What is Censorship?


Recently, I saw that someone tweeted a story about Deseret Book stopping the carrying of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, at least on the shelves.


Along with the link, the tweet said “How I hate censorship.”

Is what happened really censorship?

My feeling is that a business decision is not censorship, regardless of who owns the bookstore. If a business decides that it will sell more other books by not carrying one specific book, that is not censorship.  That’s business. It may or may not be a bad business decision.

Censorship is when a government, school, or other controlling institution takes away the ability and right to read/watch/listen to something. The censoring entity may destroy copies. It may pass a law or make a school rule that provides a punishment for those caught with a copy.

Deseret Book has not taken away anybody’s ability or right to read Twilight. Deseret Book has not forced the presses to stop printing. Heck, Deseret Book even still sells the books by special order – they’re just not on the shelves. And they are doing it because they believe it’s what most of their customers want.

If somebody (and by somebody, I mean a teenage girl) really wants a copy of Twilight right this second, she can, like, totally walk down the street to Barnes and Noble and buy one.

Even if a religion comes out with a statement that says “Don’t read this book,” that does not take away anyone’s ability to purchase or read the book if they still want to, so it’s not censorship.

What do y’all think?