and See is being investigated for possible violations of the Films Act.This law, however, is often disregarded when such political films are made supporting the ruling People's Action Party (PAP). Channel NewsAsia's five-part documentary series on Singapore's PAP ministers in 2005, for example, was not considered a party political film.Exceptions are also made when political films are made concerning political parties of other nations. Films such as Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 are thus allowed to screen regardless of the law.Since March 2009, the Films Act has been amended to allow party political films as long as they were deemed factual and objective by a consultative committee. Some months later, this committee lifted the ban on Singapore Rebel.

Soviet Union

Independent journalism did not exist in the Soviet Union until Mikhail Gorbachev became its leader; all reporting was directed by the Communist Party or related organizations. Pravda, the predominant newspaper in the Soviet Union, had a monopoly. Foreign newspapers were available only if they were published by Communist Parties sympathetic to the Soviet Union.



{{See also|Censorship in Turkey|2017 block of Wikipedia in Turkey}}Online access to all language versions of Pseudopedia was blocked in Turkey on 29 April 2017 by ErdoÄŸan's government.NEWS,weblink Turkish authorities block Wikipedia without giving reason, 29 April 2017, BBC News, en-GB,

United Kingdom

United States

In the United States, censorship occurs through books, film festivals, politics, and public schools.WEB,weblink Books, National Coalition Against Censorship, en-US, 2016-04-11, See banned books for more information. Additionally, critics of campaign finance reform in the United States say this reform imposes widespread restrictions on political speech.WEB,weblink The Trick of Campaign Finance Reform, Christian Science Monitor, WEB,weblink Felonious Advocacy, reason,


Censorship also takes place in capitalist nations, such as Uruguay. In 1973, a military coup took power in Uruguay, and the State practiced censorship. For example, writer Eduardo Galeano was imprisoned and later was forced to flee. His book Open Veins of Latin America was banned by the right-wing military government, not only in Uruguay, but also in Chile and Argentina.WEB,weblink Fresh Off Worldwide Attention for Joining Obama's Book Collection, Uruguayan Author Eduardo Galeano Returns with "Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone", 28 May 2009,, 2011-10-21,

State secrets and prevention of attention

File:WieczorWroclawia20marca1981.jpg|thumb|Wieczór Wrocławia – Daily newspaper of Wrocław, People's Republic of Poland, March 20–21, 1981, with censor intervention on first and last pages – under the headlines "Co zdarzyło się w Bydgoszczy?" (What happened in Bydgoszcz?) and "Pogotowie strajkowe w całym kraju" (Country-wide strike alert). The censor had removed a section regarding the strike alert; hence the workers in the printing house blanked out an official propaganda section. The right-hand page also includes a hand-written confirmation of that decision by the local "Solidarność" Trade Union.]]In wartime, explicit censorship is carried out with the intent of preventing the release of information that might be useful to an enemy. Typically it involves keeping times or locations secret, or delaying the release of information (e.g., an operational objective) until it is of no possible use to enemy forces. The moral issues here are often seen as somewhat different, as the proponents of this form of censorship argues that release of tactical information usually presents a greater risk of casualties among one's own forces and could possibly lead to loss of the overall conflict.During World War I letters written by British soldiers would have to go through censorship. This consisted of officers going through letters with a black marker and crossing out anything which might compromise operational secrecy before the letter was sent.Eberhard Demm: Censorship, in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War. The World War II catchphrase "Loose lips sink ships" was used as a common justification to exercise official wartime censorship and encourage individual restraint when sharing potentially sensitive information.An example of "sanitization" policies comes from the USSR under Joseph Stalin, where publicly used photographs were often altered to remove people whom Stalin had condemned to execution. Though past photographs may have been remembered or kept, this deliberate and systematic alteration to all of history in the public mind is seen as one of the central themes of Stalinism and totalitarianism.Censorship is occasionally carried out to aid authorities or to protect an individual, as with some kidnappings when attention and media coverage of the victim can sometimes be seen as unhelpful.WEB,weblink New York Times, The Raw Story | Investigative News and Politics{{dead link|date=March 2015}}


