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Let's Find the Middle Ground: A Commentary and Poem About Censorship Vs Free Speech

John is passionate about human and animal rights, social justice, equality, and the environment, and likes to convey that in his writing.

Censorship vs Free Speech (Let's find the middle ground)

Censorship vs Free Speech (Let's find the middle ground)

The Tree of Knowledge, Barcaldine, QLD, Australia. Maybe we need to tap into this more often.

The Tree of Knowledge, Barcaldine, QLD, Australia. Maybe we need to tap into this more often.

Why an Article about Censorship and Free Speech?

Recently another hubber, in a comment on one of my hubs, made this request to me:

"Jodah: I want to hear from you re Writing hub articles that sit on the border of what the sequestered editors of HubPages find appropriate and inappropriate. I want you to write a separate Hub on the subject. You admitted that some of your own material was censored. That had to rub you the wrong way, as it did for me. You have the tact, the skill, the experience to put this subject into perspective. ... We've both pushed the limits and got squashed. Other than the word "inappropriate," what are we to assume? I'm asking you to do this because you are one of the most balanced writers to whom I subscribe. Your comments are always generous, and you seem to possess a "common sense" approach toward writing that I think could be extremely useful in defining the boundaries. Just consider it."

As I don't like to ignore a request and especially because he said such nice things about me, I decided to write this poem. The only problem is that I don't think this poem actually addresses the issue he was referring to.

A photo that had advertising removed on one of my hubs

A photo that had advertising removed on one of my hubs

How Does HubPages Handle It?

In regard to the matter of HubPages censoring our content, I actually feel they do quite a good job with an area that isn't black and white. Although the rules of the site state that authors must be over 18 years of age, it is aimed at a general (not adult) audience. Guidelines also say that you shouldn't write hubs specifical targetted at children as an audience.

Gratuitous sex, nudity, violence etc is frowned upon and may result in a hub having advertising removed, not being featured, or actually deleted. Unless HubPages had a specific topic labeled "Adults Only!" (which they don't) I think this is fair enough.

I admit the quality editing is not always consistent depending on who or what was given the responsibility for a particular hub. I have had advertising removed from hubs due to an image or words considered inappropriate by an automated editor, but have resubmitted them for review to find them given a green light when read by an actual person.

Alternatively, I have occasionally updated a hub that was previously featured and had advertising, to find it hit by defeaturing or removal of ads when reviewed by a human. I have also noticed the occasional hub with quite graphic content slip past the editors. However, that only stays published until a reader complains.

In society as well there is a fine line between enforcing strong enough censorship to protect people's differenses and sensativities, and allowing freedom of speech and not stifling an individual's right of expression. I do feel that political correctness has gone too far, but that is an issue for a whole separate article.

Overall, I'd say "Well done HubPages."

Political Correctness or Freedom of Speech?

Political Correctness or Freedom of Speech?

Let's Find a Middle Ground

"Where is the balance?" you may ask,

Let's find the middle ground.

Is censorship the way to go,

Or are our freedoms bound?

∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞

Scroll to Continue

Societies have different morals

That change each time and place.

What people do should not be judged,

Unless it's in your face.

∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞

You shouldn't force or push your views

To deliberately offend,

But everyone deserves free speech

For willing ears to lend.

∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞

Prejudice of race or sex

Has no place in our world.

Religion preaches peace and love,

But has war and hate unfurled?

∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞

Atheists deserve respect,

Christians, Muslims too,

Hindus with their many gods,

Buddhism may be the glue.

∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞

Advertisers say "sex sells".

The reality is it does.

Economies run on demand,

Around and around it goes.

∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞

Bigotry and speech of hate

Needs to be condemned.

Violence should not be used

To reach the desired end.

∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞

Everyone though has the right

To promote what they believe,

As long as it's expressed with love

To meet the greater need.

∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞ † ∞

So, be a catalyst for peace,

Don't hate your fellow man.

Speak up for the weak in need,

Show love to all you can.


