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View Poll Results: Should 'anything go'?
yes 38 45.24%
no 19 22.62%
depends 27 32.14%
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:50 PM   #16
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Tags and categories are the best way to inform the potential reader what is contained in a book. I don't condone censorship, but I am in favor if a system that allows the reader to filter according to what they do or do not want to read... and, if they have legal minors, to be able to filter what they have access to, according to their desires.

Content is very subjective, not just nationally, but household-to-household, and I'm in favor of individuals being able to control the content entering their home.

Unfortunately, until a good verifiable ID system is in place to tie users to content and filtering controls, I suspect such a system will be outright impossible to implement with any effectiveness.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:39 PM   #17
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There has always been erotica and always will be. As anyone who works in advertizing would tell you, "Sex Sells." Why else would they have attractive models shown wearing or using a given product. I mean take Progressive Insurance as an example. The character of Flo is portrayed by an attractive woman. If it were a homely or plain looking woman who played her we'd be less likely to show interest in what she's selling. And sex has always been a motivator in literature. The Trogan War started after Helen of Troy was enticed away from her husband by Paris as an example. Some of the stories in The Decameron have sex in them. The Middle Ages may have been known for its piety but people still had the same desires even then for a story with some sexual content. Granted they didn't go overboard in describing the acts, but between having grown up in tiny cottages where there were no separate bedrooms and seeing farm animals doing what nature intends they already had a good idea of basic sex education I imagine. We're far more reserved today than our ancestors probably were.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:45 PM   #18
QuantumIguana
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I don't know if Flo from the Progressive commercials is the best example. She's played by an attractive woman, but they make her up to look rather strange. But the general point of using attractive people to sell products, I agree with.

Erotica is nothing new. Fanny Hill was published in 1748. The content hasn't gotten more extreme, it's just that it is more widely available. Back in the 70's, there were these "true confession" type tabloids marketed at women. Some were extremely tame, the content of others was comparable as the letters in Penthouse.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:54 PM   #19
Steven Lyle Jordan
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I don't know if Flo from the Progressive commercials is the best example. She's played by an attractive woman, but they make her up to look rather strange.
Yes. A better example might be the woman promoting Orbit gum. But the point is made.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:28 PM   #20
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There are a number of books which I am uncomfortable with, sometimes it is the subject matter, sometimes the language. There seems to be a tendency these days for many books to add a large number of swear words - which (except in a few cases where it may be in context) should never be acceptable.

The problems with erotica is that some of it is so disgusting that it should not be put in print, however as people become more and more exposed to it they become immune to it.

I would not say that I am a prude as such, however my views have not changed much over the years, but it would seem that other people's views have, and things which would not have been acceptable at all a number of years ago, seem to be almost normal now.

There should be a degree of self censorship by the authors themselves, and this type of book should only be available to people who are actively looking for it, and not show up in general searches for everyone else.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:57 PM   #21
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The problems with erotica is that some of it is so disgusting that it should not be put in print, however as people become more and more exposed to it they become immune to it.
...
There should be a degree of self censorship by the authors themselves, and this type of book should only be available to people who are actively looking for it, and not show up in general searches for everyone else.
Let me consider that from another perspective:

The problems with war books and some crime books is that some of them promote violence and hatred so much that they should not be put in print, and as people read these books, they become inured to the idea of violence as a method of conflict resolution on both small and large scales.

The authors should self-censor, considering whether there's any moral reason to write about violence, and the books should be segregated so that only those who actively *want* to read about violence find it, and they don't show up in general searches. Those who prefer not to add violence to their escapism and those who find violence immoral should not have it pushed at them.

Have I understood the argument? "Some topics are inappropriate for widely-available works?" Or is "some topics" reserved for sex?
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:06 PM   #22
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There has always been erotica and always will be. As anyone who works in advertizing would tell you, "Sex Sells." Why else would they have attractive models shown wearing or using a given product. I mean take Progressive Insurance as an example. The character of Flo is portrayed by an attractive woman. If it were a homely or plain looking woman who played her we'd be less likely to show interest in what she's selling.
Well, that must mean that Geico insurance has a much better product as they don't need sex to sell it. They just use a gecko to sell their insurance.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:45 PM   #23
QuantumIguana
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There are a number of books which I am uncomfortable with, sometimes it is the subject matter, sometimes the language. There seems to be a tendency these days for many books to add a large number of swear words - which (except in a few cases where it may be in context) should never be acceptable.

The problems with erotica is that some of it is so disgusting that it should not be put in print, however as people become more and more exposed to it they become immune to it.

I would not say that I am a prude as such, however my views have not changed much over the years, but it would seem that other people's views have, and things which would not have been acceptable at all a number of years ago, seem to be almost normal now.

