GITNUX MARKETDATA REPORT 2024

Censorship Statistics: Market Report & Data

Highlights: The Most Important Censorship Statistics

  • In 2020, 17,432 cases were documented of journalists and media workers who were subject to censorship, according to the Journalism Is Not A Crime initiative.
  • In 2021, Turkey has blocked 408,494 websites since the year 2014.
  • According to the 2021 World Press Freedom Index, North Korea is ranked as the worst country for press freedom due to extreme censorship.
  • Reporters Without Borders recorded 387 detentions of journalists in 2020, a 12% increase over the previous year, much of it related to censorship efforts.
  • In China, nearly 450 million social media posts are censored annually.
  • In 2019, it was found that 34% of Americans believe the news media should be protected from censorship by the U.S. government.
  • In the first half of 2020, almost 277,000 pieces of content were removed from Facebook due to censorship laws.
  • 83% of all internet users use a platform where censorship is practiced, such as Google or Facebook, as analyzed in 2016.
  • In 2020, Pakistan requested Google to remove 20,707 items.
  • In Iran, around half of the top 500 visited websites worldwide are blocked as of 2014.
  • In 2019, YouTube removed over 5 million videos globally for content policy violations.
  • There are 13 countries, including China, Iran, and North Korea, that have "Pervasive" levels of Internet censorship as per the OpenNet initiative.
  • In 2021, 34% of books challenged or banned in U.S. schools and libraries included content that addressed racial or social injustice.
  • Instagram removed over 1 million accounts over the period of July-Sept in 2020 for violating the hate speech policy.
  • In 2020, Twitter removed 2,546,820 pieces of content for abuse violations.
  • About 57% of the world's people live in countries where internet censorship is classified as severe.
  • In 2018, at least online 456 writers, journalists, and public intellectuals were imprisoned or detained for their writing, a large portion due to censorship.
  • In 2021, Russia made 1,306 requests to Google to remove content.
  • In 2020, censorship increased in India with 1,406 requests made to Google for content removal.
  • As of March 2021, 22% of the U.S. population reported having an experience where their social media content was censored.

Table of Contents

Welcome to our deep dive into the fascinating yet challenging world of Censorship Statistics. In this ever-evolving digital age, censorship has become a significant topic of global discussion. It is crucial now more than ever to understand not just the ethical and psychological implications but also the quantifiable aspects of censorship. We’ll be delving into the data, trends, and metrics that help shed light on this complex issue. Through these statistical insights, we aim to provide a clearer picture of how censorship impacts societies, various industries, and the information ecosystem globally.

The Latest Censorship Statistics Unveiled

In 2020, 17,432 cases were documented of journalists and media workers who were subject to censorship, according to the Journalism Is Not A Crime initiative.

Highlighting the striking figure of 17,432 censorship instances against journalists and media workers in 2020, as reported by the Journalism Is Not A Crime initiative, serves as a stark testament to the relentless war against free press globally. In the panorama of a blog post about Censorship Statistics, this number underscores an alarming trend of growing suppression of journalistic freedom. It portrays a distressing reality where the pressure on media professionals to silence their voices isn’t an isolated incident but a formidable, widespread menace. Therefore, throwing light on such data can incite discussions, stoke consciousness, and expedite advocacy towards safeguarding journalistic independence and fortifying our commitment toward a truly free press.

In 2021, Turkey has blocked 408,494 websites since the year 2014.

Highlighting the substantial figure of 408,494 websites blocked by Turkey since 2014 serves as a telling barometer of the country’s stringent approach to information control and censorship. In a post dedicated to censorship statistics, this vivid illustration of internet censorship underscores the magnitude of state control over digital platforms. It invites readers to contemplate the implications on free speech, access to diverse perspectives, and the potential stifling of social and political discourse. Hence, this data point acts as a stark note on the prevalent censorship conditions, effectively reinforcing the critical importance of digital freedoms in our contemporary world.

According to the 2021 World Press Freedom Index, North Korea is ranked as the worst country for press freedom due to extreme censorship.

The 2021 World Press Freedom Index showcasing North Korea’s position as the most restrictive country when it comes to press freedom underlines the grave implications of extreme censorship. This unpalatable truth serves as a potent reminder for the readers of our censorship statistics blog post. It inevitably amplifies the implied severity of suppressed information and manipulated narratives, reinforcing our understanding of the colossal significance of safeguarding media freedom worldwide. Therefore, it concretely demonstrates an extreme case where the absence of press freedom leads to the inevitable stifling of essential voices and hampers the check-and-balance system that contributes to a healthy democratic society.