© 2016 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 21, 2016:

Thanks for such a kind comment Ann. I have been quiet here as well for similar reasons. I to have been surprised when my work had trouble passing the censors, but that is life. It's hard to please everyone. Have a great weekend and I look forward to reading more from you soon.

Ann Carr from SW England on May 21, 2016:

Political correctness has gone mad in so many contexts; I wrote a hub about it too. The arbitrary censorship results you quote above are confusing; I didn't realise it was auto v human.

The last but one verse in your poem says it all though. We should say things with love and respect, whatever we think.

Great hub on an important point. I'm surprised any of your work has been deemed inappropriate; your writing is always measured and appealing, I find.

Apologies for being rather quiet lately; been away, no wifi and house renovating! Will try to be more attentive! I always enjoy your hubs, whatever the subject.


John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on May 13, 2016:

Good to see you, Shauna. I agree with everything you say. Discussions are great if everyone exercise respect for the opinions of others. It is always safer to avoid the subjects of religion and politics though if you dislike conflict, as invariably there will be arguments involved.

I hope life is treating you well, thanks for your comment.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 13, 2016:

John, this is a well-presented hub. I think as people we should be free to have and voice our opinions. But I also feel there should be personal boundaries exercised with common sense and common courtesy as the base. There are two topics I don't discuss: religion and politics. These are areas that invariably ruffle feathers and lead to heated arguments, as they are usually bound by very personal and steadfast beliefs.

I also think it's okay to disagree with someone or present a different point of view in most other areas. I'm now referring to commenting on HP or even holding group discussions. Respect is the key. Don't offend. Don't resort to name calling and don't chastise. As my mother always says: if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 25, 2016:

Yes, you are right Flourish, it is hard to gauge some of the hubs that pass censorship compared that others that don't. Usually if there is a complaint they are unpublished or have ads disabled, but I think it depends on how popular they are because I can think of one in participular that many were complaining about and it continued to be a featured hub.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 25, 2016:

I err on the side of free speech as an American and am not easily offended. Businesses however have the right to decide their on rules within the bounds of law. I am bewildered by some of the approved hubs I've seen in the past, but to give them attention (even negative attention) is counterproductive.

rjbatty from Irvine on April 21, 2016:

Jodah: Thanks for being the last honest man alive.

I think if you had incorporated these comments in your initial Hub, I'd have nothing more to add or say.

HubPages is not an open forum of opinion or perspective. The network censors out a lot of material (I'm supposing it's a lot) that doesn't "fit" into their narrow idea of what draws a readership and advertising dollars.

Did you know that the Internet was born from the backbone of porn addicts? Did you know that advancements in the the field of downstreaming 3D is being shouldered by an insatiable gravitation toward porn?

I think few people realize this (and would prefer not to).

I'm not a fan of porn but marvel at the fact that this subculture is revolutionizing how we see/view material over our computers. It's not guys who want to see Mars or Venus in 3D, it's guys who want to see naked women doing x-rated stuff that is driving the Internet. It's just a matter of dollars and cents. Men will pay premium bucks to watch porn in higher and more detailed definition than all the guys/gals who want to see the moons of Saturn or Jupiter as produced by NASA. Who is driving the advanced technology? It's the guys who want ever-more realistic pics of naked women. I'm not making this up. It's a fact.

We all ride on the coattails of guys who want ever-more realistic depictions of porn. They are the ones who are willing to pay for this "advancement," and the industry just tries to keep up. Where there is a market -- the market will compete and thus produce ever-more advanced technology in the realm of downstreaming graphics.

So where does that leave us? Well, we scuttle behind the latest technology, hoping to make a buck here or there.

Earning an honest dollar here or there doesn't make us prostitutes, although we're not far from it. What we can do is write about subjects that we do feel somewhat "passionate about" and if this may risk being censored -- well, so be it. To the extent possible, let's try to avoid writing about how to make the perfect pizza.

My hope is that HubPages is successful -- so successful in fact that it will lead to other outlets -- outlets that are less constrictive and homogenized.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 21, 2016:

Hi again RJ. I do appreciate your comments on this hub because they do add to the debate on the topic and do touch on areas I may not have had the freedom to do in the body of the hub.

