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General Chatting > Incest Porn Being Pulled From Bookstrand

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message 1: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Feb 23, 2012 11:15PM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Whoo.

I've been keeping up with the Bookstrand saga. For those that don't know, Bookstrand is pulling all books from SP authors who wrote incest porn specifically. A lot of people are up in arms for different reasons.

I just have to say, I cannot understand this genre at all. I understand it's kink and from what I hear it sells well but I could never read this type of book. I mean the thought of it turns my stomach. No disrespect to the authors who write it but I just couldn't think of reading something where incest is glorified even if the people are adults.

From the names of some of the biggest sellers, books where girls do their daddy are the most popular. ????

Anyway, I am someone with an open mind but I just don't get it. And yes I know it's fantasy but what in the world would turn someone on about a girl/woman having sex with her dad or a boy/man having sex with his mother? Or boy on dad or girl on mom...

I just don't get it but I guess a lot of people are into it.

Anyway, anyone else heard of what's happening at Bookstrand? They've sent out letters to SP authors and have begun to take the books off the site. Some say it has to do with Paypal's policy and others feel like Bookstrand is using that for a scapegoat.

Any thoughts on these titles being pulled or does it not matter to you? Amazon did this last year with the same type of books.

Do you think it's unfair to the SP authors for Bookstrand to pull their books? Also AllRomance ebooks is taking some down too.

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net


message 2: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Feb 23, 2012 11:25PM) (new)


message 3: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 5744 comments Mod
Incest is a sin and nasty.


Roslyn As I understand it, they're pulling all SP authors, period. Apparently Paypal froze their account because this stuff is considrred to be porn and PP (and most banks) win't deal in porn. As I understand it, it's not a morality or taste issue, there's a lot if fraud in porn and a lot of chargebacks.


Stephanie Williams | 127 comments The insest stuff is gross and should be band. I have a friend that writes other stuff the pushes the envelope, but not stuff like this. Ewww. She's watching what happens because she doesn't want her stuff pulled and it's not even in this catagory.

Roslyn, I didn't know that. Really? WOW! Now Amazon sells a lot of this stuff. But I guess they're independent.


Karen Scott (KarenKnowsBest) | 26 comments I haven't been onto Bookstrand for ages, and that's because the last time I was there, the books featured, all seemed to be about girls doing it with their fathers, their brothers etc. Just not my cuppa. Good for Paypal!


message 7: by Delaney (last edited Feb 24, 2012 08:27AM) (new)

Delaney Diamond (Delaney_Diamond) | 463 comments Bookstrand has pulled all self-pubbed authors works--mine included. I got an email a couple of days ago telling me that "most" indie authors' works would be removed. I don't know what "most" means and how they decided. I write sensual romance, and my work is nowhere near the incest and porn storylines they say they're taking issue with, so I'm confused as to why it's necessary to pull the indie titles.

ARE isn't actually removing those titles, but they're separating erotica titles from the romance titles, which I think is a good idea. I was beginning to wonder what the heck was going on over there. Every time I clicked on their home page, all I saw were titles about daddy/daughters, brothers, twins, and the word f**k in the titles.

To be honest, it was a turn off. Apparently they got a lot of complaints (It never even occurred to me to complain). I was going there for romance, not that kind of stuff. I'm glad they're separating it. Now those of us going there for romance can easily find it, and those looking for those types of books can go to that section.


Karen Scott (KarenKnowsBest) | 26 comments Funnily enough it never occurred to me to complain either, I just didn't go back.


Roslyn Amazon doesn't use PP. All the epubs stopped using PP about five years ago for the same reason. As far as I know none of the epubs do porn, but PP was concerned so they just parted ways with them.


message 10: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Feb 24, 2012 10:09AM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Karen and Delaney,

You hit the nail on the head. Bookstrand said customers were complaining about the incest books taking over and also I heard erotica romance writers were complaining because they didn't want their work lumped in with the porn. And as Ros pointed out, the PayPal thing too.


message 11: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Feb 24, 2012 10:11AM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Delaney,

I'm sorry that happened! That's not fair that they pull everyone's books because of what some people are writing. I did see that mentioned on the Kindle boards. A woman said she wrote a nonfiction book and it had nothing to do with incest or porn and they pulled her book because she is self-published. I guess they got the attitude to pull all the SP authors so they won't have any issues. They are too lazy to go through the books and just keep the ones that are okay so they just wanna ditch all the others.