Censorship by religion is a form of censorship where freedom of expression is controlled or limited using religious authority or on the basis of the teachings of the religion. This form of censorship has a long history and is practiced in many societies and by many religions. Examples include the Galileo affair, Edict of Compiègne, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (list of prohibited books) and the condemnation of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses by Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Images of the Islamic figure Muhammad are also regularly censored. In some secular countries, this is sometimes done to prevent hurting religious sentiments.WEB,weblink National Council Of Educational Research And Training :: Home (Page 105, Democratic Politics - Class 9),, 2017-12-12,

Educational sources

File:Grech old russian censorship.jpg|thumb|Historic Russian censorship. Book Notes of my life by N.I. Grech, published in St. Petersburg 1886 by A.S. Suvorin. The censored text was replaced by dots.]]The content of school textbooks is often an issue of debate, since their target audience is young people. The term whitewashing is commonly used to refer to revisionism aimed at glossing over difficult or questionable historical events, or a biased presentation thereof. The reporting of military atrocities in history is extremely controversial, as in the case of The Holocaust (or Holocaust denial), Bombing of Dresden, the Nanking Massacre as found with Japanese history textbook controversies, the Armenian Genocide, the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, and the Winter Soldier Investigation of the Vietnam War.In the context of secondary school education, the way facts and history are presented greatly influences the interpretation of contemporary thought, opinion and socialization. One argument for censoring the type of information disseminated is based on the inappropriate quality of such material for the young. The use of the "inappropriate" distinction is in itself controversial, as it changed heavily. A Ballantine Books version of the book Fahrenheit 451 which is the version used by most school classesBradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Del Rey Books. April 1991. contained approximately 75 separate edits, omissions, and changes from the original Bradbury manuscript.In February 2006, a National Geographic cover was censored by the Nashravaran Journalistic Institute. The offending cover was about the subject of love and a picture of an embracing couple was hidden beneath a white sticker.WEB, Lundqvist, J., More pictures of Iranian Censorship,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 2011-04-29, 2007-08-01,

Economic Induced Censorship

Economic induced censorship, is a type of censorship enacted by economic markets, to favor, and disregard types of information. Economic induced censorship, is also caused, by market forces which privatize and establish commodification of certain information that is not accessible by the general public, primarily because of the cost associated with commodified information such as academic journals, industry reports and pay to use repositories.BOOK, Cypherpunks : freedom and the future of the internet, Assange, Julian, OR Books, Appelbaum, Jacob; Müller-Maguhn, Andy; Zimmermann, Jérémie, 2012, 978-1939293008, New York, 123–124, 812780303, The concept was illustrated as a censorship pyramidWEB,weblink Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet, Pope-Weidemann, Marienna, 13 September 2013, Counterfire, en-gb,weblink" title="">weblink 7 May 2014, live, 2019-04-23, dmy-all, that was conceptualized by primarily Julian Assange, along with Andy Müller-Maguhn, Jacob Appelbaum and Jérémie Zimmermann, in the Cypherpunks (book).