In a way, you are right, that many of us writers do prostitute ourselves for the sake of having our online writing featured on search engines such as Google, to attract as much traffic as possible and ultimately with a goal of making at least some money. Many of us even write on topics that we aren't passionate about but may appeal to the "Googlers."

rjbatty from Irvine on April 21, 2016:

I do give your Hub a thumbs up. I think you did the best that could possibly be expected within this constricted environment. You are in fact a nice man -- so I expected (and received) the best that this subject can entertain. My second comments is more critical because there is really no appeasement on this matter. Either this is an open discussion of opinion or it's a censored blog site for advertisers. It it is the latter, then we're hardly more than just whores -- providing the juice, the enticement for people to come to visit our whore house. And in some respect even that is okay, but let's not pretend to be anything more than a commodity.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 14, 2016:

I just wrote a long reply..but something went wrong and I lost it, RJ. This is your second comment to this hub. I admit I was surprised that you gave it the thumbs up the first time. I did place a pic here that cause one of my previous hubs to lose advertising until I removed it. My hub "Prince Plethora's Pleasure Palace" is the one I had the most trouble getting published. Had to remove three pics and some text (check it out) but most of my hubs don't go into a lot of explicit sex.

You keep referencing scrambled eggs as an example of what they allow, and yes that's true. But out of 260 featured hubs, I have only written one on scrambled eggs so they must allow a lot of other topics as well.

I did state that HP can be inconsistent as to what they censor and what they don't depending on who reviews them and if it is reviewed by a human oe some autobot.

I am not as upset by their censorship as you are, though I agree they could be a little less prudish with sex. They don't like rape or the more extreme aspects of sex, or pictures of nudity or hint of nipples.

In your "Tumblr" hub, did you remove the reference to horses and what some may do with them? That would have been the major stumbling block as many would find that offensive. You also had one pic clearly showing nipple bumps...they dont like that either.

Maybe I am to nice to approach the subject the way you feel it should and if so feel free to write one, but remember if you go too far it won't be published. Thanks for the interesting comment.

rjbatty from Irvine on April 13, 2016:

Jodah, I don't agree with you on HubPages doing a good job of filtering. We have both had material that was censored -- needlessly. Their robocops are unable to distinguish context. And this is to say nothing about freedom of expression. The fact about "comments" is that it's left up to the individual author to decide whether to allow remarks to be published or not. This doesn't mean that HubPages won't override our decisions, although it shouldn't be one for them to make (in my opinion).

Whether a Hub is vulgar is a debatable subject. I stripped down my Hub re. Tumblr to a degree that it absolutely contains nothing objectionable. There is no profanity (there never was) and I eliminated all photos that could even be controversial -- they still will not publish it. Why? Well, they never provide you with an explanation. They just act as some kind of Gestapo agency and decide (either mechanically or otherwise) that a certain piece is not going to see the light of day.

It goes back to the question -- should we just be writing Hubs about how to cook scrambled eggs -- is that all they will tolerate?

Most of my stuff is benign -- movie reviews, stuff about comic books, a few satire pieces. It was an awakening when I found my Tumblr piece rejected. I thought, "What? The topic may have been a bit risque, but my original Hub was fairly tame material. So, it got rejected and I pruned the piece so that Mother Teresa herself wouldn't find anything objectionable. It still got rejected.

This is censorship at its extreme, and I don't like it -- not just because one of my Hubs can't fit through the door but because the process acts without rhyme or reason. Okay, fine, HubPages cannot critique every Hub submitted -- I get that. But at the same time they are letting everything that deals with religion or politics flow -- but call the line (so to speak) if the subject deals with sexual material... even if such material is treated in a prudent manner. Jodah, I don't like it. I've read material that is filled with profanity -- and it gets published -- thankfully. But apparently, if you even try to write about material dealing with a sexual content, you will get shut down. Look around. Search HubPages for content that deals frankly with the subject of perversion -- even without it being perverse in itself -- you won't find it. Why is the entire subject simply taboo?

