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Self-censorship of Conflict-related Information in the Context of Intractable Conflict

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Journal of Conflict Resolution

Published online on


Self-censorship is of great importance in societies involved in intractable conflict. In this context, it blocks information that may contradict the dominant conflict-supporting narratives. Thus, self-censorship often serves as an effective societal mechanism that prevents free flow and transparency of information regarding the conflict and therefore can be seen as a barrier for a peacemaking process. In an attempt to understand the potential effect of different factors on participants’ willingness to self-censor (WSC) conflict-related information, we conducted three experimental studies in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Study 1 revealed that perception of distance from potential information recipients and their disseminating capabilities lead to higher WSC. Study 2 replicated these results and also showed that fulfilling different social roles has an effect on the WSC. Finally, study 3 revealed that the type of information has a major effect on WSC.