File:Censored section of Green Illusions by Ozzie Zehner.jpg|thumb|right|Author Ozzie Zehner self-censored the American edition of his environmental book, Green Illusions,Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism, Ozzie Zehner, University of Nebraska Press, 2012, 464 pp, {{ISBN|978-0-8032-3775-9}}. Retrieved 23 October 2013. fearing food libel lawsfood libel lawsSelf-censorship is the act of censoring or classifying one's own discourse. This is done out of fear of, or deference to, the sensibilities or preferences (actual or perceived) of others and without overt pressure from any specific party or institution of authority. Self-censorship is often practiced by film producers, film directors, publishers, news anchors, journalists, musicians, and other kinds of authors including individuals who use social media.BOOK,weblink Journalism under pressure. Unwarranted interference, fear and self-censorship in Europe, CLARK, Marilyn, GRECH, Anna, Council of Europe publishing, 2017, Strasbourg, 12 May 2017, According to a Pew Research Center and the Columbia Journalism Review survey, "About one-quarter of the local and national journalists say they have purposely avoided newsworthy stories, while nearly as many acknowledge they have softened the tone of stories to benefit the interests of their news organizations. Fully four-in-ten (41%) admit they have engaged in either or both of these practices.""Self Censorship: How Often and Why". Pew Research Center.Threats to media freedom have shown a significant increase in Europe in recent years, according to a study published in April 2017 by the Council of Europe.This results in a fear of physical or psychological violence, and the ultimate result is self-censorship by journalists.NEWS,weblink Journalists suffer violence, intimidation and self-censorship in Europe, says a Council of Europe study, 20 April 2017, Council of Europe. Newsroom, 12 May 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 2017-05-11, dead,

Copy, picture, and writer approval

Copy approval is the right to read and amend an article, usually an interview, before publication. Many publications refuse to give copy approval but it is increasingly becoming common practice when dealing with publicity anxious celebrities.NEWS,weblink The readers' editor on requests that are always refused, Ian Mayes, 2005-04-23, 2007-08-01, The Guardian, London, Picture approval is the right given to an individual to choose which photos will be published and which will not. Robert Redford is well known for insisting upon picture approval.NEWS,weblink Caution: big name ahead, Barber, Lynn, 2002-01-27, 2007-08-01, The Observer, London, Writer approval is when writers are chosen based on whether they will write flattering articles or not. Hollywood publicist Pat Kingsley is known for banning certain writers who wrote undesirably about one of her clients from interviewing any of her other clients.{{citation needed|date=August 2008}}

By media


File:1933-may-10-berlin-book-burning.JPG|thumb|Nazi book burning in Berlin, May 1933.]]Book censorship can be enacted at the national or sub-national level, and can carry legal penalties for their infraction. Books may also be challenged at a local, community level. As a result, books can be removed from schools or libraries, although these bans do not extend outside of that area.


Aside from the usual justifications of pornography and obscenity, some films are censored due to changing racial attitudes or political correctness in order to avoid ethnic stereotyping and/or ethnic offense despite its historical or artistic value. One example is the still withdrawn "Censored Eleven" series of animated cartoons, which may have been innocent then, but are "incorrect" now.Film censorship is carried out by various countries to differing degrees. For example, only 34 foreign films a year are approved for official distribution in China's strictly controlled film market.WEB, Why China is letting 'Django Unchained' slip through its censorship regime,weblink Quartz (publication), Quartz, March 13, 2013,


Music censorship has been implemented by states, religions, educational systems, families, retailers and lobbying groups – and in most cases they violate international conventions of human rights.WEB,weblink What is Music Censorship?,, 1 January 2001, 2008-10-25, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 November 2008,


Censorship of maps is often employed for military purposes. For example, the technique was used in former East Germany, especially for the areas near the border to West Germany in order to make attempts of defection more difficult. Censorship of maps is also applied by Google Maps, where certain areas are grayed out or blacked or areas are purposely left outdated with old imagery.NEWS,weblink Google's View of D.C. Melds New and Sharp, Old and Fuzzy, 2007-07-22, Washington Post, Jenna Johnson, News, 2007-07-22,

