Clean Reader= Censorship

Cursing ahead:  If profanity bothers your sensitivities, please don’t read. Please don’t put this through a “clean” app for you to stomach it. If you can’t handle cursing, move on.


What the fuck is wrong with people? I mean what the absolute fuck is wrong with people today? You can’t sneeze without some asshole getting offended. You can’t speak out about equality, or the idea of other religions without some fucking prude pissing themselves about being offended.

For those of you that don’t know what Clean Reader is, it’s an app created by an overly sensitive Christian couple to shield their children from the potentially profane words that exist in some books. They replace any word or situation that they have deemed to be “profane” with words that they feel are less offensive to the masses that can’t handle “bad words.” To quote directly from the app’s website:

One day our oldest child came home from school and she was a little sad.  We asked her what was wrong and she said she had been reading a book during library time and it had a few swear words in it.  She really liked the book but not the swear words.  We told her that there was probably an app for this type of thing that would replace profanity with less offensive words and perhaps we should get her a tablet that she could use to read books with.  To our surprise there wasn’t an app like this.  The more we thought about this idea the more we wanted it to be a reality.  Eventually we decided we would do all we could to bring Clean Reader to the world.[…]

I’m sorry but if swear words make your kid sad, then your kid needs to just put the book down and pick up something else. If you are raising your children to be completely offended by the world around them, then you have failed them as parents. That is my opinion, of course.

I understand that some children cannot handle books with certain situations in them. When I was growing up, I will admit that I had a sheltered upbringing. As I got older, and I was able to understand that the contents of a book are the author’s choice. I did get upset when my 9th grade geography teacher had us read a book with several chapters about Chinese concubines and male ejaculate (but that’s a story for another day.) But you know what? I got over it.

Books are about expression. Authors have a purpose for every word they write. If a ‘fuck’ here or a ‘ass hat’ there make a scene more meaningful and give it more drive, then the author used those words for emphasis. If an author chooses not to use “profanity” and they feel that they’re books don’t need it, then good for them. But cursing isn’t used because an author can’t think of a “clean” thing to write. They can think of the “clean” word, but felt it didn’t have the right impact.

The problem with this app is that it opens a lot of very very bad doors. All of those doors open to situations that end in burning books. I don’t know about you but Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury scared me as a child. The idea of books being “taboo” and being confiscated and burned shook me to my core. Allowing something like Clean Reader to exist is allowing people to control what we distribute. And who determines what taboo is? Taboo and offensive are relative opinions and everyone has a different idea. So why allow one app to rule all of that?

Furthermore, do you think they consulted any authors to see if they would be okay with something like this?

I consulted my attorney friend and he gave me a very interesting answer. While Clean Reader claims that they have attorneys telling them they’re not in any hot water, they are being given completely false information. Our books are being sold without our consent on this app, and we are not going to see any money from it. So that is theft of property, piracy, and copyright violation. They are not editing our books for educational purposes or as part of a parody (which are covered under parody law) so again, they are violating copyright. Even though they keep arguing that they’re not editing a book at it’s core therefore not violating copyright law, they are still editing the way the content is being delivered to the reader. I don’t know about any of you, but that is violating copyright to me.

I do not know of a single author that gave their approval on this project. I’m not going to go off, like many, and say that the creators are trying to force their Christian ideals on people, because to me, that’s not what this is. What they are doing is trying to force their sensitivities on the masses. They are trying to clean the world of what they feel is immoral or improper for children. And yeah, a kid shouldn’t read Fifty Shades, or O, or anything like that. But if an adult can’t handle the material, they either need to grow a pair or not read those books. It is that simple!!!

I know that I could go on and on about this all day, but I won’t. I feel that I’ve made my point. If you are concerned about your books being offered by the company, you can contact them through the app’s website. You can have an attorney help you draft a cease and desist letter, but that’s a lot of money. Just simply state the facts. I hope that those backing the app realize how fucked up it really is. I hope that the creators pull the app before they get sued, because trust me they will. And I hope that we can move on from this.

Oh, but before I go, Clean Reader creators:



About Maegan Provan

I am an indie author and proud of it. I try to update as much as humanly possible, but I'm a busy bee.

Posted on March 26, 2015, in Journal, Random Stuff and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Maegan Provan, Author and commented:

    Update!! The shop that was linked to Clean Read has been pulled. This is fantastic. Now the app only allows people to read books they have already purchased by other means,

  2. I use profanity in my YA stories and I refuse to remove it. When I use profanity, it’s for a purpose. Those who find it offensive can choose not to read my books. They can either find a different book to read, or they can write their own book.

    I wonder how the creator of Clean Reader would feel if someone designed an app that added profanity to a “clean” book. Or if he wrote his own book, and someone decided to use a profanity-adding app to “fix” it.

    Authors write what they want the way they want to write it. Readers can choose to read or not to read. That is their choice. I find it disturbing that readers can now choose to change the author’s words.

    Great news that people can no longer buy books through Clean Reader. Bad news that Clean Reader is still in business.

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