What is the difference between formal censorship, and informal censorship?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The difference between formal and informal censorship comes in the degree to which each is mandatory and is driven by formal rules.  Formal censorship has strict rules about what may and may not be published.  It is mandatory for the media to obey these rules, which have the force of law.  By contrast, informal censorship is not based on set rules and laws.  Instead, it is a much more voluntary thing.  In this system, the media voluntarily censors itself.  It does so perhaps because it feels pressured to do so by the government.  Or it may do so because it feels that cooperating with the government is the patriotic thing to do.  Either way, there are no set rules and there are no laws that require this type of censorship.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team