The internet and social media is all a flutter with the newest tempest in a teapot, and it’s all thanks to the Clean Reader app. In fact, on social media, there are writers and authors who are voicing their negative opinions of the app.
So what exactly does the app do that has so many of these writers and authors in an uproar over it? And is it really as dangerous and damaging as some writers and authors claim it is? Let’s look at what the app doesn’t do to better understand what it does do.
What does the app not do?
It doesn’t remove any words from a digital book. In other words, it’s no different than when a store puts the X-rated magazines on the top shelf, wrapped in brown paper to keep minors from seeing certain things. Just like the brown paper doesn’t change the magazine, the app doesn’t change the eBook file.
It doesn’t change any words in a book or replace them with alternatives just like the brown paper on an X-rated magazine doesn’t change any photographs in the magazine or replace them with alternatives such as cartoons or sketches.
It doesn’t censor any works or limit the user’s ability to read the book in the exact form provided by the author or publisher. If it did, then there would be no option to turn the app on or off.
It doesn’t change the meaning of any phrases or text. In other words, it’s a sort of digital thesaurus for readers of varying reading levels.
It doesn’t substitute a title if the original title has an objectionable (to others) word in it.
It doesn’t impose any features or restrictions on a reader outside of the ones that are already in place such as digital rights management (DRM) restrictions that are placed on the book by the author or publisher.
What do some writers and authors claim the app does?
There are writers and authors who insist that the app — which no one is being forced to buy or use — is censorship, illegal, and infringes on copyright.
It doesn’t infringe on copyright any more than a musician performing his or her version of someone else’s song would infringe on the songwriter and publisher’s copyrights.
This isn’t censorship by the app developers as the purchaser of the app determines if he or she wishes to have the app on, and whether they want to read a clean version, a cleaner version, a squeaky clean version, or the version with objectionable words.
How are the settings defined?
The clean setting blocks major swear words from display … words such as the F-bomb. In other words, the most common objectionable words are blocked by the reader on this setting. The cleaner setting blocks everything the clean setting blocks, plus a few more words. And the squeaky clean setting blocks objectionable words, profanity, and racially offensive terms.
Who defines what the app will block?
Readers define what the app blocks. In fact, on the app website, if the word a reader objects to can be viewed on the squeaky clean setting, the reader is encouraged to submit that word, term, or phrase for consideration.
So why are some writers and authors objecting to this app?
There are undoubtedly as many reasons as there are writers and authors who object to the app.
So why is this app even available?
There are many reasons however the one reason that I believe is one of the top reasons is because children, having been raised with technology since day one, are very adept at accessing technology … even technology they shouldn’t be accessing.
Just like responsible adults store mature items meant only for adults in hiding places around their homes rather than displaying them on their livingroom coffee tables, this app keeps little eyes from accessing words, terms, and phrases that aren’t meant for their eyes.
They’re minors. It’s our responsibility as adults to ensure that they aren’t introduced to certain things too early in life. It’s our job to make sure that they enjoy their childhood without having the adult world of mature themes encroach on it.
Some will say that it’s poor parenting to keep such words, terms, and phrases away from children, and if they want to raise their children that way, it’s their prerogative.
However, there are parents who would like their children to understand that there’s a time and a place for everything, including the use of objectionable, obscene or profane words. And they want their children to understand that there’s never a time or a place for a racial slur.
A good reader can derive meaning from content with or without objectionable, obscene, or profane words. A good author can write a story that provides good content and entertainment even when objectionable, obscene, profane, and racially charged words are removed.
If you as a reader, or you as a writer or author, don’t want to use the Clean App, don’t use it. Don’t submit, or have your publisher submit, your book for consideration by the Clean App developers.
Just because you don’t see the value in the app doesn’t mean others shouldn’t have the opportunity to buy and use the app on their digital devices.
New App Lets You Read Your Favorite Novels — Without The Swearinghttp://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/03/12/new-app-lets-you-read-your-favorite-novels-without-the-swearing/#
This Freaking App Can Sanitize The [Heck] Out Of Any Bookhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/03/06/this-freaking-app-can-sanitize-the-heck-out-of-any-book/
Clean Reader App Lets You Clean Up — Or Water Down? — Your eBookshttp://news.yahoo.com/clean-reader-app-lets-clean-water-down-e-123543558.html
Joanne Harris Condemns Clean Reader App For Replacing Swear Words In Novelshttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11492003/Joanne-Harris-condemns-Clean-Reader-app-for-replacing-swear-words-in-novels.html
An email from Clean Readerhttp://joannechocolat.tumblr.com/post/114572318791/an-e-mail-from-clean-reader