Reporters Without Borders recorded 387 detentions of journalists in 2020, a 12% increase over the previous year, much of it related to censorship efforts.

In the canvas of the escalating global censorship, the statistic reflecting a surge in detentions of journalists by 12% in 2020, as recorded by Reporters Without Borders, paints a stark portrait. This escalation, primarily affiliated with censorship attempts, underscores the tightening grip of suppression on freedom of speech and expression. Within the context of a blog post on Censorship Statistics, this figure serves as a profound insight, highlighting the sharpening teeth of censorship and emphasizing the escalating perils faced by every forthright pen, telling the truth without fear. Firm evidence like this irrefutably shows that censorship is rampant and intensifying, a disconcerting trend for any society valuing democratic principles and the freedom of press.

In China, nearly 450 million social media posts are censored annually.

The astonishing figure that approximately 450 million social media posts are censored each year in China paints a vivid picture of the stark reality of information control in this expansive nation. To grasp this in a broader scope, one must understand that this high number doesn’t only mean that a vast quantity of user-generated content disappears into thin air, left unseen and unheard. It underscores the magnitude of regulated digital spaces and the suppressed freedom of expression amidst the largest internet user base globally, a vital concern addressed in the discourse of censorship statistics. This is a testament to China’s extensive efforts in its Great Firewall project, leaving immense implications for worldwide digital communication, cyber sovereignty, and even global politics.

In 2019, it was found that 34% of Americans believe the news media should be protected from censorship by the U.S. government.

Imagining a landscape where the freedom of the press is under debate, the statistic, which noted 34% of Americans in 2019 asserting that the news media should be safeguarded from government censorship, carves a significant image into the narrative. This figure not only attests to the prevailing sentiments about the relationship between news media and government control but it further reflects the diversity of opinion and the still unresolved verdict among American society on media independence. It’s an essential data point that offers an aperture into public sentiment, suggesting that a significant minority are concerned about the potentially erosive effects of censorship on democratic institutions. As such, it’s an indispensable component of the conversation surrounding censorship statistics.

In the first half of 2020, almost 277,000 pieces of content were removed from Facebook due to censorship laws.

Highlighting the astounding figure of nearly 277,000 pieces of content that fell to the censor’s axe on Facebook in the initial half of 2020, serves as a stark testament to the omnipresent influence of censorship laws on popular social media platforms. The alarming proportion of material eliminated illustrates the unprecedented scope of control enjoyed by legislation over the domain of digital free speech and underscores the critical essence of having vigilant and transparent discussions around digital censorship. This tangible evidence of governance over social media content not only validates existing concerns about censorship but also incites a renewed urgency towards understanding the statistical facet of censorship in broader contexts.

83% of all internet users use a platform where censorship is practiced, such as Google or Facebook, as analyzed in 2016.

The highlighted figure reveals a startling 83% of all internet users who have subconsciously submitted themselves to platforms notorious for exercising censorship, Google or Facebook being such examples. This compelling statistic, derived from a comprehensive 2016 analysis, emphasizes the magnitude of internet censorship’s pervasiveness globally. It silently underscores the widely accepted yet rarely questioned norm of having our digital information filtered and controlled, shedding a stark spotlight on how platforms with such power can shape public discourse, manipulate search results and potentially restrict freedom of speech. This evidence is undoubtedly a significant point of consideration for readers in fully comprehending the extent to which internet censorship is ingrained in our everyday digital interactions.

In 2020, Pakistan requested Google to remove 20,707 items.

Highlighting the staggering figure of 20,707 items in 2020 that Pakistan requested Google to remove, paints a vivid picture of the extent of online censorship prevalent in the country. For a blog post dedicated to Censorship Statistics, this data point offers a striking and substantial example of how government interference in digital platforms can shape the public narrative. It emphasizes the scale of online policing, thereby unveiling the often overlooked elements of digital freedom, control and the underlying politics.

In Iran, around half of the top 500 visited websites worldwide are blocked as of 2014.

