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Censorship in Anti-censorship communities
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Anonymity, promoting Free Speech, opposing Censorship
Censorship is the control of speech and other forms of human expression. It is most commonly applied to acts which occur in public circumstances, and generally involves a suppression of them by criminalizing their expression. What is censored may range from specific words to entire concepts, and the ostensible motive of censorship is to stabilize or improve the society over which the government has control.
Sanitization (removal) and whitewashing (from whitewash) are almost interchangeable terms that refer to particular a form of censorship via omission, which seeks to "clean up" the portrayal of particular issues and facts which are already known, but which may conflict with the official point of view. Political correctness may also become a form of censorship.
 Types of censorship
Censorship can be explicit, as in laws passed to prevent select positions from being published or propagated (as in Australia, the People's Republic of China, or Saudi Arabia where certain Internet pages are not permitted entry), or it can be implicit, taking the form of intimidation by government, where people are afraid to express or support certain opinions for fear of losing their lives, their jobs, their position in society, or their credibility. In this latter form it is similar to McCarthyism.
 State Secrets and controversial history
Wartime censorship is carried out with the intention of preventing the release of information that might be advantageous to the enemy. Typically it involves obfuscation of times or locations, or delaying the release of information (e.g. the objective of an operation) until it is of no possible use to enemy forces. Mention of weapons and equipment is another favourite area for censorship. The moral issues here are somewhat different as release of the information carries a high risk of increased casualties among one's own forces and possibly loss of the overall conflict.
A well-known example of sanitization policies comes from the USSR under Stalin, where publicly used photographs were often altered to remove people whom Stalin had ordered executed. Though past photographs may have been remembered or kept, this deliberate and systematic alteration of history in the public mind is seen as one of the central themes of Stalinism and totalitarianism. Censorship is a form of sanitization. Specifically, censorship refers to a socially accepted policy of eliminating material rejected as harmful.
 School textbooks
The content of school textbooks is often the issue of debate, as their target audience is young people, and the term "whitewashing" is the one commonly used to refer to selective removal of critical or damaging evidence or comment. The reporting of military atrocities in history is extremely controversial, as in the case of Nanjing Massacre, the Holocaust (or Holocaust denial), and the Winter Soldier Investigation, regarding the Vietnam War. Also, the theory of evolution has been questioned by many since it contradicts the beliefs of their religion and some school boards have even been ordered to include disclaimers at the beginning of the book about it.
In each society the representation of its own flaws or misconduct is typically downplayed in favor of a nationalist or patriotic view. In the context of high-school level education, the presentation of facts and history greatly influences the interpretation of contemporary thought, opinion, and socialization. The legitimate argument for censoring the type of information disseminated is based on the inappropriateness of such material for certain younger age groups. The use of the "inappropriate" distinction is controversial, as well, as it can be used to enforce wider politically-motivated censorship.
"Censorship" comes from the ancient Roman language word "censor". The first reference to the term "whitewash" dates back to 1762 by a Boston Evening Post article. In 1800 the word was first used in a political context, when a Philadelphia Aurora editorial said that "if you do not whitewash President Adams speedily, the Democrats, like swarms of flies, will bespatter him all over, and make you both as speckled as a dirty wall, and as black as the devil."
The term "sanitization" is a euphemism commonly used in the political context of propaganda to refer to the doctoring of information that might otherwise be perceived as incriminating, self-contradictory, controversial, or damaging.
Censorship, unlike acts or policies of sanitization, refers to a publicly set standard, not a privately set standard. Censorship does not attempt to cover up material made by an organization, but rather to restrict or abolish defined types of material produced by private citizens.
Censorship is regarded as a typical feature of dictatorships and other authoritarian political systems. Democratic nations usually have far less institutionalized censorship, and instead promote the importance of freedom of speech.
Some thinkers understand censorship to include other attempts to suppress points of view or ideas such as negative propaganda, media manipulation, spin, disinformation or "free speech zones". These methods, collectively, tend to work by disseminating misleading information or by preventing other ideas from obtaining a receptive audience.
Others point out the suppression of access to the means of dissemination of ideas by governmental bodies such as the FCC in the United States of America, the CRTC in Canada, or a newspaper that refuses to run commentary the publisher disagrees with, or a lecture hall that refuses to rent itself out to a particular speaker, or an individual refusing to finance that lecture.
 Prevention and bypassing
Data havens and decentralized peer-to-peer file sharing systems such as Freenet can be used to prevent censorship. A recent phenomenon for avoiding censorship and speaking directly to members of society is culture jamming, where individuals or non-conforming groups use large-scale corporate techniques to attack implicit domination and censorship through trivial or deliberately irrelevant messages. More traditionally, mass protests are a method for resisting unwanted impositions.
Interestingly, the censorship of swear-words in the United States seems not always to extend to non-American pronunciations. Instead of shit, the Scots and Northern English variant shite may apparently be used, as may fook for fuck. (Note: this was witnessed on broadcast television in early 2004, before the FCC levied several highly-publicized fines.)
