Tuesday, March 13, 2012

PayPal's Moral Code means Censorship

PayPal’s CEO is a man with a strict moral conscious, and has decided to put restraints on such E-publishers at Smashwords on what he decided wasn’t appropriate reading material. The rules came down recently, stating, no not stating, but telling Smashwords that uses PayPal for its authors payment, cant’ publish certain material.. 
PayPal won’t be supporting authors who write erotica, or anything else such as incest and bestiality driven books. In other words, if you have anything like that, you can’t use PayPal, which in turns means, you can’t up load your books on Smashwords.Even its a memory for your character. It's descriptive, you can't use Smashwords.
When I heard this, my response was, what the hell! They can’t do that!” But they have. Where’s the freedom of speech stuff, and all the 1st amendment yellers?
PayPal is essentially dictating to Smashwords what books they can or can’t sell. As I prepare to put my book up for sale, although it doesn’t fit into any of the categories they’re censoring, I had to examine my content carefully. I have a woman who was raped and tortured in the past. I had to check my wording to make sure it ‘qualified’ without any deep descriptions of what happened to the character in the past. Honestly, if I did, I just wouldn’t up load on Smashwords. I'm not going to change my story to satisfied PayPal. I’m sure a lot authors are avoiding them because of the censorship, which is bad business for them and a loss.
One thing indie publication has done, open the door to authors to write what they want. Yes, there is some distasteful stuff out there, and some really creepy stuff, that skirts along the guidelines of bad moral judgment. There was the book on how to molest a child, which was taken down from Amazon, and the author arrested, who was a convicted molester. There are certain lines even as a bleeding heart liberal, I think should never be crossed. That certainly was one of them. Hope they threw away the key on that guy. But, as a author, I do believe in the freedom of speech, and one should be able to write what they want, without breaking the law. 

I'm not a fan of Erotica, bestiality or incest driven books. I don't read them, and I don't buy them. Which doesn't mean those authors don't have a right to write them. I believe they do. They have that choice, and I have the choice of buying it or not. It doesn't offend me, nor do I believe it will ruin the world. If a reader is attracted to those types of stories, PayPals censorship won't stop those authors from writing, selling or readers from buying it. They'll just go somewhere else to get it.   
At the end of the day, PayPal has decided to be big brother and tell us what we can and can’t read, at least where Smashwords is concerned.  Since Amazon and Barnes and Noble don’t use PayPal, they dodged that big bullet. Smashwords is the little guy on the e-book block, compared to those two. I wouldn’t be surprised in the future if that doesn’t change, with Smashwords using a different system of payment to get around PayPal. The next step is lawsuits by said authors who don't like to write within the guidelines set by PayPal. They don't want anyone telling them what they can say or do in print.
What it comes down to, if you don’t like that stuff most likely you won’t buy it. It’s not big sellers, although it does sell pretty good. We have the choice to avoid it, and move on to a good mystery with no romance or even sex. It’s the freedom of speech and choice, which we all have, last I checked, unless someone voted PayPal for President.  I don’t think this is going to make the changes PayPal is hoping for in the e-pub world. All it will do in the end is force Smashwords to disassociate with PayPal. Because when it comes to money, it talks louder then morals.   

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