Highlighting the fact that in Iran, approximately 50% of the world’s top 500 most trafficked websites were restricted as of 2014, serves as a stark reminder of the significant scope of internet censorship present in some parts of the world. In an analysis focused on censorship statistics, this figure underscores the material constraints on information access and diversity of online discourse experienced by citizens. It signifies that regulatory agencies, or the nation state, exert substantial influence over the flow of digital content, shaping the available online landscape, potentially limiting users’ critical viewpoint diversity, and emphasizing the need for continued vigilance and advocacy in the fight for online freedom and openness globally.

In 2019, YouTube removed over 5 million videos globally for content policy violations.

Navigating the obscure labyrinth of censorship, the 2019 revelation of YouTube eradicating upward of 5 million videos globally for policy violations provides a robust indication of the scale and influence of digital media control. It injects a profound narrative into the blog post on censorship statistics, highlighting the intense responsibility content platforms bear in monitoring and managing millions of user-generated materials. This staggering figure injects reality into the gravity of online censorship, demonstrating an inexorable, continual struggle to balance freedom of expression against harmful, offensive, or inappropriate content.

There are 13 countries, including China, Iran, and North Korea, that have “Pervasive” levels of Internet censorship as per the OpenNet initiative.

Highlighting the statistic that there are 13 nations, including such power players as China, Iran, and North Korea, exhibiting ‘Pervasive’ levels of Internet censorship as reported by the OpenNet initiative, can paint a stark and impactful picture to the readers of the blog post about Censorship Statistics. Not only does it underline the breadth and depth of the censorship issue affecting a significant portion of the global population, the severity of the problem is made clear by the use of the term ‘Pervasive’. This statistical evidence, therefore, serves as a critical anchor, driving home the magnitude of Internet censorship that currently prevails in various parts of the world and substantiating the urgency and significance of this topic.

In 2021, 34% of books challenged or banned in U.S. schools and libraries included content that addressed racial or social injustice.

Shedding light on the contentious landscape of censorship, the statistic revealing that ‘In 2021, 34% of books challenged or banned in U.S. schools and libraries included content that addressed racial or social injustice’ serves as a critical indicator of the prevailing issues at the crossroads of education and social discourse. This data echoes the underlying echoes of censorship based on topics they cover, magnifying the chasm of banned literary works that seek to navigate racial and social injustice. Notably, this statistic elucidates a poignant question about which resources are valued in promoting learning and free thought, and which are suppressed, ultimately shaping the narrative that swathes the education landscape and moulds the minds of future generations.

Instagram removed over 1 million accounts over the period of July-Sept in 2020 for violating the hate speech policy.

Highlighting the takedown of more than a million Instagram accounts for violating the platform’s hate speech policy during July-September 2020 paints an illustrative picture of the increasingly stringent landscape of online censorship. It spotlights the bulls-eye efforts taken by social media platforms to curb the menace of hate speech, demonstrating the extent to which companies are willing to maintain community standards. Such a considerable figure underscores the prevalence and gravity of online hate speech, marking it as a crucial statistical plank in any assessment of contemporary censorship practices.

In 2020, Twitter removed 2,546,820 pieces of content for abuse violations.

Drawing attention to the towering number of 2,546,820 pieces of content expunged by Twitter in 2020 for abuse violations unveils the flaring testament of immense censorship on Social Media platforms. In a discussion about censorship statistics, this notable fact is a beacon of understanding, shedding light on the ongoing battle between preservation of free speech and the drive to maintain online safety. It signifies that content moderation tools are actively being used to clamp down on hate speech, harassment, or any content Twitter deems inappropriate, thereby raising questions about the boundaries of censorship and freedom of expression.

About 57% of the world’s people live in countries where internet censorship is classified as severe.

Highlighting the statistic that about 57% of the global population resides in nations with severe internet censorship is crucial in painting a vivid picture of the state of digital freedom. When contemplating Censorship Statistics in a blog post, this staggering percentage underscores the extent to which governments around the globe control and limit internet access, affecting how information is disseminated and absorbed. The figure serves as a stark reminder of the many hurdles standing in the way of uninhibited digital expression and access to information, urging readers to consider the power dynamics involved in internet control and the impetus to advocate for digital freedom.

In 2018, at least online 456 writers, journalists, and public intellectuals were imprisoned or detained for their writing, a large portion due to censorship.