If a piece is well-written and is not in and of itself profane, why censor it just because it floats on the margin of sexually-charged material?

Who are they protecting? The audience -- I doubt it. As someone else said, we're all adults here, and no one is twisting any arms to read a Hub that is off-putting to their moral conscience. No, my guess is that the group/company doesn't want to get into a protective posture with its advertisers -- and so just eliminate anything to do with sex in a wholesale manner. We can talk about warfare, genocide, murder, rape, matters of religion, politics, but the subject of sex is totally off limits -- unless you are talking about birth control or menstrual cycles.

Jodah, you are just too kind of a soul. You skirted the entire subject of their being limits to HubPages when it comes to sex. You didn't even reference your own rejections (sadly). HubPages is NOT doing a good job of governance over censorship -- not when you take in the full spectrum. Your moderation in the Hub was probably on mark, but you don't have to bow and scrape to every word of praise offered on your behalf. I've read enough of your stuff to know that you can disagree (albeit in the most polite manner).

I encouraged you to write a Hub on this subject, hoping to see a bit more balance. What you wrote is good, but it only represents half of the equation. If you truly think that HubPages is doing a good job with its censorship, I'll just shut up. But, we'll have to disagree on this point. Again, I offer you to search the site for sexually-charged material. You won't find it. I'm not talking about porn. I'm simply talking about sex in a very general way. There may be other topics that are off-limits. I just happened to come across Hub censorship while dealing with a fairly benign posting and got slammed. It opened my eyes.

This is definitely not an anything-goes channel of expression. I'm all in favor of weeding out the head cases who might try to post or comment in a ridiculously obvious and vulgar manner. Some form of decorum is necessary -- just to weed out people who might write with no sense of being civilized. To that extent, yeah, it may be proper and appropriate to have some kind of editing. Neither you nor I want to accidentally start reading some mental case's diatribe.

Where you draw the line in the sand will always be debatable, but I'm finding HubPages to be leaning Puritanical -- probably just not to alienate potential advertisers. And this is sad. It's sad for writers and potential readers.

If HubPages just wants scrambled eggs, I guess they will get them, but c'mon, let's face it, there's a lot more that could be/should be discussed.

I'm very pleased that you made this foray into a hot-button subject, but as I said before -- either you left out the negative aspects or truly believe that HubPages is doing a good job. If you believe the latter, you are forcing me to write a Hub of my own on the same subject -- which will probably never get through the gate.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 13, 2016:

Thanks for those wise words Lawrence, I agree.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on April 13, 2016:


'Censorship' is a dirty word to many of us when someone is cutting our comments out and leaving them 'on the floor' yet we all do it to some degree!

How many of us turn the TV off when something we really disagree with comes on? I know I do, and I'll keep on doing it as some forms of censorship' are good.

Personally, like you I think HP do a good job and there's only been a couple of times the automated 'bots' have warned me there might be something I've just typed that could cause a problem.

When that happens it's time for the 'thinking cap' to see if I can say the same thing a different way.

That's my view anyway.


John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 13, 2016:

It is hard to fathom Google's thinking, Deb. Some of the Ads they place on hubs are worse than the content. Thanks for reading.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on April 13, 2016:

I had an article that had ads removed about a serial rapist. The general public has no problem with the facts, but it is Google that really does it. The only reason that I did the story was to make women more aware of their surroundings and travel on foot with others.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 08, 2016:

Thank you Devika, yes I agree. They usually do what they think best.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 08, 2016:

Hi Jodah you shared an interesting topic. I voted ''It is a difficult balance, but overall most societies do the best they can.''

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on April 07, 2016:

Advertisers say "sex sells".

The reality is it does.

Economies run on demand,

Around and around it goes.

No big deal.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 07, 2016:

Thanks for reading this Paula, and for your generous comment. It is a subject requiring deep consideration and to cover it fully would require a series of articles much larger than this. Glad the little I had to say made some sense however. Liam's statement also caused me to rethink the oft used statement that "Love Hurts" and I think he is right. It is only that the ones we love are often the catalyst (my word of the week) for the feelings that hurt: like rejection, envy, jealousy etc.

