Will Censorship Ultimately Become Impossible in the Digital Age?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Digital media makes it easier for people to circumvent censorship, but are the corporations that control access to the internet willing to play along?

By Edward Nawokta


Oppressive governments have a variety of means at their disposal to impose their will on publishers — from controlling the paper supply (Venezuela), the shutting down the Internet (Iran), to arresting dissidents (name your country).

In the face of such odds, publishers have proven resilient opponents, often finding a way to empower citizens in the face of seemingly unyielding odds. One example is the Afghan PEN center. The digital age makes it all the more difficult to tyrannical regimes to shut down free speech. One good example is China, where computer users have found a myriad of methods of circumventing the government’s control of the flow of information.

Does this mean that — at some point in the future — censorship will become impossible? Or are the commercial interests that control access to the Internet to dependent on the the good will of governments to defy them in the name of the people?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.