Someone said that Bookstrand was probably worried about their reputation not so much with the books being incest porn, but the quality of books. Bookstrand claimed readers were complaining about that too.

The thing is they should have vetted the SP books before letting people put them up there then. If they felt they were getting too raunchy or some were of poor quality, they should've reviewed books before accepting them. BS didn't care until stuff hit the fan or else didn't care as long as folks were buying the books. When a big backlash started, that's when they decided to care.


Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) You can read the drama on the Kindle boards if you want:

http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php...

Very interesting discussion.


message 13: by Tina (last edited Feb 24, 2012 10:17AM) (new)

Tina | 877 comments @Delaney- I am in the same boat as you. It never occurs to me to complain. I simply stop using the site after awhile. I stopped going to ARE because it had become more of an effort to wade through the really hard-core stuff. I remember the first 'Daddy' title I saw and was pretty surprised to see them carrying such a title and having it 'shelved' so-to-speak, in the main area.

I believe that a book-seller should sell what they feel is the demand for their constituency. Obviously there is an audience for that, but I like the idea of it being separated out like any other genre. To me books about sex acts for the sole purpose of sexual titillation fall under the rubric of pornography and should be differentiated just like romance is different from erotica which is different from, say, mystery.

By having stuff placed in separate sections, it allows people to browse in relative comfort of the section they want. It could also allow them to place age based notifiers on those sections as well.

I think Bookstrand is going a bit overboard, really with pulling all indie titles, though.


Karen Scott (KarenKnowsBest) | 26 comments It makes sense to me that BS would pull all the self pubbed books, that way, they leave it up to the writers who's books aren't pornographic to alert them, rather than them trawling through thousands of titles looking for porny books. They're relying on the authors to do their work for them.


TheFountainPenDiva | 826 comments Out of sheer curiosity, I decided to check out what this pseudo-incest/step-daddy-daughter stuff was all about. Needless to say, the story I read was thankfully short but incredibly squickworthy! Firstly, the so-called "heroines" was like 18-19 years old and of course, built like the proverbial brick house with big breasts and well, you know the rest. Second, the author of this story (a woman I might add), must have thought by making this so-called "heroine" the aggressor, the one seducing her hot step-daddy, that's somehow empowering. Wrong! It's as if these writer's do not take into account the inequality in power between a grown man and his still young daughter/step-daughter. Thirdly, I get it's taboo, but it's totally not enjoyable when you're reading this and thinking "eew"! Really puts a damper on the old libido. Lastly, most of these books are just badly written. They're like the gonzo porn of books, LOL. Now there are some authors like Selena Kitt who write erotica in this sub-genre and which happen to be pretty good though again, it's a comfort level thing.

Having said all that, what I may think of as icky porn is another person's erotica and I don't think booksellers should be acting like the morality police. We've already got most of the GOP trying to do that, thank you very much. We're all adults here and can decide for ouurselves what we want to read. The problem is, more serious books dealing with the taboo subjects being bannned by BookStrand or a book like Judy Blume's Forever might end up on the chopping block because it features underage sex or Bastard Out of Carolina because there's rape and incest. Censorship is censorship. What really fascinates me about this situation is that a large portion of the pseudo-incest erotica is actually written by women. Hmm, that bears some looking into, considering that we've seen the same thing happen with erotica/erotic romance.


Delaney Diamond (Delaney_Diamond) | 463 comments Stacy, it was a shock, believe me. I don't really expect BS to review books that are uploaded, though, because there are so many books involved. Then we'd be engaged in a submission process like the publishers, and we all know that could take months to get approval.

The onus of "disclosure" in this process has to be placed on the authors/publishers uploading. For example, when I upload my books to All Romance Ebooks, there are a couple of boxes that specifically ask if your book contains incest or abuse. It's up to the author/publisher to check the appropriate boxes.

