The plaster cast of David at the Victoria and Albert Museum has a detachable plaster fig leaf which is displayed nearby. Legend claims that the fig leaf was created in response to Queen Victoria's shock upon first viewing the statue's nudity, and was hung on the figure prior to royal visits, using two strategically placed hooks.[1]

Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient".[2][3][4] Censorship can be conducted by a government,[5] private institutions, and corporations.

Governments[5] and private organizations may engage in censorship. Other groups or institutions may propose and petition for censorship.[6] When an individual such as an author or other creator engages in censorship of their own works or speech, it is referred to as self-censorship. It occurs in a variety of different media, including speech, books, music, films, and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of claimed reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children or other vulnerable groups, to promote or restrict political or religious views, and to prevent slander and libel.

Book burning in Chile following the 1973 coup that installed the Pinochet regime.

Direct censorship may or may not be legal, depending on the type, location, and content. Many countries provide strong protections against censorship by law, but none of these protections are absolute and frequently a claim of necessity to balance conflicting rights is made, in order to determine what could and could not be censored. There are no laws against self-censorship.


Chinese troops destroyed the statue Goddess of Democracy in Tiananmen Square in 1989, and continue to censor information about those events.[8] This statue, now known as the Victims of Communism Memorial, was recreated by Thomas Marsh in Washington, DC.

In 399 BC, Greek philosopher, Socrates, while defying attempts by the Greek state to censor his philosophical teachings, was accused of collateral charges related to the corruption of Athenian youth and sentenced to death by drinking a poison, hemlock.

The details of Socrates's conviction are recorded by Plato as follows. In 399 BC, Socrates went on trial[9] and was subsequently found guilty of both corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens and of impiety (asebeia,[10] "not believing in the gods of the state"),[11] and as a punishment sentenced to death, caused by the drinking of a mixture containing hemlock.[12][13][14][15]

Socrates' student, Plato, is said to have advocated censorship in his essay on The Republic, which opposed the existence of democracy. In contrast to Plato, Greek playwright Euripides (480–406 BC) defended the true liberty of freeborn men, including the right to speak freely. In 1766, Sweden became the first country to abolish censorship by law.[16]

Other Languages
العربية: رقابة
asturianu: Censura
azərbaycanca: Senzura
беларуская: Цэнзура
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Цэнзура
български: Цензура
bosanski: Cenzura
català: Censura
čeština: Cenzura
Cymraeg: Sensoriaeth
dansk: Censur
eesti: Tsensuur
Ελληνικά: Λογοκρισία
español: Censura
Esperanto: Cenzuro
euskara: Zentsura
فارسی: سانسور
français: Censure
galego: Censura
한국어: 검열
hrvatski: Cenzura
Ido: Censuro
Bahasa Indonesia: Penyensoran
íslenska: Ritskoðun
italiano: Censura
עברית: צנזורה
ქართული: ცენზურა
қазақша: Цензура
kurdî: Sensûr
Кыргызча: Цензура
Latina: Censura
latviešu: Cenzūra
lietuvių: Cenzūra
magyar: Cenzúra
македонски: Цензура
مصرى: الرقابه
Bahasa Melayu: Penapisan
日本語: 検閲
norsk: Sensur
norsk nynorsk: Sensur
occitan: Censura
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Senzura
polski: Cenzura
português: Censura
română: Cenzură
русский: Цензура
Scots: Censorship
shqip: Cenzura
Simple English: Censorship
سنڌي: سينسرشپ
slovenščina: Cenzura
српски / srpski: Цензура
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Cenzura
suomi: Sensuuri
svenska: Censur
தமிழ்: தணிக்கை
Türkçe: Sansür
українська: Цензура
Tiếng Việt: Kiểm duyệt
ייִדיש: צענזור
Zazaki: Sansur
中文: 审查制度