Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Banned for a Boost!

It's often say that there's no such thing as bad publicity, and I can largely see that as true. Take, for example, the recent banning of a book.

The Family First organisation (ugh) didn't like a book, so complained, got others to complain, and now it's considered banned.

No book should be banned. No art of any kind should be banned. Unlike what FF think, "freedom of expression" is about putting whatever you want out there. There is no "Freedom from Being Offended." [This is, at least, a decent policy where freedom is allowed. In a cult or dictatorship (which can be the same) or other controlled society, banning is de jure, so go for it then.]

What a lot of groups fail to get is that "freedom of expression" isn't "freedom from criticism". They are indeed practicing a form of this when they are trying to get the book banned, but banning isn't criticism either. Saying "I don't like this book and don't recommend anyone read it" is criticism, and that they can say as much as they want.

What we have here, and why bad publicity isn't bad, is the so called Streisand effect, in which complaining about something brings attention to it. I have no idea how the author felt, but someone in that publication circle saw this news and knew immediately interest and sales would go up. Banned or not, this will be available and read.

By all means come out and decry the book, but blocking media is not the way to stop people accessing it.


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