In China, it is quite normal for words or phrases to be censored by the state. As China is totalitarian in nature, any kind of dissent or free thinking can be dangerous to the established order. Recently, Chinese citizens have been using a nickname for the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, “Jin San Pang”. Jin San Pang translates to “Kim Fatty the Third”, which the North Koreans took offense to in a recent meeting between the two countries’ officials. This led to the Chinese government to ban the phrase since they did not want to unnecessarily rile their main ally in the region.
Utilitarianism and social contract theory would approach this problem in a very different manner. Utilitarianism, when applied to a country as a whole, might view the implementation of censorship as a net gain of happiness because of the continued good relations between two countries. The optimific outcome is to strengthen the nation since that will lead to the greatest quality of happiness, and as such, it could be said it is optimific to censor something as innocuous as “Kim Fatty the Third”. Social contact theory on the other hand, would not view that such censorship as necessary in my opinion. A group of rational human beings would be able to realize the ridiculousness of a such a request from another country and reject a law as limiting as the ban of Jin San Pang is. Censorship doesn’t delete those thoughts, it just drives into the underground.