Thanks, “The Kernel”

Because a tech news site has decided to whip up a moral panic over porn, all self-published ebooks have been removed from the Kobo site, all ebooks whatsoever have been removed from W.H. Smith’s site…

Many thousands of “innocent” people — even if you consider people creating or consuming pornography to be doing something wrong, which I don’t — will either lose income because of this or be denied the ability to buy the books they want to buy.

But of course, you can still buy Fifty Shades of Grey, even though that started out as self-published pornographic fanfic, because it was since taken up by a major publisher. And if you think the other stuff that was being complained about — rape and incest descriptions, for example — was being read by anyone different than Fifty Shades then you’ve never spent any time around ebook-reader forums. It’s bored middle-class middle-aged housewives buying all that stuff. (It’s also them buying most of the kids’ books, oddly).

This is precisely — precisely — why moral panics are a bad idea. “Innocent” people are getting harmed and “guilty” people are going unpunished, because of an arbitrary distinction that’s been drawn, and it’s over something that no-one’s ever shown any harm from in the first place.

I never thought I’d say this, but thank God for Amazon. If nothing else, they will sell absolutely *anything* so long as it’s legal and makes them money…

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6 Responses to Thanks, “The Kernel”

  1. Adam says:

    Hey! I read smutty ebooks and I’m not a middle-class housewife!

  2. Tony Harms says:

    Is it “odd” that middle-aged women should buy children’s books (children, grandchildren?) and who are the “guilty” who aren’t being punished? Sympathise with your concern. Just being picky.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      No, they’re mostly buying them for themselves.
      And the “guilty” who aren’t being punished are things like Fifty Shades.

  3. In my experience it does seem to be mainly old women who are reading 50 Shades. Perhaps that age group doesn’t realise that you can get badly-written bondage porn all over the web for free, or maybe it’s the double standard that you point out. Also everyone I know who likes Big Bang Theory is over 60.

  4. S. Barrios says:

    thanks for the heads-up, Andrew / will try reworking my .. Teen Enema Murder Mystery as a *technothriller* !

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