The chilling figure; incarcerating 456 writers, journalists, and public intellectuals for their writings in the year 2018 alone, brilliantly seizes the magnitude of the global censorship problem. Amidst the backdrop of a blog post on Censorship Statistics, this statistic eloquently wraps up the harsh reality of internet repression, unmasking the thinly veiled attempts to silence voices of dissent or diverse viewpoints. Throwing light on the inhibition of freedom of expression, it not only underscores the desperate, totalitarian measures to control information and suppress public opinion but also exposes the mounting dangers that online content creators face for their intellectual bravery.

In 2021, Russia made 1,306 requests to Google to remove content.

Positioning Russia’s 1,306 requests for content removal to Google in 2021 in the spotlight, displays a tangible quantification of the country’s active engagement in censorship practices. Within a blog post discussing censorship statistics, this figure underscores the pervasive and ongoing nature of global information control. It also offers a specific reflection of political power, as a higher number of requests may indicate a more stringent internet policing strategy. Therefore, such a statistic is an important evidence to grasp a real-world understanding of how frequently content manipulation through censorship occurs in different geographical spheres such as Russia.

In 2020, censorship increased in India with 1,406 requests made to Google for content removal.

Shining a spotlight on the discerning truth behind the curtains of data, the statistic under consideration significantly asserts the escalating censorship in India during 2020, evident from the overwhelming 1,406 removal requests made to Google for content elimination. This vivid demonstration of data not only underscores a concerning incline in censorship exertions, but also accentuates the scope and impact on freedom of expression in the digital world. In the sphere of a blog post about Censorship Statistics, this claim bolsters the pertinence of one’s right to information and its erosion, hence arousing critical discussions, resonating with netizens globally.

As of March 2021, 22% of the U.S. population reported having an experience where their social media content was censored.

Illuminating the extent of social media censorship, the statistic conveys that over a fifth of the U.S. population, as of March 2021, have fallen prey to the seemingly invisible hands of censorship on their expressive content. It underlines a key facet of digital free speech suppression, bringing to light the potential risk that an alarming number of social media personas face, making discussions on censorship much more relevant and urgent. Complementing its broader notion, this statistic addresses the contemporary scenario of social media platforms turning into arenas of regulation, thus setting the tone for a deeper dive into the wide-ranging effects, methods, and degrees of censorship in our connected world.

Conclusion

Censorship statistics have provided an enlightening insight into global freedom of speech issues. They reveal a worrying trend of increasing censorship in several countries, often reflecting political tensions or attempts to curb social unrest. However, it’s noteworthy to mention that there is a growing resistance too, as citizens are becoming more aware of their information rights and deploying tools to bypass censorship. These numbers serve as a potent reminder of the importance of freedom of expression and the ongoing struggle for it worldwide.

References

0. – https://www.cyber.harvard.edu

1. – https://www.transparencyreport.google.com

2. – https://www.pen.org

3. – https://www.transparency.fb.com

4. – https://www.www.business-anti-corruption.com

5. – https://www.www.oif.ala.org

6. – https://www.gking.harvard.edu

7. – https://www.www.statista.com

8. – https://www.www.people-press.org

9. – https://www.journalismisnotacrime.com

10. – https://www.www.pewresearch.org

11. – https://www.freedomhouse.org

12. – https://www.transparency.twitter.com

13. – https://www.expressioninterrupted.com

14. – https://www.rsf.org

FAQs

What is the definition of censorship?

Censorship is the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.

What are the main types of censorship?

The main types of censorship are political, moral, corporate, and religious censorship. Political censorship involves suppression of political viewpoints, while moral censorship suppresses content that violates societal moral standards. Corporate censorship relates to corporate influence on media and content, and religious censorship involves restriction of material offensive to a particular faith group.

What is the difference between Soft Censorship and Hard Censorship?

Hard censorship refers to the outright banning of certain information or media. Soft censorship, on the other hand, refers to indirect influence over or manipulation of the media, such as biasing the framing of events or issues, or deterring journalists through legal penalties, job dismissals or threats.

Why is there an ongoing debate about censorship?

The debate about censorship stems from a balance between freedom of speech and the harmful effects of certain content. Some argue that censorship protects from harmful or misleading information, while others maintain it infringes upon freedom of speech and stifles creative and intellectual liberties.

Can censorship ever be justified?

Whether censorship can be justified or not often depends on the context. Some believe it can be justified when it shields the public from harm, such as dangerous misinformation or content that incites violence or hatred. Others argue that it obstructs freedom of speech and expression, hence, should be minimized. The line often gets drawn at different places depending on societal norms and laws within a particular region or country.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

Table of Contents