Individual words

Under subsection 48(3) and (4) of the Penang Islamic Religious Administration Enactment 2004, non-Muslims in Malaysia are penalized for using the following words, or to write or publish them, in any form, version or translation in any language or for use in any publicity material in any medium:"Allah", "Firman Allah", "Ulama", "Hadith", "Ibadah", "Kaabah", "Qadhi'", "Illahi", "Wahyu", "Mubaligh", "Syariah", "Qiblat", "Haji", "Mufti", "Rasul", "Iman", "Dakwah", "Wali", "Fatwa", "Imam", "Nabi", "Sheikh", "Khutbah", "Tabligh", "Akhirat", "Azan", "Al Quran", "As Sunnah", "Auliya'", "Karamah", "False Moon God", "Syahadah", "Baitullah", "Musolla", "Zakat Fitrah", "Hajjah", "Taqwa" and "Soleh".NEWS, Check law first, Karpal asks Penang government over decree banning 'Islamic words',weblink Malaysia Insider, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2014-01-15, NEWS, Penang mufti outlaws 40 words to non-Muslims,weblink New Straits Times, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2014-01-11, WEB,weblink browser – IE6 PAGE TITLE,, 2014-09-14, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 21, 2014, Publishers of the Spanish reference dictionary Real Acádemia Española received petitions to censor the entries "Jewishness", "Gypsiness", "black work" and "weak sex", claiming that they are either offensive or non-PC.NEWS, "Gitanada" y "judiada" pueden seguir en el nuevo Diccionario de la RAE,weblink La Voz de Galicia, 12 December 2013, One elementary school's obscenity filter changed every reference to the word "tit" to "breast," so when a child typed "U.S. Constitution" into the school computer, it changed it to Consbreastution.Dr. Ted Eisenberg and Joyce K. Eisenberg, ‘’The Scoop on Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths,’’ Incompra Press, 2012, {{ISBN|978-0-9857249-3-1}}


Art is loved and feared because of its evocative power. Destroying or oppressing art can potentially justify its meaning even more.JOURNAL, Freedberg, David, The Fear of Art: How Censorship Becomes Iconoclasm,weblink Social Research, 83, 67–99, eHOST, British photographer and visual artist Graham Ovenden's photos and paintings were ordered to be destroyed by a London's magistrate court in 2015 for being "indecent"WEB, Paedophile artist's photographs and paintings 'must be destroyed',weblink The Independent, 2015-10-16, 2015-10-13, and their copies had been removed from the online Tate gallery.WEB, Graham Ovenden {{!, Tate |url= |date=2015-10-16 |accessdate=2015-10-16 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=October 16, 2015 }}(File:Flag of Palestine.svg|thumb|Artworks using these four colors were banned by Israeli law in the 1980s)A 1980 Israeli law forbade banned artwork composed of the four colours of the Palestinian flag,REPORT,weblink Discourse, Culture, and Education in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Israel Office,, PDF, December 2013, 55, In 1980, Israel banned art exhibitions and paintings of “political significance”, with the grouping of the four colours of the Palestinian flag in any one painting also forbidden., The Connection between Palestinian Culture and the Conflict, Ashley, John, Jayousi, Nedal, 21 May 2017, and Palestinians were arrested for displaying such artwork or even for carrying sliced melons with the same pattern.NEWS,weblink Ramallah Journal; A Palestinian Version of the Judgment of Solomon, Kifner, John, October 16, 1993, The New York Times, May 21, 2010, NEWS,weblink A culture under fire, Dalrymple, William, October 2, 2002, The Guardian, London, May 21, 2010, NEWS,weblink The watermelon makes a colourful interlude, September 12, 2004, The Age, Melbourne, (File:Tania bruguera.jpg|thumb|Cuban Artist: Tania Bruguera)Moath al-Alwi is a Guantanamo Bay Prisoner who creates model ships as an expression of art. Alwi does so with the few tools he has at his disposal such as floss and shampoo bottles, and he is also allowed to use a small pair of scissors with rounded edges. A few of Alwi's pieces are on display at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. There are also other artworks on display at the College that were created by other inmates. The artwork that is being displayed might be the only way for some of the inmates to communicate with the outside. Recently things have changed though. The military has come up with a new policy that won't allow the artwork at Guantanamo Bay Military Prison to leave the prison. The art work created by Alwi and other prisoners is now government property and can be destroyed by them or disposed in whatever way they choose, making it no longer the artist's property. {{Citation|last=Chatterjee|first=Deen K.|chapter=Guantanamo Bay Prisoners|date=2011|pages=467|publisher=Springer Netherlands|isbn=9781402091599|doi=10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_1038|title=Encyclopedia of Global Justice}}Around 300 artists in Cuba are fighting for their artistic freedom due to new censorship rules Cuba's government has in place for artists. Recently, Tania Bruguera, a musician was detained upon arriving to Havana and released after four days because of these new censorships restrains Cuba has on artists there.JOURNAL, censorship-reports-nigeria-abachas-media-crackdown-apr-1997-35-pp, 10.1163/2210-7975_hrd-2210-0161, (File:Ausstellung entartete kunst 1937.jpg|alt=Nazi art show|thumb|The Degenerate Art Exhibition)An example of extreme state censorship was the Nazis requirements of using art as propaganda. Art was only allowed to be used as a political instrument to control people and failure to act in accordance with the censors was punishable by law, even fatal. The Degenerate Art Exhibition is a historical instance that's goal was to advertise Nazi values and slander others.{{Citation|chapter=Introduction: The Site of the Social|date=2016-01-31|pages=1–24|publisher=Princeton University Press|isbn=9781400873807|doi=10.1515/9781400873807-002|title=Site Reading}}


