Amazon’s Modern Day Censorship

Posted on January 14, 2014. Filed under: Philosophy | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Kindle censorship

Here is the screen on my Kindle for recently blocked Youtube videos – showing its dark gray speckles.   I have an email in to Amazon to confirm this was intentional, but as of today, I am not allowed to view any video on Youtube on my Kindle that talks about a certain topic.  That is, until I found the wonderful geeks (God love the geeks!) online who will tell you how to get the real Youtube app on your Kindle where YOU decide what to watch without any screening by Amazon.  No matter what your views on individual Youtube video topics, I think you should find this censorship by Amazon alarming.

Years ago, as a second grade teacher in a local elementary school, I had a book on Egyptian mummies in my class.  It explained how the ancient Egyptians pulled the brain through the nostrils with long metal hooks to embalm separately from the body in jars.  Maybe you can imagine how popular this book was with 8 year old boys.  It was difficult reading, not really 2nd grade level, but because of its enormously interesting content, every boy in my class and quite a few girls too, were scrambling to get their hands on this book and decipher this fascinating information.  This was a reading teacher’s dream come true, because the motivation was strong to overcome the difficulty in actually decoding the words.

Then one of the boys’ mother came in to complain.  She didn’t want her son reading this book.  I said, “No problem.  He won’t have access to the book.  Your choice.”  Noooooo…..this was not good enough.  She wanted the book removed from my classroom stating, “No one needs to know this information.” 

Whoa there.  You have just stepped beyond valid parental authority to making a decision for other people (about historical knowledge no less) and that is where I draw the line.  Even in second grade.  Thankfully the principal backed me up and the book stayed on my shelf and now it was even more desirable!

Does Amazon really think they can play overzealous Mama to the American public?  And even if they have aims to change the U.S. law, do they think by turning off my ability to watch a video this will somehow be accomplished?  What a thought.  Big Brother Amazon sets out to rule the nation by restricting information.  Infuriating!!  Many thanks to the wonderful people at H2 Tech Videos for getting me a fix for this most irritating instance of censorship.

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