The Playgoer: The Privatization of Censorship

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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Privatization of Censorship

Nick Cohen in the Literary Review (UK) offers some useful ways to think about censorship in the 21st century:

We cannot puncture our own myth that we are fearless seekers after truth, even though, if we honestly owned up to our limitations, we might force society to confront the fact that modern censorship does not conform to old models. It is a mistake to think of repression as repression by the state alone. In much of the world it still is, but in Britain, America and most of continental Europe the age of globalisation has done its work, and it is privatised rather than state forces that threaten freedom of speech.

Editors are no longer frightened of politicians but of Islamist violence, oligarchs and CEOs. They worry about libel and the ability of the wealthy to bend the ear of their proprietors or withdraw advertising. But they are not frightened about leaking the secrets or criticising the actions of elected governments.

We need new ways of thinking about censorship.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I decided to leave a comment here because you allow anonymous comments and because I can use a proxy to further mask my identity.

Freedom of speech means the freedom to believe whatever those with money and power want you to believe.