Tag Archives: censorship

It took a prime minister to get Facebook to see the difference between child pornography and history — Quartz

Facebook just can’t seem to engineer news. Two weeks ago the best-selling Norwegian author Tom Egeland wrote a Facebook post about the “photographs that changed the history of warfare,” according to The Guardian. One of the photos Egeland included in his piece was “The Terror of War,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo showing a naked 9-year-old…

via It took a prime minister to get Facebook to see the difference between child pornography and history — Quartz

I dislike Facebook, always have, but until fairly recently that was simply a personal position – similar to not liking the colour pink. Now, though, I worry about its amoeba-like spread into all aspects of internet life.

It’s as if Facebook wants to become the ‘internet of media’, the one-stop-shop for all its users needs. But the glory and the power of the internet era is its diversity, and the ability for all voices to be heard. Concentrating all that power in one place means that news, and be extension, history will once again be capable of being vetted.

This incident was almost too ridiculous to worry about, but in the future, I expect Facebook to become a lot better at being Big Brother. And that worries me.


Clean Reader App – self censorship for babies

Part of the benefit of living in a democracy is that every person has the right to choose. We exercise that right every moment of every day. Tea or coffee? Bus or train? Free to Air TV or Netflix? Liberals or Labor? A book or a movie?

What we choose does not matter, only that we possess that right.

But rights are not bestowed like magic, they have to be earned in some way. We have earned our right to choose by defending other’s right to property. When I go out and buy a book in whatever format, I am buying the ‘object’, not the words and ideas in that object.

Thus I can choose to buy or not to buy that object, but I cannot choose to copy all the words and pretend I wrote them. By the same token, I cannot snip out the bits I don’t like and substitute something more palatable for them.

Yet that, apparently, is exactly what Clean Reader App is doing.  Because the medium of the book is digital, this app can come along, hoover up the words and replace them with ‘clean’ words.

Unfortunately, as D.V.Berkom points out in her post, this computerized CENSORSHIP changes the meaning, intent, pace, flow and music of the prose. That is just notangry on.

I’m all for choice. In fact, I’d like to see even more choice in our lives, but this is not choice, this is censorship pure and simple and by a ‘machine’ no less.

Are we truly such babies that we can’t trust ourselves to close a book that contains content we think we shouldn’t read?

-makes rude noise-


The Kobogate debacle…really?

Courtesy Wiki

Courtesy Wiki

When my Daughter and Nephew were eight, I rented what I thought was a kid’s video from the video shop [yes, it was that long ago]. The cover of the video featured creatures similar in style to the Dark Crystal type puppets. My eye caught on the puppets and didn’t even register the R classification [adults only content here in Australia].

I put the video on for the two kids and went off to cook dinner in peace. Eventually the kids came out to the kitchen with…questions. That was when I discovered they’d been watching puppets have sex.

To say I was shocked is an understatement. I’m no prude, but I don’t consider a kinky puppet-sex video to be appropriate sex-ed. material. I explained to the kids that I’d made a mistake, and we talked about the content. Then they wandered off to play, leaving me bright red, and cursing my inattention.

Were those two kids horribly scarred for life? Nope. The only one who ended up scarred was me – because they’ve never let me live down that mistake.

Which brings me to the Kobogate debacle. Apparently some kids in the UK got their hands on erotic material at a well known bookshop known as ‘Smiths’. The Daily Mail got wind of this, and ran a sensational campaign about it. Kobo, which partners with W.H.Smith in the UK, caved to pressure from its partner and apparently yanked all self-published ebooks from the UK site.

I believe the correct term here is ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water’.

If you are like me, and have only just heard about Kobogate, you can read all about it in an excellent article by David Gaughran – here.

I don’t have an axe to grind on this Kobogate debacle because my ebook wasn’t affected, however I do think the whole thing has been handled badly. A simple declaration of content at the time of uploading an ebook could have saved Kobo, and thousands of self-published authors, a lot of grief. After that, I believe it’s up to parents to monitor what their kids watch or read, not some corporation.

I don’t read, or write, erotica. Nonetheless, I believe erotica has a place in the world of books, just like any other genre.

What do you think? Yes? No? Maybe?



p.s. I apologise for the scrappy nature of my posts lately. I’ve been working hard on my assignments, and haven’t had the time, or the creative energy to come up with interesting things to write about. Still 6 weeks to go so please bear with me.

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