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Smashwords Removes Controversial Censorship Policy

Smashwords founder Mark Coker has restored its Terms of Service agreement following a community-wide debate over censorship.

The site had added a provision that would censor content that includes rape, bestiality and incest, but it has been removed.

Coker wrote on the Smashwords website: “I met with PayPal this afternoon at their office in San Jose. They will soon announce revised content policies that I expect will please the Smashwords community. Effective immediately, we are returning our Terms of Service to back to its pre-February 24 state. Beyond that, our friends at PayPal have asked me to hold off sharing additional details until they’ve had a chance to finalize their new policies. Thank you for your patience and support during this crazy last few weeks.”

eBookNewser has more about the debate: “In February, PayPal gave Smashwords an ultimatum to remove content that included this sexual content from its digital shelves or loose the ability to collect payments using PayPal. The payments company received criticism from the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE).”

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