File:Internet Censorship and Surveillance World Map.svg|right|upright=2.25|thumb|Internet censorship and surveillance by country (2018)WEB, Freedom on the Net 2018,weblink Freedom House, November 2018, 1 November 2018, OpenNet Initiative "Summarized global Internet filtering data spreadsheet", 8 November 2011 and "Country Profiles", the OpenNet Initiative is a collaborative partnership of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto; the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; and the SecDev Group, Ottawaweblink" title="">"Internet Enemies", Enemies of the Internet 2014: Entities at the heart of censorship and surveillance, Reporters Without Borders (Paris), 11 March 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.Internet Enemies, Reporters Without Borders (Paris), 12 March 2012 {{webarchive |url= |date=March 23, 2012 }}Due to legal concerns the OpenNet Initiative does not check for filtering of #F9D|Pervasive}}{{legend|#FDD|Substantial}}{{legend|#FFD|Selective}}{{Col-2-of-2}}{{legend|#98FB98|Little or no}}{{legend|#e0e0e0|Not classified / No data}}{{Col end}}Internet censorship is control or suppression of the publishing or accessing of information on the Internet. It may be carried out by governments or by private organizations either at the behest of government or on their own initiative. Individuals and organizations may engage in self-censorship on their own or due to intimidation and fear.The issues associated with Internet censorship are similar to those for offline censorship of more traditional media. One difference is that national borders are more permeable online: residents of a country that bans certain information can find it on websites hosted outside the country. Thus censors must work to prevent access to information even though they lack physical or legal control over the websites themselves. This in turn requires the use of technical censorship methods that are unique to the Internet, such as site blocking and content filtering.Freedom of Connection, Freedom of Expression: The Changing Legal and Regulatory Ecology Shaping the Internet, Dutton, William H.; Dopatka, Anna; Law, Ginette; Nash, Victoria, Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris, 2011, 103 pp., {{ISBN|978-92-3-104188-4}}Unless the censor has total control over all Internet-connected computers, such as in North Korea or Cuba, total censorship of information is very difficult or impossible to achieve due to the underlying distributed technology of the Internet. Pseudonymity and data havens (such as Freenet) protect free speech using technologies that guarantee material cannot be removed and prevents the identification of authors. Technologically savvy users can often find ways to access blocked content. Nevertheless, blocking remains an effective means of limiting access to sensitive information for most users when censors, such as those in China, are able to devote significant resources to building and maintaining a comprehensive censorship system.Views about the feasibility and effectiveness of Internet censorship have evolved in parallel with the development of the Internet and censorship technologies:
  • A 1993 Time Magazine article quotes computer scientist John Gillmore, one of the founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as saying "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.""First Nation in Cyberspace", Philip Elmer-Dewitt, Time, 6 December 1993, No. 49
  • In November 2007, "Father of the Internet" Vint Cerf stated that he sees government control of the Internet failing because the Web is almost entirely privately owned."Cerf sees government control of Internet failing", Pedro Fonseca, Reuters, 14 November 2007
  • A report of research conducted in 2007 and published in 2009 by the Beckman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University stated that: "We are confident that the [censorship circumvention] tool developers will for the most part keep ahead of the governments' blocking efforts", but also that "...we believe that less than two percent of all filtered Internet users use circumvention tools".2007 Circumvention Landscape Report: Methods, Uses, and Tools, Hal Roberts, Ethan Zuckerman, and John Palfrey, Beckman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, March 2009
  • In contrast, a 2011 report by researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute published by UNESCO concludes "... the control of information on the Internet and Web is certainly feasible, and technological advances do not therefore guarantee greater freedom of speech."
A BBC World Service poll of 27,973 adults in 26 countries, including 14,306 Internet users,For the BBC poll Internet users are those who used the Internet within the previous six months. was conducted between 30 November 2009 and 7 February 2010. The head of the polling organization felt, overall, that the poll showed that:
Despite worries about privacy and fraud, people around the world see access to the internet as their fundamental right. They think the web is a force for good, and most don’t want governments to regulate it."BBC Internet Poll: Detailed Findings", BBC World Service, 8 March 2010
The poll found that nearly four in five (78%) Internet users felt that the Internet had brought them greater freedom, that most Internet users (53%) felt that "the internet should never be regulated by any level of government anywhere", and almost four in five Internet users and non-users around the world felt that access to the Internet was a fundamental right (50% strongly agreed, 29% somewhat agreed, 9% somewhat disagreed, 6% strongly disagreed, and 6% gave no opinion)."Internet access is 'a fundamental right'", BBC News, 8 March 2010

