From here to profanity: to link or not to link
While the blog will ultimately reflect my sensibilities (and I think that’s really what people want with a blog like this), I do take into account what my readers think.
There’s something where I’m a bit uncertain, and it affects you, so I thought I’d ask. 🙂
It has to do with linking to stories.
This mainly comes into play with my
magazines, including the
which is effectively a sibling publication to this one.
Regular readers (and people who know me “in real life”) know that I don’t use profanity.
Yes, even if I stub my toe, I just don’t. If I’m suddenly, emotionally mad at somebody (which is very unusual), the worst thing I might say (and only if they can’t hear me) is to maybe question their intelligence (which I know is unfair), or to say something like, “Nice signal, pal!” That’s right…I literally say, “pal”. 🙂
That said, I have no objection to profanity in literature. I don’t want to see anything censored in fiction for sure. I read books, for example, knowing that they will have “the f word” in them.
Here’s my conundrum.
Sometimes, when I link to an article, it contains a profanity…often without me realizing it first. I don’t read every word of every article before I link (it would take forever…I’ve flipped more than 40,000 articles in the ILMK magazine alone). When I read some of them later, I’ll run across something.
For example, I recently linked to an article by Stephen King. Partway into it, King uses the word “motherf***er”, without the asterisks I used.
I was torn. King is such a popular author, and many of my readers would be interesting in the horrormeister’s opinion. I think some of my readers would not be happy to have that word there, though, and it could even cause them problems if they were reading it at work on work equipment.
I felt like this was an important piece, as it commented on the current political situation. Also, people who are familiar with King wouldn’t be surprised by the language. I did leave the link**.
In another case, a tech site was writing about new filters (this was for another Flipboard magazine of mine based on another blog of mine, The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard). I thought it was a great piece…but it used “f**cking” as an adjective. I ended up removing this link, because it seemed like a less important article (that’s subjective, of course), that people would be “hurt less” by not having it included. It was also before the King piece, and I was tending to remove all of the links I noticed.
Then, there’s the question of just what counts as profanity. I now hear the “s word” pretty often on television (although it might be basic cable rather than over the air, so regulations are different). The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) cares about context…they are more lenient with the “f word” as an adjective than as a verb. Somebody on a talk show would be more likely to get away with “We’re all f**ked” than with “I f**ked so-and-so”. I remember them not levying a fine on an award show when somebody said it in celebration
I also get concerned sometimes about sexual content…nudity, for example. If there is a naked dorsal view of someone in a photograph…should that be a link killer? What about if they are talking about human sexual desire? I include health-related articles in The Measured Circle, and that sometimes happens there.
I suppose some people would also prefer that I don’t link to anything that expresses an opinion about the current President (whichever President it is). If Stephen King does it, I consider it an article about Stephen King. I’ve linked to things which are both positive and negative, if the story has to do with an author or possibly another type of celebrity for TMC.
Well, I think that lays out the issue. Let me see what you think:
Well, creating that poll was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever done! 🙂
Feel free to make more suggestions to me and my readers by commenting on this post (although I may expurgate some words). Oh, I haven’t said yet…warning on a case by case basis is just not practical.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.