Self-Censorship – The Worst Form of Censorship

There are many forms of censorship. It’s most commonly mentioned when the government or media censors someone, or in the modern era, when a person gets “cancelled”. Also, censorship is synonymous with dictatorial regimes and totalitarianism, such as in China, Russia, North Korea, etc.

However, the most common form of censorship, which sometimes goes unnoticed and comes in many forms, is self-censorship. Self-censorship occurs when a person censors themselves, i.e., they don’t say what they think, or they don’t do what they want to, because they fear the consequences.

This is a very common occurrence today, especially with the advancement of social networks, where everyone can be exposed to criticisms, insults, threats, etc. As a result, nearly everyone is careful about what they post so as not to be judged, lose followers, or have their ‘reach’ reduced.

Another method of self-censorship on “social networks” is implemented by the owners of these networks, who censor content they dislike or that is against their interests. However, they censor it in many “insidious ways”, such as reducing visibility (much fewer users will see that content and subsequent content), removing from searches, etc. Another method is a shadow ban, where the user thinks everything is fine, but no one sees their content.

Twitter/X employs an even “worse” form of censorship, where a user must personally delete their post in order to continue using the platform. Thus, they are self-censoring in a way to be able to continue using the platform, agreeing that if they post similar content, they will be permanently banned.

Besides these, other reasons include fear of losing a job, friends, status, physical violence, injustice, etc.

Rarely anyone is immune to self-censorship because it’s in human nature to want to be accepted by society and to preserve their image with others.

It’s even harder for those who become popular, who constantly have to be careful about what they say, because every word will be analyzed, and if they say something that someone dislikes, they can lose everything they’ve accumulated. Today, this is a common occurrence with the criticism of Woke culture, where most people who dare to criticize get “cancelled”, lose their jobs, social networks, etc. This does not spare even very famous or influential people.

When we see other people who were brave and spoke their minds get “cancelled”, most people will fear to say the same, because they don’t want to be in the same situation.

Politicians also constantly self-censor, because they must say what will get them votes, not what they think or what is right. Thus, a politician who lies and promises is likely to win an election, while one who says that a large number of non-workers must be fired will, of course, not.

Since this is a trait that is hard to fight against and very few are immune to it, those who are willing to speak the truth/think out loud, despite knowing it will bring them trouble, should be recognized, supported, and appreciated, as they are rare individuals who are willing to tell the truth.