There should be a degree of self censorship by the authors themselves, and this type of book should only be available to people who are actively looking for it, and not show up in general searches for everyone else.
If something makes you uncomfortable, by all means don't read it. But your discomfort with a book doesn't mean that other people shouldn't be able to read it.

People's attitudes have changed about a great many things. People used to think slavery and segregation were acceptable. Slavery and segregation were seen as normal. There were people who thought it was a terrible, terrible thing that people's attitudes were changing. What people want to read is their own business, not mine, and not yours. Don't confuse being disgusted with something being disgusting, they aren't the same.

If you take a look at Victorian erotica, you would say that it really hasn't gotten more extreme.

I do think that you should be able to avoid erotica if you don't want it, but it should be opt-out rather than opt-in. Smashwords allows you to exclude erotica, but it doesn't force ghettoize erotica by making you opt-in. Authors don't need to censor anything for anyone. What books people want to read is between the author and the reader.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:23 PM   #24
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There should be a degree of self censorship by the authors themselves, and this type of book should only be available to people who are actively looking for it, and not show up in general searches for everyone else.
So, if I am not comfortable with religious books, they shouldn't appear at my searches either, should they? At the end, it's only an specific matter
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:04 AM   #25
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Thank you all for your replies, I thank to Goodness that we live in countries where we can speak our minds without any sensor.

I've been 'get to the point' here, all because I didn't want to name one of these books. It's clear there should be an example for clarity; one of the titles is "Daddy you are too Big". The other titles roughly follow this theme.

My problem with this title (and other similar titles):
  • If the book is about adult erotica then why does the title appear to be aimed to attract at a child?
  • A child of seven may come across this book (remember Amazon doesn't appear to have a filter), he/she reads the titles and believes this book is about, 'Daddy your eye's are too big, your ears are too big, your teeth are too big'; there are connotations to the story "Little Red Riding-Hood". Also, one of the books are offered for free, which could be another draw for a child.
  • I don't know a child over the age of 10 that would call her Dad 'Daddy' - unless of course they were after staying up late. The title appears to violate the special Daddy/Child trust.
  • In the subtitles of the book, there is a mention of 'step-dad', but apart from the difference in DNA, surely a step-dad is no less a father that a biological one. (Accepting of course that there are good and bad step-dads, just like there are good and bad biological fathers.) I don't apologies for linking the word 'trust' again.
  • It's against International Law for anyone to have porn images of a child or children on their computers, AND for good reason. IMO written words hold far more sexual tension than images. Words have a way of fixing the subject in our brains through our imaginings

I do believe the imagination at times can, for some, transfer to a real situation. No exaggeration, I have stared into the eyes of a crazed murderer! Agreed I was playing a paint-ball game at the time. The guy concerned got a bit carried away, his face told everything he was thinking at the time, and it took a while to detach this guy from his fantasy.

In the UK yesterday, the body of a 12 year old girl was found at her grandmother's house, apparently the step-grandfather has been arrested and charged with her murder. At this stage of the case, the cause and motive of death is yet to be established.

Could there be a possibility, that this apparent murderer would have read this book if he stumbled upon it? If he had read this book, or one like it, could this have tipped him over the edge?

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Old 08-11-2012, 02:51 AM   #26
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In the UK yesterday, the body of a 12 year old girl was found at her grandmother's house, apparently the step-grandfather has been arrested and charged with her murder. At this stage of the case, the cause and motive of death is yet to be established.

Could there be a possibility, that this apparent murderer would have read this book if he stumbled upon it? If he had read this book, or one like it, could this have tipped him over the edge?
That's harder to beleive than Tom Clancy's book Debt of Honor inspiring 911 because a 747 was crashed into the US Capitol building in the book.

Have fun, Jan

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Old 08-11-2012, 03:37 AM   #27
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That's harder to beleive than Tom Clancy's book Debt of Honor inspiring 911 because a 747 was crashed into the US Capitol building in the book.
Thanks Jan, I've not read the book, but presume it's about someone hijacking a plane?

I can completely agree with you, but the normal 'Joe Blog' doesn't have access to a plane, and if he did, he would probably be assessed by the military, or by civil aviation . Though, with respect, and in contrast, there are thousands of vulnerable children who are unfortunately, in the care of 'damaged' adults everyday.

Don't get me wrong! I am not saying 'damaged' adults have a tenancy to do terrible things. But it only takes one!

Would the horrendous shootings in the American Cinama last month have happened if the 'damaged' adult hadn't appeared to be buzzed by Batman?

Just food for thought! I enjoy others opinions.

Last edited by augustjen; 08-11-2012 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:43 AM   #28
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So, if I am not comfortable with religious books, they shouldn't appear at my searches either, should they? At the end, it's only an specific matter
This.

