where on [Middle] Earth can a book be banned for moral arguments?

Well, the clue in the title should be obvious enough: A censorship board in New Zealand, the Film and Literature Board of Review, has just banned Ted Dawes’ “Into the River” from being sold or distributed or even exhibited. Following complaints orchestrated by Family First, a conservative organisation… The ban is actually temporary, until a committee reaches a decision about the classification of the book. The most surprising aspect of this story—besides the existence of a censoring institution in a democratic country in 2015!— is that the ban applies to everyone, including adult readers, and that all libraries had to take the book out of their shelves. Which is also fairly ridiculous in the era of e-books…

One Response to “where on [Middle] Earth can a book be banned for moral arguments?”

  1. Why in principle not? Were you opposing the german censorship of Mein Kampf *on the same grounds* too?
    I mantain that only an expensive cost benefit analysis could begin evaluating the unbalance between negative influence and benefits from critical reading.
    How about step by step instructions for DIY offensive weapons? What if disguised as narrative?
    Online e-book stores can be prohibited from displaying and promoting a book too, not so ridiculous to me.

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