**“Submitting to censorship is to enter the seductive world of 'The Giver': the world where there are no bad words and no bad deeds. But it is also the world where choice has been taken away and reality distorted. And that is the most dangerous world of all.”
Censorship is real, as is constantly demonstrated all over the web including reddit. Even more so clear in the bitcoin community, as outlined by /u/JohnBlocke today in his Medium post A (brief and incomplete) history of censorship in /r/Bitcoin.
But what are the impacts of censorship and how does that affect us? In an article from World Wide Women of Penn State University, it says,
Media censorship can really hinder a society if it is bad enough. Because media is such a large part of people’s lives today and it is the source of basically all information, if the information is not being given in full or truthfully then the society is left uneducated [...] Censorship is probably the number one way to lower people’s right to freedom of speech.
In a 2014 TechCrunch article, they discuss what exactly do censors want (why do they censor).
The primary finding in regards to a study with the Chinese government is that the government didn’t appear to censor criticism on social media, but it did censor social media posts encouraging collective action.
This analysis implies that the Chinese government will happily track open criticism, and that it will closely observe dissidents’ connections to each other but crack down on anyone who tries to build a power base that it can’t control.
In a paper published in 2014 entitled Privacy and Anonymity, they said:
“Historically, the control of the communications and the flow of information, are mandatory for any entity that aims to gain certain control over the society. There are multiple entities with such interests: governments, companies, independent individuals, etc. Most of the research available on the topic claims that the main originators of the threats against privacy and anonymity are governmental institutions and big corporations.
The motivations behind these threats are varied. Nevertheless, they can be classified under four categories: social, political, technological and economical. Despite the relation between them, the four categories have different backgrounds.”
**”Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”
In another article, published yesterday by Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, he gives us a history lesson that everyone should learn about the printing press. In the article he writes,
“Not even the death penalty deters a people who have tasted the ability to seek and share ideas freely. The lesson from history here is that rulers would rather have people dead than thinking. The official justification for the law, as cited by people who have read the original law books from 1535, was “to prevent the spread of dangerous ideas”.
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