Censorship is a necessary evil in many cases, but sometimes the content that gets censored can be downright ridiculous. From harmless memes to important news articles, various kinds of content have been banned from the internet for absurd reasons. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the craziest and funniest content censored online.
Oh No, They Didn’t! The Craziest Content Censored Online
1. Winnie the Pooh
Yes, you read that right. In 2018, China banned Winnie the Pooh because people started comparing the cartoon bear to the country’s leader, Xi Jinping. Memes featuring the two side by side went viral, and the government couldn’t handle the mockery. As a result, Winnie the Pooh was removed from Chinese social media platforms, and even the film Christopher Robin was denied a release in the country.
2. A Video of a Cat
In 2014, YouTube temporarily removed a video of a cat playing with a toy because it allegedly violated the site’s policy on animal abuse. The video in question showed a cat chasing a toy helicopter with a spinning blade. While some viewers complained about the video, others argued that it was harmless fun and that the cat was clearly enjoying itself. Eventually, YouTube restored the video, but the incident sparked a debate about what constitutes animal abuse online.
3. A Banned Book
In 2019, the Alabama Department of Corrections banned a book from its prisons because it contained "racial slurs, derogatory language, and content unsuitable for general readership." The book in question? "Slavery by Another Name" by Douglas A. Blackmon, a Pulitzer Prize-winning work of non-fiction that examines the history of forced labor in America after the Civil War. Critics accused the department of trying to suppress an important piece of history and denying prisoners access to educational material.
Censorship Fails: The Hilarious Tales of Forbidden Content
1. The Streisand Effect
The Streisand Effect is a phenomenon where an attempt to censor or remove information from the internet actually draws more attention to it. It’s named after Barbra Streisand, who in 2003 sued a photographer for taking pictures of her Malibu home and posting them online. The lawsuit backfired when the photos became even more widely circulated as a result of the publicity. The Streisand Effect has since become a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of trying to remove content from the internet.
2. The Great Firewall of China
China’s Great Firewall is a massive system of internet censorship that blocks access to certain websites and services in the country. However, the government’s attempts to control the flow of information often result in unintentionally hilarious outcomes. For example, one Chinese internet user reportedly tried to search for information on the British rock band Radiohead, but instead got results for "Radiohead tofu" because the word "head" is a banned term.
3. The Censored Cartoons
Cartoons have often been subject to censorship for their content, but sometimes the results are just plain funny. For instance, in the 1970s, the animated series "The Tom and Jerry Show" was censored in Brazil because a character smoked a cigarette in one episode. The cigarette was removed from the scene, but the animators forgot to remove the smoke coming out of the character’s mouth, resulting in a bizarre image of smoke coming from nowhere.
Censorship can be a serious issue, but sometimes it’s hard not to laugh at the things that get banned. From a cartoon bear to a toy-chasing cat, the content censored online can be truly ridiculous. The stories we’ve shared in this article show that sometimes, censorship fails in hilarious ways.