Saturday 28 March 2015

Clean Reader

'Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.' - Laurie Halse Anderson
'I'm not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance' - Jon Stewart

If you're an author and you've never heard of Clean Reader:

Time to get up to speed.

Two articles I highly recommend:

(I love this lady, also look at her Cunts)

By the end of those you're likely to have a very clear (or clean) idea of what's going on here. The argument that 'overlaying' text is not 'altering' text is total bollox and, as RG points out, absolutely contravenes the moral rights of the author.

It's basically an e-reading app for the brain-dead that looks through a book, picks any expletives, and overlays them with a block of colour and, sometimes, an alternative descriptive.

What I don't understand is why they'd set up a bookstore (which is the only material you can load onto Clean Reader) with books full of material that needs censoring? Why not just set up a bookstore with books void of sweary words?

Juvenile, dim-witted and repugnant. As Wendig points out - you don't like the way I write? I don't want you reading my feckin' (that's vernacular, not censored) books. Hands off. Go put them down your pants or something.

As also noticed, the bookstore seems to be an outlet for various translations of the Bible. I wonder if they've seen fit to censor The Word of God (tm)? Perhaps he'd like to assert his moral rights as an author?

I really can't say anything more constructively or more succinctly than RG and Wendig have, so I won't prattle on. But it's worth keeping an eye on this sort of shit, lest it become more prevalent.

There was a moment's fun on Twitter with #cleanreadermisses Inventive ways around censorship through erotic euphemism. RG postulating whether it might be possible to write an erotica anthology, or the smuttiest story ever, without getting a single word censored by Clean Reader. Undoubtedly, if her article's example of Ulysses was anything to go by.

The only thing I'd add, after musing through several articles on censorship recently, is to caution against the oft repeated phrase: 'censorship is becoming a greater threat,' or that 'censorship is on the increase'. Mayhap. But was there ever a glory day?

I mean, didn't Ibsen have to send Nora home to her husband? Didn't the Lord Chamberlain's Office have to scour through script after script? Didn't D. H. Lawrence have to self-publish? Didn't people lose their heads for satire? Was there ever such a golden age of freedom of expression, free from political, military or religious censorship?

Not saying it's right. Just saying.

Long way still to go.

I've posted it recently, but I'll post it again...

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