Censorship or public responsibility?
Another day, another internet controversy right? Today (and I’ll admit I was apart of it) someone tweeted a link to an incredibly disgusting book that Amazon was selling for download on the Kindle . Thank God I have a Nook!
The book was a “how-to” guide for pedophiles.
“A child lovers code of conduct”
Teaching them how to make the situations that children are involved in with pedophiles safer (whatever that means) and hopefully appeal to the pedophiles better nature and prevent all the hatred (paraphrasing, but from the book’s description) towards them.
Immediately when I saw it I signed in and wrote a quick review on Amazon asking them to remove the book. Declaring a boycott if it was not removed and RT’ing a gazzillion tweets designed to bombard Amazon to get them to take action. I also went as far as picking up the phone and calling Amazon’s customer service alerting them to the book, the twitter frenzy and pending boycott.
I was told it would be removed.
When I was done I was pretty proud of myself. I didn’t (and still don’t) understand how this book passed any type of quality assurance test and made available to the public.
But like the good ol’ internet has me doing sometimes. I am now rethinking my position. No. I’m not some shaky tree willing to side with whatever cause seems to be getting the most RT’s or traffic. But what I like about the internet & reading blogs is that you can come across so many opinions that open your eyes to totally different sides/points.
Jill over at Scary Mommy RT’d a link from @adampknave where he posted about the hypocrisy of the internet calling for a banning of the book.
So it got me wondering about freedom of speech and where one persons opinion crosses from freedom of speech to something that needs to be censored.
I’ve always been on the side of freedom of speech. I hate, absolutely hate it when news anchors/tv & radio personalities get fired for things they say. It bothers me. I don’t care who took offense to Don Imus and his “nappy headed ho’s” comment, the fact of the matter is. He has a right to his opinion. And he has a right to say it publicly. Whether we like it or not.
So wouldn’t the same be allowed for the author of this book? Should his opinion, regardless of how vile or offensive it is, be allowed to be shared with the public?
Is there a difference here because his thought process is illegal?
If we ban his book, there might be people who call for a banning of Modern Family (Oh no you don’t!) because of the homosexual couple.
If we ban this book do we also need to make it so porn is not sold on Amazon, because there are people who find it highly offensive?
Do you see how blurry the lines can get? I’m not sure exactly how I feel. I know that I feel its deplorable, but just because me and 100,000 other people find it deplorable should we ban it?
How do you feel?
* I will not be posting the link back to this book. The reason being is because at 11 AM when I started hearing about this, the author ranked at like 158,221 in the bestsellers list in the Kindle store. When I started this post Tuesday at 4:45 PM he ranked at 5,000 and some change. When I went back at 5:20 his paid ranking shot to 1,656. I get it people are downloading it to see what it is, but he’s getting money for it and although I’m not sure he should be banned, I do know I don’t like him being compensated for it. But thanks to the internet gods, if you look you’ll find it.*