What happened two days ago in Paris at Charlie Hebdo has a lot to do with freedom of speech and expression. It has a lot to do with those values we call human rights. It has a lot to do with censorship. And this is what we would like to talk about in connection with this week’s IATE term.

Censorship can be implemented in so many different ways, it has so many different shades. Not all censorship is equal, nor does all arise from government or external forces. People self-censor themselves all the time. Just think about what happened right after the attack on Hebdo.

The slaughter of 12 people on the premises of the satirical French magazine led media from all over the globe to ask themselves whether to reproduce the controversial covers of the magazine, which had angered some Muslims for its satirical depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. That forced editors to make a difficult choice: censoring the images out of respect for Muslims and in the interest of the safety of its journalists or pushing back against self-censorship.

Censorship IATE

Anyway, we won’t solve the controversies about censorship and its mentioned numerous forms in just one post of our blog. We could perhaps recall that censorship is still applied in many countries and companies for national security reasons or on a business ground; the free circulation of ideas is firmly opposed for a variety of causes across the globe. As European citizens, we are frightened and worried about the spreading of intolerance. Our main interest, despite the cruelty of the event, is still raising awareness through a common ground, for we believe that a precise vocabulary and a wise and discerning choice of words do help communication and social integration: the antidote for hatred is comprehension and sharing experiences and languages. The European Union, even with all its difficulties and flaws, stands as an example of a successful  integration and tolerance. Over twenty countries communicate and exchange experiences and knowledge on a daily basis.

Do you think that you cannot do anything to enhance your world? You are wrong. We can all do our part starting by keeping in mind that respect and freedom, in its both positive and negative concepts, are the groundwork we need to build our culture and identity on.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” – Evelyn Beatrice Hall


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By Sabina Grixoni

Editor and Social Media Strategist

Communication Trainee at TermCoord

and Matteo Poles

Social Media Specialist

Communication Trainee at TermCoord