Sweden 🇸🇪 is a European country. It practices mainly Christianity and is a member of the European Union. Sweden has abolished most forms of government censorship and protects free speech, with restrictions limited to hate speech, libel and pornography.[1]

General censorship[]

In 1766, Sweden became the first country to abolish censorship by law[2].

Book censorship[]

Internet censorship[]

There is little internet censorship, but sites that infringe copyright or facilitate copyright infringement are blocked in Sweden.

Movie censorship[]


Sweden had the "honour" to be the first country in the world to implement a government branch for film censorship, called "Statens biografbyrå" ("The State Cinema Bureau"), founded in 1911 and mainly focused on violence, banning and censoring material deemed as "skadligt upphetsande" ("dangerously exciting"). With the advent of home video arrived in the 80s, censorship was extended to include them also, although many films ended up slipping through the rain. However, censorship severely relaxed in the 90s, with the wall breaking in 1992, thanks to Reservoir Dogs and Brain Dead being released uncut and unbanned. Censorship finally ended in 2011, and nowadays the cinema bureau is called Statens medieråd ("The State Media Council"), focusing mainly on determining age ratings and banning violent pornography (and even so, no porno has been banned in Sweden since 2010.). Many of the movies that were unbanned even tend to brag about it on the modern uncensored DVD and Blu-ray releases in the country. Statens medieråd's age restrictions apply to children aged 14 and under. A list can be found here (http://www.imdb.com/search/title?certificates=se:(banned)).

Instances of film censorship[]

  • I Am Curious (Yellow) - this film was banned because of pornography, but later allowed thanks to a court case.
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - this film was banned in 1974 for its high gore content and cruelty. It was banned in 2001 and on its uncensored home video releases even states on its tagline "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Behold the legendary horror classic too gruesome for Sweden in the 70s!".
  • Mad Max - this film was banned because of its violent content.
  • Hell of Living Dead - this film was banned because of its violent content, but was released uncut on DVD in the mid-2000s.
  • Tenebre - This film was banned for high impact scary violence, however, it had been re-released uncut in 2005.
  • Inseminoid - this Alien-like horror film was banned due to it featuring a scene of a woman getting gorily impregnated by an alien.
  • Never Too Young to Die - this film was banned presumably for violence and/or sexual content. It is unknown if Velvet Von Ragnar, the transsexual (described in the film as "priding himself of being both a man and a woman") villain character played by KISS' Gene Simmons might have had something to do with it, although other films featuring genderqueer characters released before or around the same time did not got banned.
  • Return of the Living Dead - Although the status of this film is unclear, it had its first two sequels released in DVD.
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation - This film was banned due to high impact scary violence and cruelty. Sony Pictures later.

Television censorship[]

  • Pokémon - Initially there were some difficulties in importing this show to Sweden due to its merchandise-driven nature (even if the show managed to pass muster). However, Sweden's strict advertising laws (which also ban the broadcast of advertising in the middle of programs) only applies to some public access channels. Pokémon debuted (and still airs) on TV4, which is part of the public access block, but technically a commercial channel, which means they can air all the toy commercials they please. The "Pokémon rap" segment was classified as "advertising aimed towards children", which is forbidden on Swedish television. Commercial channel TV3 found a loophole to this rule by broadcasting the signal from London.

Video game censorship[]

  • A common misconception says that Dead or Alive: Dimensions is banned in Sweden. The country, at the time of the game's release, was involved in a highly publicized and controversial trial of Simon Lundstrom, a manga translator, who was caught with lolicon photos (which the Swedish Police deemed it was child porn) on his hard drive. In response, a user asked on a forum if the Dead or Alive games should be banned then, since they clearly sexualise teenage girls (all DoA games before or since, have been released without problems in Sweden) and Bergsala (Nintendo's Swedish affiliate) chose to not distribute Dimensions. The game is not banned in Sweden and can be imported in the Nordic country without issues, as Sweden does not have any government branch or rating board which deals with video games. This event is probably the reason for the inclusion of Marie Rose, an underage-looking Swedish character, to the later rosters of the Dead or Alive series.


  1. Sweden: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2006 by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; U.S. Department of State. 2007-03-06.
  2. http://www.beaconforfreedom.org/liste.html?tid=415&art_id=475

External links[]