I hate your [CENSORED], but I'll defend your right to [CENSORED] to the death



Removing words from books is a good start, but we’ll really only be free when we can remove ideas too.


I see another application of this app: find and replace a characters name with my own. I finally have a reason to purchase the 50 Shades of Gray ebook!

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I’m in favor of this app, but only if it comes in a Samuel L. Jackson TV edit edition:

“I have had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday-to-Friday plane!”


For me, the logic always flows from “Could I get someone to do this for me if I had a paper book?”. If the answer is “yes” then it should be allowed in an eBook. Could I get someone to black out the swear words in a paper book? Yeah, so long as I paid them I’m pretty sure I could. So why would it be objectionable to have an automated process do it in an eBook?

Besides - as pointed out here, a more general app/algorithm could be fun for all sorts of substitution lists.


Oww you wascacy wabbit! Swafewud! Swafewud!


This is such an eminently sensible position I can’t believe there’s any argument. Jefferson snipped all the miracles out of his Bible, and while many people think he went to hell, he certainly didn’t go to prison. Do the objectors have any kind of powerful lobby behind them, or it it just internet noise?


Casting a “right to be heard” as free speech: a Thing on the internet now


Announcing the Kickstarter Idea removal app: The Algorithmic Deep Metaphor Analogue Capture System, or ADMACS. The idea for this product comes from \ADMACS://idea identified and removed. Remedial text available on request. Original text recovery available by petition to the Department of Further Thought, Ministry of Ideas.\

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Or the Big Lebowski tv-edit…

Walter: “This is what happens when you meet a stranger in the alps!” [swings and smashes windshield]


"I think Clean Reader is stupid. I think parents who want to ensure that
their kids don’t see profanity have fucked up priorities. "

Hear, hear!

Is this much different from the company that was doing essentially “Netflix, Christian style”, by editing cursing, anti-religious messages, etc out of movies and renting those versions out? I think it was covered in BB years ago.


I thought of that post as well, but they were moving the censorship from the end-user’s device to the distributor and that is where they were running afoul of the law, IIRC.

From this article:

It’s one thing for a publisher or retailer to send out copies of your books in which words are changed around without your permission. It’s another thing altogether for the reader themself to decide to read their legally acquired books in such a way as to change the text.


I’m not certain why Cory assumes that this would be aimed at kids, rather than the parents. It’s the parents who are far more likely to have grown up in an environment where swearing was verboten who are fare more likely to find swearing in a book jarring enough to throw them out of the story and seriously impair their enjoyment.

The kids, on the other hand, are likely to barely notice.

In the absence of fact, imputing motives to the purchasers is rarely wise, although admittedly, it’s rather useful for gaining currency with one’s in-group.

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Should I ever require a safeword, it will definitely be “wascally wabbit”.


One question: how do you stop an app like Clean Reader if you’re so inclined? The answer: DRM, horrible binary formats, and other things publishers have already been pushing to everyone’s detriment. No thank you.

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I grew up in one of those censored households, and had my laptop confiscated when I was fourteen because I was reading blogs my parents didn’t approve of (weirdly enough, Boing Boing was one of them), and I was only allowed to listen to the “clean” version of any albums I had. If I’d had a smartphone at the time and that app was around, you bet my parents would’ve installed it on my phone.

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Rule 34, my friend. Rule 34.

From the app’s site:

Provided in partnership with the Inktera® Bookstore system.

So, it doesn’t work with your Kindle books, or your Nook books, or any of your other DRMed books. The only DRM it works with is the Inktera® Bookstore system. Clearly this app is vulnerable to contracts with Inktera® Bookstore system - while I agree that consumers should be able to replace offensive words like “politician” with more accurate and acceptable substitutes, say, “prostitute”, it seems like this app will only work so long as publishers and authors let the Inktera® Bookstore system sell their books for use in this app. If there was no DRM, they couldn’t prevent it. But since there is, they can. Just as some publishers and authors ridiculously prohibit the kindle Text to Speech feature.

While I understand Cory’s views re: defending the creation of indices for content and rebuttal, those are very different from what the application is offering. The Clean Reader app removes agency from the reader by allowing the creator of the index to perform the Bowdlerizing. If a parent wants to skip the parts of a book they don’t want their children to hear, they must still actively take part and be aware that they are editing content. The users of the app are simply passive recipients who will be unaware just what they are missing, apart from being “safe” from those nasty words that are well known to cause harm.

BTW, I am surprised that no one has yet recounted the story of the right-wing American Family Association website that also automatically replaced words they didn’t like and ended up reporting on the track star “Tyson Homosexual”. Beware automated filters.

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Because censorship is never about what the censor can see. They’re always mature enough to cope with the material in question. It’s always the other people that they worry about.

“Think of the children…”
“Is this the sort of book you would want your wives and servants to read?”.

The impulse to censor tends to come from little minds with an impulse for power over others. And controlling what you read, what you play, what you see,and how you speak is all part of the plan of the petty authoritarian because they know better than you, and they want to be in charge.

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