 Censorship around the world
- censorship in Australia
- censorship in Egypt
- censorship in France
- censorship in Germany
- censorship in Iraq
- censorship in Israel
- censorship in Japan
- censorship in Malaysia
- censorship in the Republic of Ireland
- censorship in Saudi Arabia
- censorship in South Africa
- censorship in Singapore
- censorship in Taiwan
- censorship in the Russian Empire
- censorship in the United Kingdom
- censorship in the United States
- censorship in Tuva
- Internet censorship in mainland China
- Internet censorship in Saudi Arabia
 Other types of censorship
- advertising regulation
- censorship by organized religion
- censorship in cyberspace
- censorship under communist regimes
- censorship under fascist regimes
- Fundamentalist censorship
- moral censorship
 Censorship of media
- list of banned books
- banned films
- list of banned computer and video games
- censorship of music
- censorship of anime
- video game controversy
 See also
- Al Menconi
- bleep censor
- book burning
- the Censored Eleven (banned Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons)
- Charles Schumer
- Cindy's Torment
- Entertainment Software Rating Board
- Fahrenheit 451
- Index Librorum Prohibitorum of The Roman Catholic Church
- International Freedom of Expression eXchange
- Joe Lieberman
- John Stuart Mill
- Lady Chatterley's Lover
- media controversy
- MPAA rating system
- prior restraint
- pro-censorship lobbying
- Production Code
- Project Censored
- Super Bowl XXXVIII controversy
- Thomas Bowdler
- Tunisia Monitoring Group
- tv parental guidelines
 External links
 World Wide Web links
- Volkz.Net Against Censorship T-shirt (Not for profit organization)
- Censorship of Curriculum Materials
- The Right To Read: Censorship in the School Library
- Challenges to and Censorship of School Guidance Materials
- 'Ten things wrong with the media effects model' article by Prof David Gauntlett
- National Coalition Against Censorship
- Personal Censorship for Families
- International Freedom of Expression eXchange
- Olympic Watch (Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games in a Free and Democratic Country) on censorship in China
 Freenet links
- Note: These freesite links cannot be viewed without prior set up. For explanation on how to set up a connection see ways to view a freesite.
- localhost is assumed as the base for the freesite
- The Cleanex Experiment Program introducing censorship on Freenet.
- Choron Repository for banned French books and other documents.
- Abbott, Randy. "A Critical Analysis of the Library-Related Literature Concerning Censorship in Public Libraries and Public School Libraries in the United States During the 1980s." Project for degree of Education Specialist, University of South Florida, December 1987. [ED 308 864]
- Burress, Lee. "Battle of the Books." Metuchen, NJ: The Scarecrow Press, 1989. [ED 308 508]
- O'Reilly, Robert C. and Larry Parker. "Censorship_or Curriculum Modification?" Paper presented at a School Boards Association, 1982, 14 p. [ED 226 432]
- Hendrikson, Leslie. "Library Censorship: ERIC Digest No. 23." ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, Boulder, Colorado, November 1985. [ED 264 165]
- Hoffman, Frank. "Intellectual Freedom and Censorship." Metuchen, NJ: The Scarecrow Press, 1989. [ED 307 652]
- Marek, Kate. "Schoolbook Censorship USA." June 1987. [ED 300 018]
- National Coalition against Censorship (NCAC). "Books on Trial: A Survey of Recent Cases." January 1985. [ED 258 597]
- Small, Robert C., Jr. "Preparing the New English Teacher to Deal with Censorship, or Will I Have to Face it Alone?" Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English, 1987, 16 p.
- (arguing that the English teacher should get advice from school librarians in preparing to encounter three levels of censorship:
- rejection of adolescent fiction and popular teen magazines as having low value,
- experienced colleagues discouraging "difficult" lesson plans,
- outside interest groups limiting students' exposure. [ED 289 172])
- Terry, John David II. "Censorship: Post Pico." In "School Law Update, 1986," edited by Thomas N. Jones and Darel P. Semler. [ED 272 994]
- List of websites with known sanitization policies
Cleans-up mistakes made in speeches by US President George W. Bush, it also contains little contradictory information of current administration policies, and has deleted any reference to controversial Corporate accounting scandal figure Ken Lay, among others.
In a different example of sanitization, the U.S. State Department website will display material only when it supports administration policies. For example the website contains in full, the UN Security Council resolutions, which support the administration in its views of Iraq, but will not show such UN resolutions against Israel or the US.
- In ancient Rome, censorship was the office or function of a censor.
- The utensil for incense is a censer;
- A device or organ that senses its environment is a sensor.
- Whitewash is a type of inexpensive paint made from slaked lime (Calcium hydroxide, or Ca(OH)2) and chalk (whiting). Other additives have historically included milk, flour, salt, glue, water glass and soap. Whitewash cures through a reaction with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to form calcite.