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February 26, 2012
Posted at 2:55 pm
 

Paypal is Censoring Books

Smashwords.com is an e-publisher of books, which they make available through a variety of outlets. Smashwords has allowed literally tens of thousands of authors to get their books into the public view, when traditional publishing houses would have refused them. Paypal has recently made demands of Smashwords.com to remove all books with certain content, or else be de-certified as a member of the Paypal network. What that means is that, unless Smashwords complies, they'll be out of business. Literally out of business, because they won't be able to process any payments.

This isn't the government doing this. This is a private company which has decided what people WORLDWIDE will and will not be allowed to purchase. Their argument is that the content they want to ban is morally repugnant. That content is rape, incest and bestiality. A lot of people will agree that such content is morally repugnant. But what is even more morally repugnant? What is the most heinous offense against any human being?

Murder.

But will Paypal require that all books containing a murder be banned? Will all movies showing a graphic murder be banned? Will all television shows that show that morally repugnant behavior be banned?

Maybe.

The point is, we don't know. Somebody at Paypal appointed themselves to be the moral compass for the entire world. They are censoring books. Chances are very good that they will NOT censor books, movies and television shows containing murder that are paid for using Paypal. That would strip them of significant profits. It would change the entire world as we know it. Hollywood would be out of business. Television would be nothing but reality programming and game shows.

But will they push around publishing houses that provide content they don't approve of?

You bet your ass they will.

And because they have done it, YOU have lost a significant amount of your freedom. They only gave Smashwords ONE WEEK to pull all books containing the un-approved content. It's already been done as you read this. What if they decide they won't process payments as donations to SOL because SOL displays objectionable content?

I won't argue whether or not the content in question is worthwhile. I will point out that, by these standards, nobody can sell another Holy Bible, seeing as how in Genesis, Chapter 19, there is clearly described incest between Lot and his daughters, both of whom got pregnant as the result. And did God punish them? No. In fact, the two sons of incest went on to become the basis for two whole nations of people. Islam holds up Lot as a prophet of Islam.

But that's not good enough for Paypal. Nosiree. So, no more Bibles, folks. That nasty book contains socially repugnant content.

When you got your Paypal account did you hire them to guard your morals? I doubt it. You hired them to process payments. That's all. I urge you to write to them and tell them to process payments and leave your morals, and what you do or do not choose to buy to yourself.

If they get away with this, we're on a downward slide to what we've seen in some science fiction horror movies. I closed my Paypal account. I urge you to do the same.