Suzie from Carson City on April 07, 2016:

I love this work, Jodah. You always make sense and write something that brings about deep thought & consideration. The Poem is great, of course. You can always be proud of what you write.

The quote by Liam is beautiful and I'm sure we all understand what he's saying about "Love." I was always under the belief that "Love hurts," referenced the fact that those we love and those who love us, have the power to cause us the most heartache......because that is surely true....

Have a nice week-end Jodah. Peace, Paula

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 07, 2016:

Thanks Mike...'duhz' and goz'?? You are right, that censorship doesn't ensure quality. I appreciate your comment.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on April 07, 2016:

Hello John - What a tightrope you walk with this one. Great poem - though 'duhz' and 'goz' - I am not so sure about.

I am sure glad I cannot be attributed with "censorship brings quality" - it certainly does not. It just brings censorship. There is no room in this world for one opinion.

As for disabling ads - I disable ads prior to publishing when I remember. The 'ads' at one time got a negative comment.

Linda Robinson from Cicero, New York on April 07, 2016:

You absolutely did. :) Take care, enjoy your night.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 07, 2016:

Great comment Linda. Thank you. Yes this can be a controversial topic that often leads to heated debate. I am glad I managed to find the middle ground.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 07, 2016:

Yes you are right Bill, rules are rules. If you know about them before hand, and accept them, you shouldn't cry about them afterwards. People really have a lot of choice in what the watch or read. It isn't like we are forced, so if something offends us we should just change the channel, or choose a different book or website.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 07, 2016:

Thanks for the great comment Missy. I love the "censored" pic of you...some people can be so rude. " Fancy someone telling you that your texts were too long and they didn't' have time to read your texts" I hope you told them wear to go (politely of course). You have some provocative hubs but never crossed the fine line. I have too, remember my hub with the song "Map of Tasmania"? I thought that wa sucky to pass censorship. Basically if we show common sense and respect we need only very basic censorship.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 07, 2016:

Thank you Manatita, I appreciate your approval of this article/poem. I wrote the poetry first, but felt it needed a little more.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 07, 2016:

Hi Savvy. I love your new profile pic :) I felt this is a subject that is ever present in almost everything we do, so when I was prompted to write about it I couldn't ignore t. Glad you thought I treated the argument fairly.

Linda Robinson from Cicero, New York on April 07, 2016:

An absolutely excellent hub. I really enjoyed it. You have touched on a terrific often very controversial subject, but hey we are all adults here. And you explained it so thoroughly and so well written. Just a truly fantastic detailed hub, super job. Linda

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 07, 2016:

I have had my problems with HP and I've been critical of them, but never about their censorship. This is a business and they get to make the rules. We all know the rules going in, or we should if we read the rules there are no surprises, or there shouldn't be. That's a long way of saying I agree with you.

Missy Smith from Florida on April 07, 2016:

Hey John, this was an interesting hub. As you may have noticed, my profile picture is my face with censored on it. The fact is, I haven't really been censored here on hubpages; however, in my personal life, I was dealing with someone always telling me that my texts were too long, and that I had too much to say; they didn't have time to read all my shit. Whoops! Censor that last word. Lol... Anyway, I made that picture to spite that person, and actually liked the photo, so I used it here.

I know some have disagreed with my open thoughts here. I have made what some would call a few provocative hubs for sexual content, and a few poems and hubs that had a few curse words, because I felt it showed the mood I was in while writing them. As for the sexual poems, I always thought they were in good taste, and spoke of love more than dirty thoughts. Art if you will.

Even so, what is acceptable, I guess is the big question? I think we all are adult enough to know limits. We are all adults in the fact we can tell a heated political article that's running its own debate with a few suggestive motions, along with artistic vision through a descriptive poem. If it's all done with taste, I believe it will be looked at and understood in the correct way. The way the writer is putting it across.

Rules, of course, do need to be put in place on websites. Vile and too explicit things just out of the pleasure of writing vile and explicit mean things should not be allowed. In saying that, I believe you can still talk about things like how to shave your manly parts and make it in good taste. I read an article about that. It was very informative with just the right bit of humor that made it a really interesting hub. You can also talk about religion and your thoughts on it without offending someone I believe.

