For as long as humans and societies have communicated using media technologies, there have been measures to regulate media content. At their strongest, such controls have constituted censorship, defined as the restriction, suppression, or prohibition of forms of speech and media content deemed to be contrary to the common good. The word comes from the Latin censor, which referred to the officials in the Roman Empire who took the public census, and whose role was also to supervise public behavior and morals. While governments are not the only institutions that can engage in censorship, it has generally been connected to the government of social conduct and the security and protection of the state (M. Dean 2010).

The development of the printing press in the fifteenth century enabled the dissemination of printed works on a large scale. As this challenged the monopoly of the Roman Catholic Church over the production …

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