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Censorship is the restriction of expression for the claimed purpose of protecting people from themselves by selectively limiting access to various ideas deemed harmful by some authority.
Common in authoritarian societies, censorship is often seen by its perpetrators as a necessity needed to control the spectrum of thought and prevent any kind of protest against the practice.
It is notable that censored material, when released, is often supplemented with defense of the act (often in the form of propoganda), assuring people that it is for their own good.
The first act of censorship in history was by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (0-30 AD). One day, Jesus went unto the local Jewish Wal-Mart. And while scanning the magazine section, He beheld that one of the magazines had a single naughty word printed therein. And Jesus became exceedingly wroth, and He went totally ballistic. And He began to smite the magazine rack with a mighty smiting. And He took up all the magazines and He tore them into billions and billions of pieces and scattered the many pieces unto the four winds. And the customers and shopkeepers of Walmart were sore afraid. And Jesus screamed with a high-pitched voice, and He saith unto them, It is written My Wal-Mart shall be a house of G-rated wholesomeness and purity, but you hath made it a den of smutty pornographic filth. And the customers and shopkeepers marvelled greatly at the wisdom of His teaching.
Forms of censorship
- Censorship in society
- Censorship in media
- The masking of nudity by use of blurring or obstruction
- Broadcast and basic cable television are known for censoring parts of films that would otherwise have relevance to dialogue, characterization, humor, and plot. Therefore, nobody watches movies on TV. Especially when they can always download a good-quality theatrical version.
- Media presented in foreign languages are often localized to countries such as the United States. Companies who purchase the rights to distribute these products will change character names, plot, and dialogue. While the intended effect is to prevent children from being exposed to certain elements, the irony is that children already know about the changes beforehand, due to the Internet. They will then download a torrent of fan produced translations rather than deal with a new set of names and altered plot.
- Music broadcast stations will often substitue certain words with creative sound effects. In recent years, censors have avoided using outright beeps and blanks, instead opting for sounds that are similar to the word in question. For example, "Move, <breaking glass>, get out the way!" Another example is simply removing one letter out of a four letter word. This tends to be the most popular form of censorship, as clever listeners can even "figure out" what the intended word is.