Unfortunately, censorship is a real issue for most of us, even though we may be unaware of it. Not only is your freedom of speech at risk, but so are your finances and reputation. That’s why it’s crucial to know what to do if you find yourself facing censorship issues — so you can protect yourself from the risk and continue to share your ideas with your audience.
Trouble With Censorship Online
Censorship is a big deal on the Internet. Anybody can report a post or content as offensive or inappropriate for any reason and have it taken down. While there are some protections in place for certain types of speech, such as political expression and artistic expression, these sorts of appeals do not offer you much protection against having content removed that was deemed offensive based on its content alone.
The problem with these kinds of claims against you is that they’re made anonymously. You have no way to contact the person who reported your work and provide them with information on why they should reconsider their decision to have it removed. In addition, these kinds of appeals are usually made by people who aren’t concerned about the truthfulness of their claims or whether or not they’ve even read what you wrote in order to determine whether or not it was offensive enough to remove
Recently, I was talking to a friend about the problems he was facing with his online business. It’s a business that he has been running for many years and one that he had always seen as a good source of extra cash. He found that all of a sudden he was getting less and less traffic from Google and Yahoo. I suggested that it might be because of the content on his website…Censorship is becoming an increasingly worrying problem when it comes to the internet. Websites are being restricted by search engines or even completely blocked in some countries because of the content they contain. This can be due to controversial or political content, or even just something that is deemed inappropriate for some reason.
I am not a lawyer, so it is always a good idea to check with one before making any final decisions. I have never faced a problem of censorship, so if you are having one, please take into consideration that this post may not be directly applicable to your situation. However, if you are interested in knowing how to deal with censorship, this post may help you.
The first thing to do when facing a problem of censorship is to understand the legal obligations involved. Are you required by law to remove the content? If so, how long do you have to do it? In some countries (like the US) you don’t have an obligation per se: there is no law requiring you to censor your blog or website. However, there may be laws preventing you from publishing certain types of content. For example: in many states (including the US) it’s illegal to publish “obscene” material*. “Obscene” means that the content is so offensive that it can only be accessed by adults (or people over 21). If this applies to your situation and there is a law prohibiting adult access, then remove the content as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter if the content isn’t obscene in your opinion – if there’s a law prohibiting access, follow
A. Defining Censorship
Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or “inconvenient” as determined by a government or private institution.
Diverse motives have been attributed to censorship. In some cases, it is official state censorship imposed by a government censor (a law-enforcement official). In other cases, it may be self-censorship (also called “private censorship”) exercised by a publisher or individual writer in order to avoid social or legal sanction or because of the commercial viability of avoiding controversy. For example, an author might delete a few words from a book before publication to avoid violating decency standards and therefore be unavailable to buy on certain chain store shelves.
In most cases of state censorship, the material which may not be made available for public communication is referred to as being “prohibited”, and its possession censored, rather than its expression per se. The literature of antimilitarism illustrates this distinction well: A book may be perfectly permissible for sale and purchase; it just cannot be distributed through certain channels. During times of war when free speech is curtailed, writers sometimes put subtle or hidden messages in their works as a way