'Censorship has been considered a legitimate instrument for controlling the political and social position of the masses for centuries. It did not dawn in our current Orwellian state. With the massive YouTube channel bans, social media limitations of reach, shadow banning, and false narrative creation, we can look to precise moments in history when similar tactics were used to control our freedom of expression. Nevertheless, truth always wins.
“If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.” – George Orwell
The origin of the term censor comes from Rome, in 443 BC. Famously, the philosopher Socrates was forced to drink poison in 399 BC for his “corrupt” religious and political views, but he was not the first person to ever be punished for his views so violently. In every corner of the globe – from China to the U.S.S.R. and from the U.S. to Africa censorship has abounded. Notably, censorship reforms only began in Russia in a single decade of tolerance (1855-1865) during the reign of Tsar Alexander II, when a transition was made from legislation on pre-censorship to the punitive system based on legal responsibility, but with the false Russian ‘spy’ narrative being plugged today, we should be wary of focusing on a singular geographic region as the only country to use censorship to control its people.
The Red Pencil
Journalists of the highest caliber have faced the “red-pencil” when trying to accurately and honestly report on war crimes, civil movements, and even non-violent demonstrations or artistic movements, which often carry the seeds of expressed emotions pushed into submission by more overt displays.
Books, and entire libraries have been burned to quash freedom of expression. This imprisonment of some of humanity’s most original thinkers and invaluable ancient history has still not stifled the truth from eventually coming forth.'
Read more: A Brief History of Censorship and How it is Playing Out Now