Social media

The rising usages of social media in many nations has led to the emergence of citizens organizing protests through social media, sometimes called "Twitter Revolutions". The most notable of these social media led protests were parts Arab Spring uprisings, starting in 2010. In response to the use of social media in these protests, the Tunisian government began a hack of Tunisian citizens' Facebook accounts, and reports arose of accounts being deleted.WEB,weblink The Inside Story of How Facebook Responded to Tunisian Hacks, Madrigal, Alexis C., The Atlantic, en-US, 2016-04-15, Automated systems can be used to censor social media posts, and therefore limit what citizens can say online. This most notably occurs in China, where social media posts are automatically censored depending on content. In 2013, Harvard political science professor Gary King led a study to determine what caused social media posts to be censored and found that posts mentioning the government were not more or less likely to be deleted if they were supportive or critical of the government. Posts mentioning collective action were more likely to be deleted than those that had not mentioned collective action.JOURNAL, King, Gary, Pan, Jennifer, 2014, Reverse-engineering censorship in China: Randomized experimentation and participant observation, Science, 10.1126/science.1251722, 25146296, 345, 6199, 1251722,weblink Currently, social media censorship appears primarily as a way to restrict Internet users' ability to organize protests. For the Chinese government, seeing citizens unhappy with local governance is beneficial as state and national leaders can replace unpopular officials. King and his researchers were able to predict when certain officials would be removed based on the number of unfavorable social media posts.WEB,weblink Professor Gary King, Inaugural Government Regius Lecture 2015, Vimeo, 2016-04-12, 2016-01-14, Research has proved that criticism is tolerable on social media sites, therefore it is not censored unless it has a higher chance of collective action. It isn't important whether the criticism is supportive or unsupportive of the states' leaders, the main priority of censoring certain social media posts is to make sure that no big actions are being made due to something that was said on the internet. Posts that challenge the Party's political leading role in the Chinese government are more likely to be censored due to the challenges it poses to the Chinese Communist Party.JOURNAL, Shao, Li, THE DILEMMA OF CRITICISM: DISENTANGLING THE DETERMINANTS OF MEDIA CENSORSHIP IN CHINA, Journal of East Asian Studies, 11/01/2018, 18, 3, 279–297, 10.1017/jea.2018.19,

