CleanReader App is wrong on so many fucking levels

Blogs to read before reading my post because it’ll make more sense:

Why I’m Saying “Fuck you” to Clean Reader

An e-mail from Clean Reader

Another Message from Clean Reader

FUCK YOU, CLEAN READER: AUTHORIAL CONSENT MATTERS

A QUICKIE ROUNDUP OF CLEAN READER STUFF

On Clean Reader


I am going to start direct about this @CleanReader app: It is so much fucking wrong that it’s still making me want to puke all over their self-righteous censorship of art. I’m going to the extreme here, but Nazis burned books to censor things THEY perceived as being wrong – this is a step in the same fucking direction.

Basically, I posted this on Twitter: this #CleanReader is pissing me the fuck off. Wonder how this would sound censored? It would lose its fucking meaning is how it would sound

Now, there are a lot of different arguments going around as to what is wrong with the app (in my opinion, everything is wrong with it – it should be shut down and fast), but I’ll write about some of them, and will probably end up ranting, but hey – might as well do it while I still can before they censor me!

First of all, copyright issues. Are they allowed to do this in the first place? Isn’t this a copyright infringement? I’d say fucking YES IT IS, but the law isn’t always clear, and form country to country (even state to state, province to province) things change a little. Yet I think that if the creators of the @CleanReader app never intended to insult authors, or infringe on any copyrights as they say, then it should be an opt-in program, not an opt-out. This would take care of all copyright issues because authors (the ones who should make decisions about their works) would make the choice. Some authors would opt-in – great for people who want to read in a safe little bubble, away from the realities of the world – while others would say no, and hey, that’s the author’s CHOICE.

I love the story, but I wish there weren’t so many swear words.” Well, maybe this isn’t the story for you, eh cupcake? My son (nine years old) wants to read Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler, a manga about a demon butler and the master he serves, a twelve year old earl) – he’d probably enjoy some of the story, but there are subject matters not appropriate for him in there. “But he’d enjoy the story!” Yes, and he’ll be able to when he’s older and age appropriate. “But I’m an adult and I don’t like it when there are swear words.” Then don’t fucking read the story. It’s THAT simple. “What if I paid for the book and didn’t know it had swear words?” In this day and age, get on your censored internet and do some fucking research before wasting your money. Ignorance is not a good excuse to temper with other people’s art. As Joanne Harris wrote on her twitter, “Taking a marker to your own physical book is not the same as selling an altered version to someone else.” But then, the debate goes “It’s their digital copy the reader is defacing. If they want to limit their reading experience, let them” I have two issues with this. First of all, are you saying that people who are, for example, racist, sexist, etc., should be left to think this way? You don’t think that in this day and age, the cycle for intolerance should be broken? Instead of facilitating ignorance, shouldn’t we try for acceptance and tolerance? If everyone had that same attitude, I doubt slavery would ever have been abolished. Breaking this kind of closed-minded thinking is crucial. We want to stop racism, sexism, prejudice, and all that ugly ignorant thinking, no? Well words are the most powerful weapon, and when we censor them, we are silencing the rights of people. Secondly, and again I quote Joanne Harris because she makes fantastic points, “The reader doesn’t OWN the digital copy. It’s classed as a service, not a possession.” And again, another point that hits it right on the nail: “So what next? An algorithm that removes gays from books? Or Jews? One that adds political messages? You’d be OK with that?”

This brings me to my second point: offensive material is SUBJECTIVE. So they change words like fuck, prick, asshole, Jesus Christ (Christian agenda much? Have they censored Allah? Buddha? I highly doubt it), pussy, bitch, wiener, to words like freak, groin, jerk, geez, bottom, witch, again groin… But what if freak is offensive to some? Whatever should we change it to?! And what about bottom? What if some say this is offensive and should be backside? In the end, censorship is wrong for so many reasons. It closes minds even more than they are already are, it closes minds of impressionable young people, and before anyone says something along the lines of “Will somebody please think of the children?” with a desperate wail, let me tell you something about kids – they aren’t the stupid little sponges you think they are. Sure, at some ages, they like to repeat what they hear, but this is where (and this may be shocking) parents come in *LE GASP!* My son (and feel free to judge, I’m not here for your approval) knows pretty much ALL the swear words, and you know what? He has NEVER used them once. He’s actually one of the few kids in his class who has never uttered a swear word. Why? Well, in one of my psychology classes we learned that kids, as I said before, aren’t sponges. They are intelligent, they can think, and if you try to dictate everything that they listen to, read, they will most likely rebel. When kids say the word “fuck”, and all the other kids around gasp and giggle, this encourages them to keep going. But wait… what if all the kids knew the swear words, but also knew not to say them (can’t say they didn’t know, right?) – do you still think that saying “fuck” would be so shocking? I highly doubt it. When was the last time everyone laughed in the class because the professor said “and”? Make a word a big deal, and it BECOMES a big deal. Simple.

