I had no clue what I was going to write about for my blog this morning until about five minutes ago when I read Jane Alexander’s blog.
Censorship rears its ugly head once again. This time in the form of PayPal, of all things. Apparently this money-moving, money-making company has decided that its users cannot pay for things it considers inappropriate or obscene using its service.
I dislike censorship. You can censor what comes out of a person’s mouth or the end of their pen, but you cannot censor their thoughts, and, frankly, I’d rather know what people are thinking so that I can confront the issues.
“Naming Names” was censored. It was banned from Authonomy very quickly after I uploaded the first few chapters. I was horrified. My book wasn’t obscene, in fact, its purpose was to uncover an obscenity.
I did the wrong thing, though. I let the ban get to me. I didn’t know what spamming was at the time, but, nevertheless, I’m still embarrassed to say that (even inadvertently) I spammed on the subject.
To give credit where it’s due, someone from Authonomy got in touch with me, directly, and reinstated the book promptly and without a fuss, and without me losing any of the following that the book had generated. From that time, though, I put a warning on my novel, and I removed the ‘offending’ chapter permanently. Part of me wishes I hadn’t. If I ever get the chance to publish the novel, I will fight long and hard for the inclusion of the more difficult sections of the book.
Honestly, I think the censorship of “Naming Names” was a knee-jerk reaction on the part of an inexperienced moderator, and I don’t think that it will happen again with this novel. It will, however, always happen. There will always be people and even corporations that believe they are the ultimate arbiters of taste, that their opinions on any subject are the right ones, and that will always lead to censorship.
We can all challenge that.
Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to desist from using PayPal; I’m going to pay directly for the things that I choose to purchase via the internet, or go through an invoicing system. I consider any minor inconvenience to me a very small price to pay for the greater freedoms we should all be able to enjoy.