Video games

Since the early 1980s, advocates of video games have emphasized their use as an expressive medium, arguing for their protection under the laws governing freedom of speech and also as an educational tool. Detractors argue that video games are harmful and therefore should be subject to legislative oversight and restrictions. Many video games have certain elements removed or edited due to regional rating standards.Byrd P. "It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt: the effectiveness of proposed video game regulation." {{Webarchive|url= |date=2015-09-24 }} Houston Law Review 2007. Accessed 19 March 2007."A Hornet's Nest Over Violent Video Games", James D. Ivory and Malte Elson, The Chronicle of Higher Education (Washington), 16 October 2013.For example, in the Japanese and PAL Versions of No More Heroes, blood splatter and gore is removed from the gameplay. Decapitation scenes are implied, but not shown. Scenes of missing body parts after having been cut off, are replaced with the same scene, but showing the body parts fully intact.WEB,weblink No More Heroes - Censored gameplay 12-07-07, gamesradararchive, 19 October 2012, YouTube,

Surveillance as an aid

{{See also |Surveillance|Mass surveillance|Computer and network surveillance}}Surveillance and censorship are different. Surveillance can be performed without censorship, but it is harder to engage in censorship without some form of surveillance."Censorship is inseparable from surveillance", Cory Doctorow, The Guardian, 2 March 2012 And even when surveillance does not lead directly to censorship, the widespread knowledge or belief that a person, their computer, or their use of the Internet is under surveillance can lead to self-censorship."Online Censorship : Ubiquitous Big Brother, witchhunt for dissidents"{{dead link|date=March 2015}},, Reporters Without Borders, retrieved 12 March 2013Protection of sources is no longer just a matter of journalistic ethics; it increasingly also depends on the journalist's computer skills and all journalists should equip themselves with a "digital survival kit" if they are exchanging sensitive information online or storing it on a computer or mobile phone."When Secrets Aren’t Safe With Journalists", Christopher Soghoian, New York Times, 26 October 2011The Enemies of the Internet Special Edition : Surveillance {{webarchive|url= |date=2013-08-31 }}, Reporters Without Borders, 12 March 2013 And individuals associated with high-profile rights organizations, dissident, protest, or reform groups are urged to take extra precautions to protect their online identities.Everyone's Guide to By-passing Internet Censorship, The Citizen Lab, University of Toronto, September 2007


File:Censuraindex.jpg|thumb|upright|Censored pre-press proof of two articles from "Notícias da Amadora", a Portuguese newspaper, 1970]]The former Soviet Union maintained a particularly extensive program of state-imposed censorship. The main organ for official censorship in the Soviet Union was the Chief Agency for Protection of Military and State Secrets generally known as the Glavlit, its Russian acronym. The Glavlit handled censorship matters arising from domestic writings of just about any kind{{snd}}even beer and vodka labels. Glavlit censorship personnel were present in every large Soviet publishing house or newspaper; the agency employed some 70,000 censors to review information before it was disseminated by publishing houses, editorial offices, and broadcasting studios. No mass medium escaped Glavlit{{'}}s control. All press agencies and radio and television stations had Glavlit representatives on their editorial staffs.{{citation needed|date=March 2013}}Sometimes, public knowledge of the existence of a specific document is subtly suppressed, a situation resembling censorship. The authorities taking such action will justify it by declaring the work to be "subversive" or "inconvenient". An example is Michel Foucault's 1978 text Sexual Morality and the Law (later republished as The Danger of Child Sexuality), originally published as La loi de la pudeur [literally, "the law of decency"]. This work defends the decriminalization of statutory rape and the abolition of age of consent laws.{{citation needed|date=March 2013}}When a publisher comes under pressure to suppress a book, but has already entered into a contract with the author, they will sometimes effectively censor the book by deliberately ordering a small print run and making minimal, if any, attempts to publicize it. This practice became known in the early 2000s as privishing (private publishing).WEB,weblink Journalists Thrown 'Into the Buzzsaw', Winkler, David, 11 July 2002,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink August 4, 2007,


