With the current conflict in Ukraine, we’ve seen Russia trying desperately to control information in order to control opinion both at home and abroad.  They banned Instagram, Facebook from Russia and heavily restricted Twitter without an outright ban. Apparently, some content on Twitter is useful to Putin and the Kremlin still.  As this is being written, Russia has entirely closed itself off from all internet traffic coming from the West. The social media platforms not banned may have to ask themselves why they appear useful to Putin in his effort to convince the world that what he is doing in Ukraine is justified.

This is nothing new, countries like Russia, China and North Korea have a long history of erasing people they don’t want to be reminded of.  Often they start out as regime insiders with the power, but when they are un-personed, these regimes even go to such lengths as to remove them from the historical record like they never existed at all.  They will even rewrite entire history textbooks to remove the disloyal from the collective memory of their country.

Regimes obsessed with appearing to be perfect can’t have anything or anyone imperfect break the bubble of that illusion, so whether it’s banning social media or simply airbrushing someone out of a photograph,”Out of sight,” appears to be truly, “out of mind.”

Here are a few examples we dug up.