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Clean Reader: Censorship?

Clean Reader1.

If you run in the same circles as me — circles which read literary blogs — there’s a good chance you saw a new mapp (short for mobile application [just coined it.]) making a few waves. The mapp is called “Clean Reader” and seeks to scrub your e-books of all filth and debauchery, replacing the words in question with family-friendly terms, like “freak” and “bottom.”

The mapp gained a bit of international attention last week when author Joanne Harris posted a scathing critique on her blog. And almost instantly it blew up, forcing the issues of authorship and censorship to the forefront of Internet discussion, as different authors weighed in, and even a few journalists threw their opinions into the ring. As a fan of words and literature in general, these types of discussions are my jam, and I’ve followed the debate closely, nearly salivating over each new entry into the saga. There were issues of copyright thrown about by armchair lawyers, and horrible metaphors about blue cheese dressing thrown about by the mapp creators. Big authors got involved. Small authors got involved. Dogs and cats started sleeping together. It was madness. It was Sparta. Continue reading

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