It just comes down to, yes, use your free speech rights, but realize if you are in the public eye on a public domain, that there could be limitations. Let's all show a measure of respect. That's all! :)

manatita44 from london on April 07, 2016:

Nice, Bro. Really nice. I actually think that you did a great job, both in poetry and prose. Excellent work!!

savvydating on April 07, 2016:

Well done, Jodah. This subject is ever present in our minds and you've done the matter of censorship the justice it deserves. A very nicely written poem and article. You are the voice of reason itself. Thank you for that.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 07, 2016:

Thank you, RJ. You were the catalyst for this hub which I wouldn't have written without your encouragement. The subject has proved popular too. it does need to be discussed.

rjbatty from Irvine on April 07, 2016:

I knew you had it in you, Jodah, and you didn't disappoint. It made me think of a scene from "Apocalypse Now" where Marlon Brando (Kurtz) speaks into a tape recorder. I can't remember the monologue exactly, but to paraphrase, he says something like, "We forbid a young man from saying the word f--- but make him drop fire from the sky..." I think discussing the topic of censorship is essential, as we have a double standard about many different cultural issues. Generally, I am against censorship. I don't want the government or any other collective to act as my nanny. Thanks for jumping into this hot button subject.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 07, 2016:

Everything you say is spot on, Swalia. We have to find the happy medium, if possible.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 07, 2016:

Hey Theresa, thank you for the great comment. You make some good points. It looks like you are going to have to change your name from "Faith Reaper" if it is going to get censored and stop you from commenting...funny.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 07, 2016:

Thanks, Lori, glad you liked this. There will always be people who cry "prejudice" and want to shove political correctness down our throats no matter what the issue. As you say, censorship is necessary for some instances and goes too far in others. It is a fine line.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 07, 2016:

Thank you Alicia. I wasn't sure about tackling this topic, so glad you thought I dealt with it fairly.

Shaloo Walia from India on April 06, 2016:

Freedom is often misused and that's why censorship is essential. But sometimes censorship also oversteps its limits and borders on dictatorship. Middle ground is a must!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on April 06, 2016:

Great topic choice for a hub, John.

Your poem certainly touches on the varied aspects of censorship. It seems like, even here in the U.S., especially here of late, we don't feel as free as we once were to just feel free to express our thoughts and beliefs without getting bashed, even when its done without any anger or hate towards anyone else, but seems like they want to just shut people up. We can all express our true thoughts and beliefs in a manner without it getting ugly. Seems society as a whole is going backwards instead of becoming more intelligent about how to respect others' views and beliefs ...just look at the terrorists, who kill just because someone believes differently than they do.

Believe it or not, I had a hub where the ads were removed, which was fine with me, as I don't write for money here as I have a full-time job, but the hub was on men's health and a serious hub that actually would help people with a certain problem. I left it published for a couple years and then unpublished it. Funny thing is that it was one of my highest scoring hubs, and I know HP would have made a lot of money on it. It may have shocked my readers, but I did not use any vulgar language, just medical terms, especially being I have a family member and knew about the health issue. It even promoted better relationships in marriage LOL

True crimes articles do have a lot of violence, but they are reporting true crimes, and those seem to do quite well here, as I have found out. One must be very careful though in writing the particulars.

I know HP does frown on erotic poetry and stories.

Bill and I got a good laugh the other day when I tried to post a comment on his last weeks mailbag hub about comic books, and all I was retelling was that one of my granddaughters likes comic books. I did not use any inappropriate language or anything, and HP didn't allow it twice. It's funny because "Faith Reaper" was censored ...who would have thought.

Lori Colbo from United States on April 06, 2016:

I really loved this John and I thought your appraisal of HP was fair. Your poem is thought provoking.

