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Visualizing Censorship Legislation

Tracking Legislative Restrictions on the Freedom to Read, Learn, and Teach

Welcome! Here you can explore educational gag order bills and the various forms of censorship the bills have covered since the beginning of 2021 to present day. More information and background about this wave of legistlation can be found through a series by PEN America.

The Data

On this website we provide a number of interactive visualizations related to the number of bills passed, presented, or denied in each state, the subject of the bills, as well as references to the bills themselves. The underlying data being visualized here is made avaliable and still being actively updated by PEN America (the public spreedsheet itself can be found here). As this dataset is being actively updated (adding new bills, changing the status of bills, ect…) we have designed this website to update itself weekly based on the latest most up to date version of the data (see github actions script here).

Bill Explorer

Use this map to explore the total number of bills each state has passed, is considering, or has denied. To view the bills themselves, click on the state pin and click on the bill you’d like to explore.

By Target

Use this map to explore the bill censorship target topics or groups. This map allows you to view the number of bills overall, the bills that target censorship of K12 groups, college groups, state contractors or institutions. The map also allows you to view the bill breakdown of bills that target gender/sexuality, religion, or race/ethnicity. If a bill relates to multiple of these categories, it is shown in duplicate under the categories it relates to (i.e. bills that aim to censor K12 schools and mention content about gender and sexuality, that bill will show up when you select K12 and the Gender / Sexuality buttons).