(File:2014 Cenzura.jpg|thumb|upright| Artistic allegory of communist press censorship, 1989)Censorship has been criticized throughout history for being unfair and hindering progress. In a 1997 essay on Internet censorship, social commentator Michael Landier claims that censorship is counterproductive as it prevents the censored topic from being discussed. Landier expands his argument by claiming that those who impose censorship must consider what they censor to be true, as individuals believing themselves to be correct would welcome the opportunity to disprove those with opposing views."Internet Censorship is Absurd and Unconstitutional", Michael Landier, 4 June 1997Censorship is often used to impose moral values on society, as in the censorship of material considered obscene. English novelist E. M. Forster was a staunch opponent of censoring material on the grounds that it was obscene or immoral, raising the issue of moral subjectivity and the constant changing of moral values. When the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover was put on trial in 1960, Forster wrote:"The Trial of Lady Chatterley's Lover", Paul Gallagher, Dangerous Minds, 10 November 2010{{quotation|Lady Chatterley's Lover is a literary work of importance...I do not think that it could be held obscene, but am in a difficulty here, for the reason that I have never been able to follow the legal definition of obscenity. The law tells me that obscenity may deprave and corrupt, but as far as I know, it offers no definition of depravity or corruption.}}

By country

Censorship by country collects information on censorship, internet censorship, press freedom, freedom of speech, and human rights by country and presents it in a sortable table, together with links to articles with more information. In addition to countries, the table includes information on former countries, disputed countries, political sub-units within countries, and regional organizations.{{Clear}}

See also

{{div col}}Related articles
  • {{annotated link|Academic freedom|aka=Scientific freedom}}
  • {{annotated link| controversies}}
  • {{annotated link|Book burning}}
  • {{annotated link|Censorship (psychoanalysis)}}
  • {{annotated link|Chilling effect}}
  • {{annotated link|Censor bars}}
  • {{annotated link|Clandestine literature}}
  • {{annotated link|Cyber sovereignty}}
  • {{annotated link|Election silence}}
  • {{annotated link|Expurgation}}
  • {{annotated link|Federal Communications Commission}}
  • {{annotated link|Hate speech}}
  • {{annotated link|Human rights}}
  • {{annotated link|Index on Censorship}}, an organisation campaigning for freedom of expression, produces an award-winning quarterly magazine of the same name
  • {{annotated link|Laws against Holocaust denial}}
  • {{annotated link|Market for loyalties theory}}
  • {{annotated link|Media regulation}}
  • {{annotated link|Motion Picture Production Code|aka=Hays Code}}
  • {{annotated link|Nineteen Eighty-Four|Nineteen Eighty-Four}}
    • {{annotated link|Minitrue}}
    • {{annotated link|Thoughtcrime}}
    • {{annotated link|Thought Police}}
  • {{annotated link|Open court principle}}
  • {{annotated link|Scunthorpe problem}}
  • {{annotated link|Strategic lawsuit against public participation}}
  • {{annotated link|Taboo}}
  • {{annotated link|Video game controversies}}
  • {{annotated link|Academic freedom}}
  • {{annotated link|Freedom of the press}}
  • {{annotated link|Freedom of speech}}
  • {{annotated link|Freedom of thought}}
{{div col end}}



Works cited

  • {{Citation|last=Crampton|first=R. J.|title=Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century and After|publisher=Routledge|year=1997|isbn=978-0-415-16422-1}}
  • {{Citation|last1=Major|first1=Patrick|last2=Mitter|first2=Rana|chapter=East is East and West is West?|title=Across the Blocs: Exploring Comparative Cold War Cultural and Social History|editor-last=Major|editor-first=Patrick|publisher=Taylor & Francis, Inc.|year=2004|isbn=978-0-7146-8464-2}}

Further reading

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