Censorship  

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Les Poires, censored caricature
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Les Poires, censored caricature

"The book which most deserved to be banned would be a catalogue of banned books." --Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

This page Censorship is part of the music censorship series. Illustration: Cover of the brochure of the "Entartete Musik" exhibition
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This page Censorship is part of the music censorship series.
Illustration: Cover of the brochure of the "Entartete Musik" exhibition
The Index Librorum Prohibitorum ("List of Prohibited Books") is a list of publications which the Catholic Church censored for being a danger to itself and the faith of its members. The various editions also contain the rules of the Church relating to the reading, selling and censorship of books. The aim of the list was to prevent the reading of immoral books or works containing theological errors and to prevent the corruption of the faithful.
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The Index Librorum Prohibitorum ("List of Prohibited Books") is a list of publications which the Catholic Church censored for being a danger to itself and the faith of its members. The various editions also contain the rules of the Church relating to the reading, selling and censorship of books. The aim of the list was to prevent the reading of immoral books or works containing theological errors and to prevent the corruption of the faithful.
 This page Censorship is part of the censorship portal.   Illustration:  Cover of the Nazi Germany 1937 Degenerate Art Exhibition.
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This page Censorship is part of the censorship portal.
Illustration: Cover of the Nazi Germany 1937 Degenerate Art Exhibition.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Censorship is the removal or withholding of information from the public by a controlling group or body. Typically censorship is done by governments, religious groups, or the mass media, although other forms of censorship exist. The term "censorship" often carries with it a sense of untoward, inappropriate or repressive secrecy.

Censorship is closely related to the concepts of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. When overused, it is often associated with human rights abuse, dictatorship and repression.

Contents

Rationale

The rationale for censorship is different for various types of information censored:

  • Moral censorship is the removal of materials that are obscene or otherwise morally questionable. Pornography, for example, is often censored under this rationale, especially child pornography, which is censored in most 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 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 objectionable to 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 halt the publishing of information that portrays their business or business partners in a negative light.

By period

The history of censorship starts with the history of suppression of the freedom of expression of countercultures.

Antiquity

The Greek philosopher Socrates was sentenced to death because he corrupted the minds of the young. Pardoxically, his student Plato expressed the need for censorship in The Republic, see Plato on censorship.

Early Modern Europe

Renaissance erotica, Early Modern Europe, freethought, atheism, Galileo affair, Fig Leaf Campaign, I Modi, imprimatur

The Early Modern Europe is characterized by the rise to importance of science, technology and movable type, secularized civic politics and the nation state. The period includes the Reformation and the peak of the European witch-hunt craze.

The invention of the printing press and movable type leads to the suppression of certain books, see banned books. Most censorship was religious in nature, see religious censorship.

With a growing public sphere, it was only natural that censorship would increase. Thus we see the first Index Librorum Prohibitorum, the imprisonment of the engraver of I Modi, the first book burnings and the introduction of the fig leaf.

In the Renaissance, a tradition of producing erotica for the amusement of the aristocracy started, which had been virtually unknown during medieval times. The invention of the printing press led to the first mass-produced texts of erotica and the rise of print culture saw mass-produced erotic prints by the likes of Agostino Carracci in the South and Hans Sebald in the North.

The year 1600 is hailed by many as the beginning of the era of modern freethought, as it is marked by the execution in Italy of Giordano Bruno by the Holy Inquisition.

The Renaissance did much to expand the scope of freethought and skeptical inquiry. Individuals such as Leonardo da Vinci sought experimentation as a means of explanation, and opposed arguments from religious authority. Other critics of religion and the Church during this time included Niccolò Machiavelli, Bonaventure des Périers, and François Rabelais.

18th century

Enlightenment, Enlightenment erotica, libertine, materialism

19th century

19th century censorship

Postindustrial

postindustrial, counterculture

By country

censorship by country
Censorship in the Netherlands, Censorship in Germany, Censorship in the United States , Censorship in the United Kingdom, Censorship in France

By medium

In the visual realm, censor bars are used to partially censor visual information, in the aural realm, there is bleep censorship.

References

Keywords

banned, blasphemous, hidden, illegal, indecent, illicit, obscene, profanity, secret

See also

Freedoms:




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Censorship" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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