Clean Reader, an app designed for censorship of literary works

Manuel M. Almeida
Mar 24, 2015 · 3 min read

By Manuel M. Almeida

Clean Reader is an new app that censors ‘offensive’ content in literary works, violating the author’s right to the integrity of his work

Technology is a weapon loaded with future… or not. An ally of the rights and freedoms, of the progress of mankind… or just the opposite. And if you want a clear example of the perverse use that can be given to technological advances to which we are witnessing these days, here is Clean Reader, an app available for iOS and Android that, shamelessly and without objection from the responsibles for the stores, censors those contents of literary works that may be ‘offensive’ to the reader.

“Prevent profanity in books from being displayed on your screen with Clean Reader; the only e-reader that gives you the power to hide swear words in any e-book.

Simply select from three settings to determine how clean you want your books to appear. Clean Reader then scans your book and prevents offensive words and phrases from showing up on the screen as you read. Every time a swear word is blocked from display a less offensive alternative with the same general meaning can be displayed”.


The approach not only is negligible for any lover of creation –in any of its areas– or for any defender of creative liberties, but directly undermines one of the basic and inalienable rights of the author, as is the integrity of his work, conveniently collected in the Berne Convention.

Clean Reader app

An app that would delight dictators and fundamentalists, and become citizens in an imitation of those pathetic and sad censors, scissors in hand, who were dedicated to maul everything that was considered contrary to morality and decency in Franco’s era.

In short, as I usually recommend applications that I like and I see no reason to talk out of those I find abhorrent, joined the outrage that caused me such a discovery, I wanted to write this post by if you see it, you know what you could find.

I found it equally surprising to see the app cheered on specialized websites and even digital newspapers, with little objection to the proposal –and with some exception– and, as I say, permitted in the main ‘stores’, despite the scrupulous they are regarding other things.

And you know, if the book as a whole is what you consider unbearably offensive, you can always asking for author’s head or throw your gadget in the fire. Well, sure there will be soon a virtual campfire app.

Ver el post original en español

    Manuel M. Almeida

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    Writer, journalist, blogger ->

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