There is also the issue with context vs. words. Are you seriously telling me that you’re more concerned about censoring the word “bitch” than the rape scene this woman is maybe facing as she’s being called a bitch? Are you fucking serious? We teach people that words are worse than actions – do people not see how fucked up that is?! And let me get this straight – my kid can read a super violent scene with people being impaled and cut into tiny little pieces, but it’s safe for kids now because the word “fucking” will be removed and it’ll now go something like: “Please just freaking kill me.” As the guy is being impaled utters. Safe now? Oh good, I was worried for a second. We teach children that violence is less bad than sexuality – and we wonder why the world is fucked up? And I’m not taking about rape or sexual assault here – I’m talking about two people (or maybe three… or four, whatever you’re into and all consenting) who have NATURAL sexual desires, and they like each other enough to pull down their pants and have sex. But we mustn’t show them this – they should be ashamed of their sexualities! “But mom, what about the book where people are being thrown around like ragdolls?” Oh yeah, that’s fine – taking a human life isn’t as bad as consensual sex. …right? FUCKING WRONG (as though it wasn’t obvious).

I’d now like to give an example using artworks. I am a photo manipulation artist, and so, not being a published author (yet! Lol), I want to use something I’m familiar with and use as another example. If someone put my artwork on an app that blurred the offensive parts without my consent, it’s a copyright issue. Blurring CHANGES it without my permission. If you buy my artwork and hang in your home and scrape off what you find offensive then that’s fine. It’s the difference between public and personal use. An app is public use, and it modifies the author’s work – therefore, I would be sending a notice to take my artwork the fuck down and I would take action to have that app deleted (and I am positive that MANY other artists would do the same). Again, it’s the CREATORS choice. Again, I go back to a reply I made on Twitter about this: “yes, everyone can choose what artworks they see, but I, as the artist, am allowed to create what I want. If I choose to make an artwork of a fetus being ripped out of a womb while making the middle finger, no one HAS to look at it, no one has to see it if they don’t want to – that is what the mature filter is for. HOWEVER, if they take my artwork and put it on some app that blurs out any of it that people may find offensive, then they are CHANGING it (replacing things or editing isn’t the only way things can be changed, by hiding something, you are changing it, and without the artist’s consent, it is against my rights as the artist). If people want to read books that are 18+ but are too scared to see the real world outside their safety bubbles then that is their choice, and the only one they are allowed to make – they don’t get to censor artistic creations to fit their needs.

I’d like to go back to the damage this does to kids. I took a human sexuality psychology class in my third year of university (I’m not throwing this here to sound like a snob, I just want to make a point that it’s not something I read on Wikipedia or something), and from a professional sexologist. One of the things we learned was that people, when they have sex, do not communicate most of the time. Why? First, we’re not taught the language. As Chuck Wendig tweeted, “I can only imagine the educational opportunities. “TIMMY. WELCOME TO LOVE EDUCATION. BOYS HAVE GROINS AND GIRLS HAVE BOTTOMS.” #CleanReader” This is hilarious, and sad. How the fuck are we supposed to say “No, I don’t like that.” If we’re taught to feel ashamed of our sexual body parts from a young age? We probably didn’t even know what THAT was because we didn’t even know we had a clitoris, for example. Countries where GOOD sex education is available has a lower percentage of unwanted pregnancies, STDs, and most adults reported being sexually active and enjoying it. Now imagine the countries with no sex education, or the ones with censored education? Did you guess higher percentages of unwanted pregnancies, STDs, and most adults reporting being sexually not as active and not enjoying it? You win a star! My son knows he has a penis and testicle (among other things like arms, legs, ears, oh my!), and he knows women have vaginas and vulvas. He even – OH MY FUCKING GOD – knows that it’s ok to masturbate because it’s natural and it feels good and both males and females do this!!! *watches as the world ends* Wait… nothing?

Thankfully, there is at least a way to opt-out, again, even though it should be the other way around and authors have to opt-in. You can check out the way here.

So, in case I didn’t make my feelings about the app clear enough – please someone sue the fucking pants off of them (especially now that authors are discovering their books being put up on the app even though they aren’t available for purchase yet… *The plot thickens!*) and delete this fucking piece of censored shit.

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By stormowl7

2 comments on “CleanReader App is wrong on so many fucking levels

  1. I love the analogy you used with for son watching manga. My son asks periodically if he can play certain video games. He knows that if after a modicum of research, if I’m unsure, the answer is no until I can check out the game first-hand. I said “no” to Grand Theft Auto, but after checking out “Dragon Age,” I said “okay.” I suspect that the child who was crying over reading a few swear words, has other deep emotional problems that need to be addressed.
    And I, like you, learned quite a bit about psychology at university whilst pursuing my undergraduate degree in Human Behavior.

    Liked by 1 person

    • agreed! A lot of parents today seem to blame outside sources instead of talking with their children and asking what’s wrong. It’s always “video games, books, music, television, teachers, friends, school’s fault” but maybe it’s no one’s fault – maybe your child is hurting inside and needs to talk.

      Human behavior is a really interesting field – a lot of it in the Criminology degree I’m finishing right now.

      Like

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