Intellectual Freedom

Privacy, Censorship, Banned Books, Freedom of the Press

What is Censorship?

The worst thing about censorship is (blacked out)


Censorship is suppression of speech or other communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body.

-Censorship in America

Reasons for Censorship

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 many jurisdictions in the world.
  • Military censorship is the process of keeping military intelligence and tactics confidential and away from the enemy. This is used to counter espionage, which is the process of gleaning military information. Very often, militaries will also attempt to suppress politically inconvenient information even if that information has no actual intelligence or combat-tactical value.
  • 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 faith 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 faith.
  • 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, or intervene to prevent alternate offers from reaching public exposure.

-Censorship in America

Books on Censorship

Beacon for Freedom of Expression

Beacon for Freedom of Expression Logo

An international bibliographic database with nearly 50,000 titles of censored works and literature on censorship and freedom of expression.

Norway presented this database as a gift to the Library of Alexandria in 2003. Today the National Library of Norway hosts the database. Their Mission:

  • Document historic and current censorship in a global perspective through the international bibliographic database.
  • Provide a collaborative learning resource for researchers, students and activists.
  • Facilitate dialogue about censorship, freedom of expression and human rights through its website and programs.

ALA on Censorship

Report Censorship Defend the Public's Freedoms

The American Library Association on the First Amendment and Censorship



National Coalition Against Censorship