On the one hand, my feeling is hateful speech that incites violence or severe persecution of some sort should be censored in some instances. And I am very much against intnernet porn because of the destruction and perversity it creates. The problems is it's so subjective and the PC issue is ridiculous. If you say "I think worshiping pumpkins is not biblical," I am called a hater of pumpkins and pumpkin worshipers, and should be censored, or at the very least, somehow penalized. Or, If I say "He is a cute boy," a transgender person cries hate, intolerance, and persecution. Or if I say, "The white snow is beautiful," college students say they need counseling because of my racist remarks. I get so sick of it and the people who cry intolerance the most are the most intolerant.

You did a nice and fair view here. I love your poetry.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 06, 2016:

Censorship versus free speech is a tricky topic that you've dealt with very well in this hub, Jodah. The poem contains some very important points.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 06, 2016:

Val, you hit the nail on the head. If everyone had common sense (to self-censor)and utilised it we wouldn't need imposed censorship. Glad you liked the Poem. Thanks.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 06, 2016:

That it does Clive, but it can also restrict some people's artistic expression.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 06, 2016:

Thanks Ruby. I did my best to give my thoughts on it. I just wonder if I said anything that everyone doesn't already know. Maybe I just needed to draw attention to it.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 06, 2016:

Venkat it does depend on the place and circumstance, and it is easy to go too far or not enough. It depends on what the majority of a society is willing to accept at a particular time.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 06, 2016:

Glad I found the middle ground , Frank. It certainly is a balancing act. Thanks for liking the poem.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 06, 2016:

Exactly my point Tim, depends which end of the see-saw you are on and how the weight is distributed.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 06, 2016:

Thank you, E.G.A.

I think you are right that it is easier to find 'freedom from something' than 'freedom for something'. Everyone is seeking freedom from something whether it be oppression or just a mundane boring life and 9 to 5 job: then on the other hand some seek freedom of expression or speech. Censorship by it's own definition will suit some and not is a fine line.

ValKaras on April 06, 2016:

It would be nice if all of those who have enough brain to put some thoughts together also used that same brain to figure out if their thoughts might be hurting someone or something. Then we wouldn't need any censorship.

Great poem, John! And I am not just being polite, I REALLY mean it. You certainly have a fine mind, buddy.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on April 06, 2016:

censorship brings quality

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 06, 2016:

Freedom of speech is a tricky subject and finding the middle ground means something totally different to some cultures. Your poetry says it all...

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on April 06, 2016:

Very good topic. It is much complicated. Sometimes, I feel it is very lenient. There should be strictness. Because of some movies and TV programmes. But at other times, I feel they are too much strict and there should be some middle path. It depends on places and circumstances.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on April 06, 2016:

okay you found the middle ground... a good piece of work for all writers.. and the poetry.. superb as usual Frank :)

Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on April 06, 2016:

Thanks for sharing Jodah. Censoring to me seems very tricky these days. So, does exercising freedom of speech. It is then I reflect upon, ""Where is the balance?" you may ask".

Eldon Arsenaux from Cooley, Texas on April 06, 2016:

Great poem. Jodah. Though that comment doesn't do it justice. I perceive it is easier to find 'freedoms from something' rather than 'freedoms for something'. Freedom for love seems an appropriate purpose. Ya know, Give Peace A Chance and all that. Since Freedom is an Ultimate term, or an absolute, it seems imbalanced from the get-go. Censoring words is different than censoring images or actions, I guess. Bigotry should be condemned in actuality but not outlawed in language, (thinking here of Donald Trump's persistently bigoted rhetoric) at least from this Texan's perspective.

Have a great week, Jodah!


John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 06, 2016:

Thanks, Eric, I knew you'd get it. You are right, all writers need to be aware. Cheers.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 06, 2016:

Very well done job on a subject that should be in the forefront of all writer's minds.

John Hansen (author) from Australia (Gondwana Land) on April 06, 2016:

Thank you for reading this, Paul. Glad you enjoyed the read and I appreciate you sharing it. Have a great day.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on April 06, 2016:

I enjoyed reading this article and agree that there should be a middle ground between censorship and free speech. Politically there isn't much free speech in Thailand today since the military took power two years ago. I am sharing this hub with HP followers.

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