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Censorship is the attempted suppression or control of information or communication, such as speech, writing, video, or other information. Censorship can be carried out by the government or by private organizations or individuals in positions of power.

Censorship is usually carried out when an organization or individual believes that certain information or ideas are dangerous or harmful.

Implicit in the rules of communication and process of communication used by Why This Way is the idea that certain ideas or communications can be harmful, but we take a different approach to dealing with this information: encapsulating it rather than outright censoring it. Our rules and process of communication specify that people can freely discuss and state ideas, using the use-mention distinction, so long as they are described as an idea, rather than presented as a truth.

Censorship and consent

Censorship is related to our core beliefs on consent. Censoring, whether done by the government or by any other powerful organization, removes or controls information against the desires of the people authoring or sharing that information. We thus see that censorship is a complex issue and can be viewed as something unhealthy. Like other forms of coercion, censorship often elicits a backlash; it can be ineffective at controlling information, and it can cause energy and effort to be wasted in the struggle to subvert the control of information.

We believe that a more fruitful way of combating or overcoming dangerous or harmful ideas is to teach people how to identify whether or not ideas are truthful or untruthful, healthy or unhealthy, and encourage them to share and promote more truthful and healthy ideas, and ignore and filter out unhealthy ideas of their own initiative.