I’ve been trying to find a new home for my content and my followers beside, and I keep finding myself disappointed and disappointed.
So I might have mentioned that I have a page on Goodreads. I never really knew what to do with the medium before as its user interface is frankly opaque, but forced by necessity, I’ve been exploring its community, its author assistance, and its advertising potential. Let me just remind anyone that doesn’t know that Goodreads is probably the only major social media platform for people that specifically like to read. Now, while Goodreads offers readers much better access to the writers they enjoy and their works, and also it does offer automated book giveaways and the like, it suffers similarly in at least one major component to Facebook. Its advertising policies, while convenient enough to fit on a fucking page [FUCK YOU FACEBOOK], are also similarly vague. For example one of the prohibitions actually reads “Not Allowed: Provocative.” Sigh. How am I supposed to take that? Provocative in what context? Do you mean sexually provocative? Do you mean provocative in the sense that it does provoke, whether for better or worse, a reaction from the reader? How am I supposed to just divine your intention?
There are all these prohibitions against “adult” and violent content, which I would be cool with if the medium didn’t also possess a little checkbox next to your book indicating whether or not it contains any explicit content. Now, I don’t understand the point of this little indication if you won’t fucking advertise the product under any circumstances anyways. Christ all fucking mighty, just for a lark, I’ve been trying to run an advertisement on the platform to see how it works, only to find the cheeky little cunt absolutely refuses to read my ISBN and display my book properly. And don’t look for any help in the matter. You won’t get it.
Basically, the wall I’m coming up against time and time again is artistic integrity, and I don’t mean that in the manner of some weak-wristed effete clutching protectively around his sculpture of a man felating himself. What I mean is that I wrote something that I cared about, that I thought other people would enjoy, something that contained some swearing, or violence, or something that was a little bawdy. These elements became essential to telling the story. To remove any of them would be to literally compromise the work’s artistic integrity, as the story would completely collapse without them. In the end, I can’t rely on some external website to allow me, as its client, to sell my work. I can’t rely upon them in the slightest. In the end, I have to draw people to my website, where I make the rules about what constitutes unacceptable profanity. And if consenting adults want to read, that’s the whole point. If you don’t like it, it isn’t like the whole internet isn’t replete with media catering specifically to your tastes.
I was taking Russian Literature in high school. Just a sort of survey of famous Russian authors from Pushkin to Bulgakov. The teacher–bless his ancient heart–would frequently talk about the influence of the censors on the development of Russian literature–how the author needed to be increasingly clever to slip his intent past the censor. Then he would laugh and say those times are all over. But that’s not true. Censorship is cyclical. There’s shit Monty Python did in the sixties and seventies that they could never get away with today. It’s no different for writers. I was laboring under the misapprehension that writing would generally go uncensored because children generally don’t read books rather than watch television or dick around on the internet. I just can’t believe that my work, which I consider so innocent, continues to fall foul of the censor’s red ink.
Facebook’s shadow ban is real, by the way. I’ve 95% percent confirmation now.