I can come up with two reasons on why someone would adopt a policy of self-censorship, or offer an apology if the horse, so to speak, has bolted before anything could be done about it.
The first is fear of reprisal. In civilized countries inhabited by wise people, such reprisal is never violent; it occurs in the form of a boycott, financial, social etc, and is a message from a particular section of the population that they find the “provocation” to be in bad taste. It’s a case of difference of opinion and people on both sides of the divide know the consequences of their actions. In uncivilized societies, one might lose one’s head, or house, and god knows what else.
The second is a (real) change in one’s position on the matter. Here an apology makes sense, but self-censorship would no longer be called that. If you don’t say/ write / publish what you don’t agree with, it is not self-censorship.
There is another (can’t call it third) reason which has no relation to the concept of self-censorship. Follow the mob.
I wonder which category this falls under–
WE ARE SORRY
An illustration resembling The Last Supper, which appeared in the Sunday edition of the paper, has hurt the sentiments of a number of our readers. We sincerely apologise for the anguish it has inadvertantly caused. This paper is truly respectful of all faiths. It is one of the cornerstones of our editorial philosophy.