And those damn ukulele books!
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:30 AM   #29
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So, if I am not comfortable with religious books, they shouldn't appear at my searches either, should they? At the end, it's only an specific matter
The difference here is that it's relatively easy to filter out books containing specific religious keywords without having much of an effect on non-religious books, and also Amazon has a specific category for religion, so it's easy to ignore them completely if necessary. It's a lot harder to remove books of the type the OP mentions because there isn't any category for 'erotica', so even if I filter by words such as 'erotica' and 'sex', say, it means that many self-help and biology books will be removed, whereas many erotic books won't be touched at all. It would make far more sense to give those books a category of their own.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:03 AM   #30
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  • If the book is about adult erotica then why does the title appear to be aimed to attract at a child?
  • Does the cover art seem to be aimed at a child audience? Books aren't generally displayed by word-title alone, and there's a reason for that--the cover tells a lot about the intended audience.

    By your logic, Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" could be a BDSM manual.

    Quote:
  • A child of seven may come across this book (remember Amazon doesn't appear to have a filter),
  • A child of seven can't legitimately use Amazon's services at all. Amazon's Conditions of Use state:
    "If you visit or shop at Amazon.com, you accept these conditions." (probably unenforceable, but still relevant) and "If you are under 18, you may use Amazon.com only with involvement of a parent or guardian."

    A seven-year-old who finds Amazon's erotica section is doing so with the hypothetical consent of his parent(s).

    Quote:
    he/she reads the titles and believes this book is about, 'Daddy your eye's are too big, your ears are too big, your teeth are too big'; there are connotations to the story "Little Red Riding-Hood". Also, one of the books are offered for free, which could be another draw for a child.
    Also from the TOS: "Amazon does sell products for children, but it sells them to adults, who can purchase with a credit card or other permitted payment method."

    To have an Amazon account to get ebooks, even free ones, you need access to a credit card. Which 7-year-olds have access to credit cards?

    Quote:
  • I don't know a child over the age of 10 that would call her Dad 'Daddy' - unless of course they were after staying up late. The title appears to violate the special Daddy/Child trust.
  • I've known kids up to the age of about 14 to call their parents "Daddy" and "Mommy," and sometimes considerably later than that, depending on the family.

    Quote:
  • In the subtitles of the book, there is a mention of 'step-dad', but apart from the difference in DNA, surely a step-dad is no less a father that a biological one.
  • There's a substantial legal difference as well. Father and child cannot marry, no matter what happens to them later in life; a step-parent who gets divorced can later marry the step-child. A step-parent can be the same age as, or even *younger,* than the step-child.

    Quote:
  • It's against International Law for anyone to have porn images of a child or children on their computers, AND for good reason. IMO written words hold far more sexual tension than images. Words have a way of fixing the subject in our brains through our imaginings
It's not against any US law to have *text* describing sex with a child or children. The laws against images are specifically related to real, human children, and what they endure in order for someone to get those images--depictions of fictional "children" are legal, because they aren't subject to child abuse.

Child-porn laws in the US relate only to human children, not fictional characters. This is not the case in every country--Australia criminalizes all depictions of sex with minors, possibly including most teenage movies (the law doesn't clarify how explicit the depictions need to be)--but in my country, the laws about "obscenity," which is based on public community morality, is not the same as "child pornography," which is based on protecting real children from harm.

Quote:
I do believe the imagination at times can, for some, transfer to a real situation. No exaggeration, I have stared into the eyes of a crazed murderer! Agreed I was playing a paint-ball game at the time. The guy concerned got a bit carried away, his face told everything he was thinking at the time, and it took a while to detach this guy from his fantasy.
Did he kill someone?

Did you report him to the police as likely to kill someone in the future?

If not, aren't you culpable if he does kill someone in the future?

I would posit that, unlike your imaginings, he may know he has this level of rage, and has sought out a venue where releasing it is safe--it's channeled into a game where, if he becomes overwhelmed, the worst that happens is that he shoots someone with a few extra paint pellets.

Quote:
In the UK yesterday, the body of a 12 year old girl was found at her grandmother's house, apparently the step-grandfather has been arrested and charged with her murder. At this stage of the case, the cause and motive of death is yet to be established.

Could there be a possibility, that this apparent murderer would have read this book if he stumbled upon it? If he had read this book, or one like it, could this have tipped him over the edge?
That's an awfully big stretch. You're not even saying there *is* a connection, just that you--who have not read the book, nor the detailed reports about a murder--believe that it's possible that one could've caused the other. You would, apparently, like to ban books "like" this one, without stating what that similarity is.

How would you identify "books that might inspire crimes against children?"

If we're going to discuss books as inspirations for crimes, shouldn't we start with the bible? Given the number of criminals who've done truly horrific things "in Jesus' name," shouldn't it be banned for public safety?

Or is it possible that books with content that some people find objectionable can be read by most people responsibly, and those who are unhinged will find *something* to justify their desires and actions to themselves?
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