The purpose of censorship is to restrict freedom of speech to maintain the status quo. Censorship is often used by fragile regimes that lack a legitimacy to govern or acquired political power through illegal means. Usually, the reason governments give for censorship is to protect citizens from harm.
Visible forms of censorship usually take place within the media. The government or people in power can weaken the power of the media by declaring some topics to be off limits. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Nazis used censorship in Germany to burn books that differed from the views of authorities after banning ordinary German citizens from reading them.