With the fairly recent (in our countries history, that is) ease of self-publishing, the notions of free spreech and no book banning are getting harder to defend.
Is it okay for people with, what the average person would say are, really out there ideas (e.g., the holocaust never happened, the government really took down the twin towers in NY…) to publish those out there ideas?
And what about hate speech/writing? Is that all right to sell in your local bookstore?
Read Ron Charles’s post on the Washington Post’s website and let me know what you think.
Confessions of an accidental censor.
Source: A hateful, conspiracy-filled book just got harder to buy. That’s no cause for celebration. – The Washington Post
Reblogged this on ckbooksblog and commented:
What are your thoughts on this topic?
I read the article and it brings up some very interesting questions as to how far this type of thing can, and should, be allowed to go without infringing on someone’s First Amendment rights. My personal feelings on this is that everyone has the right to their own opinions. But I do feel that if they are promoting violence or threatening to hurt someone else then the appropriate authorities need to be alerted immediately.
It is a hard decision.
As a historian (I read history and politics at University College Swansea), I am, of course concerned that books exist which deny (or greatly downplay) the horrors of the holocaust. Also, as someone who is disabled (I am registered blind with very limited vision), I am aware that prior to the mass extermination of Jews, the Nazis introduced Action T4 under which disabled people where sterlised or killed. However, in a free society I do not believe that one should ban books. The best way to counter bad ideas is to shine the light of truth on them. Holocaust deniers have been proved time and time again to be liers by genuine historians. Indeed court cases have led to such people being exposed as phoney historians. Apart from the free speech argument against banning books, it is also true that banning an opinion can make it “sexy” with people seeking it out and maybe even adopting it in order to be perceived as a rebel. So no, books should not be banned. Kevin
I agree, Kevin. But sometimes I it would seem the thing to do. But generally the truth will out, though sometimes it takes a while.