Restricting the public expression of ideas, opinions, conceptions and impulses or the dissemination of facts which have or are believed to have the capacity to undermine the governing authority or the social and moral order upon which the social group is founded. The full process of censorship involves proclaiming common ends or values for the community, drawing up programmes of adherence, action and ideology to achieve them, establishing devices and agencies to enforce them, and enumerating crimes, sins, errors, obscenities, heresies and treasons by which the community is endangered; thus they must be controlled.
Censorship has been present in various forms in many cultures throughout history. It is a part of the history of learning, education, political institutions, religious beliefs and the arts. It is linked with the basic tension between certainty and insecurity, cohesiveness and fragmentation. Basic types include political censorship, religious censorship, moral censorship (related to definitions of obscenity), intellectual censorship (related to academic freedom) and military censorship.
Censorship takes place through public legal acts of authorities to sanction, negate, prohibit or restrict publication or expression. This can be done as prior restriction through licensing or prepublication approval or as post facto restriction through punishment or seizure of material already made public. Indirect means of censorship are also employed including cultural approaches such as publication of banned lists, formation of pressure groups and lobbies, smear campaigns etc. Most subtle and indirect are economic means of censorship including prohibitively high pricing, monopolistic publishing, copyright laws etc.
Unbridled license of expression is a menace to the common good of society.
Freedom of speech is an absolute right.