It’s recently come to my attention that there is book censorship happening on a major multi-billion dollar online retailer. According to the author(s) of a particularly “dark” reverse harem, their published work was yanked from the internet shelves for violating the internet companies “Terms and Conditions Policy.”
So, let me get this straight. A company is legally allowed to ban a book based off of their web sites “terms and conditions” policy? I have not read this particular policy, but I find censorship (of any kind) in the United States of America a hard pill to swallow.
I have read the banned book cover to cover. I found it dark and disturbing, yet exciting and even hot. Dark novels aren’t meant to be happy, romantic, or light-hearted. They’re meant to tear at the readers emotions. To have a reader on the edge of their seat “watching” the characters experience pain, happiness, sadness, turmoil, etc. They are meant to suspend reality, not to be interpreted as real. (My opinion.) The banned book, and its reader review(s) gave ample warning for its triggering dark content, and that reader discretion was advised. And apparently, either a reader or an employee of the internet giant did not like the content, complained, and the internet company subsequently banned it.
The sad situation for the author(s) was that this book was quickly becoming a best seller. Their hard work was yanked out from under them. And the only way for them to get their work republished was to conform their novel to the internet giants “terms and conditions” policy. The book title was changed. The character names were changed. And parts of the novel itself were changed, or rewritten. Did the changes hurt the story-line? No. Did the changes violate the author(s) original work and its integrity? Of course. If an artist painted a solid blue painting, and I told them they couldn’t sell it unless it had a red dot in the left corner it’s the same thing. Its still the artists work, just with my final touch added to it. My “terms and conditions.” Am I in the right to alter the artists work just because I have policies in place before I will let them sell it? Or does my adding the red dot to the painting alter the artists original work? I think the latter, and not the former.
Sadly, I can shop on this very same internet giants website and purchase some rather depraved, jaw dropping, banned in other countries movies right now. For example, you want to purchase Martrys, Salo, 120 days of Sodom, Cannibal Holocaust, or A Serbian Film you can. These aren’t suggested movie titles, merely examples of undefined dark content. The banned book did not contain the rape of an infant, yet one of the available for purchase movies does, without the camera cutting away. You can’t ban one for dark content because it violates your “terms and conditions” policy and not the other. It’s both hypocritical and wrong. All due to a critic, complaint, or employee. (My speculation.)
As previously mentioned, censorship is a slippery slope. One this internet giant seems to be starting to slide down into. What’s next? Censorship for news reporters, television programming, artists, authors, and internet bloggers. Anyone with a voice? Scary. All because a critic of unknown origin complained to the internet giant, or an employee of the internet giant didn’t like the books content. What’s next, the “thought police?”