I don't know what happens when you do, but apparently it didn't keep those kinds of books from the front page, which is why I'm guessing they're now going to separate them out into their own section.

Karen, what you say makes sense, except that's not what BS has done. They simply shut down indie authors without explanation. Here's the first couple of sentences of the email I received: "Dear Indie Author, We have made a decision to no longer maintain most indie author accounts at BookStrand.com. Therefore, we are deactivating all titles associated with your account and no new uploads will be accepted."

There's no mention of how to appeal, and there's not even a mention of the reason why. If it weren't for the Internet, I wouldn't know why this had happened. By the way, I did contact them to find out why my books had been yanked, but I didn't receive an answer. I really don't expect one at this point, because I'm sure they're inundated with emails and they're busy deactivating accounts. :)

They further said they want to "focus on publishers with clear submission and publishing guidelines that best serve our targeted audience."

Their response was a knee-jerk reaction to what was taking place behind the scenes. Unfortunately, those of us self-publishing titles got kicked when the knee jerked the foot forward.

Is it really censorship, Vixenne? I keep hearing that, but I'm not so sure. If this were the reverse, would people say it's censorship? If, say, a site called All Porn Ebooks or All Incest Ebooks or All Rape Ebooks started getting an influx of inspirational titles, wouldn't their readership be within their rights to say, "Hey, stop shoving religion down my throat. That's not why I come here. Get those Bible thumpers outta here!"?

Isn't that we have labels, categories, and warnings? So the people who are okay with it can find what they're looking for, and those who aren't can keep it moving?

Will there be gray areas? Yes. Especially now with so many indie authors, because indie authors often publish books that don't fit into a particular box. They often write cross-genre. But we have to make a decision. Which box does it mostly fit into? How will people find the books? Who are you marketing to? If you're writing paranormal suspense (two subgenres), how are you going to market your book? How will you find your readers?

The incest, etc. books are not marketed to every person who reads, nor are they marketed to every person who reads romance. And they shouldn't be. This is a specific niche, just like IR, paranormal, etc.


TheFountainPenDiva | 826 comments @Delaney: Yes, it IS censorship. If this was a problem, I think the e-retailers should have handled this in a different way rather than these pretty draconian measures. That's why I've always said there need to be a better job done at labeling books. It's pretty telling that quite a few IR books which have minimal to sensual erotic content are labeled as erotica, which obviously keeps people who don't read this genre from finding the books.

I'm with you about the allromance site and seeing a bunch of those Step-Daddy's Little Slut type books with their cheesy covers mixed in with other romance, paranormal and other titles. I usually ignore them with a chuckle at the absolute insipidness of the titles. I don't think these titles are being "shoved down my throat" as much as I think they're placed where they are in order to generate a controversy that really doesn't exist.

I am an ADULT. Therefore I don't need someone guarding my virtue when it comes to reading material. I simply choose not to buy such books and that's where the power of the consumer comes in. Besides, when you open the floodagates, it's kind of hard to dam the water back up. My concern is where does it stop?


Roslyn I don't think it's censorship. It's not like PP is saying they don't deal in it because it's icky or they don't like it. They don't deal in it because it's not cost effective. There's a very high rate of fraud and other foolywang amongst porn consumers. PP is a payment processor, they have to deal with banksband credit card companies. When peoplenuse stolen credit cards to purchase these books, PP has to refund the money. Who psys for that? Insurance companies. Actuaries calculate how many chargebacks a company should reasonably hav, if they exceed that, then they raise the rates. Because of the fraud issue they charge a HELLUVA lot more to deal eith porn companies.

Further, companies like BS an ARe really aren't setvup to deal in porn. They don't have age verification or parental controls set up. This costs money that apparently they don't want to spend.

Having Paypal shutbdoen your account can ve a deathblow. After all, thesenpeople not only accept payments through PP they pay their authors and publishers as well. I think ARe is handling the situation better, butI can see why BS went with the nuclear option.

I also suspect that this might be a piracy issue as well. I know thatbthere are places where you can buy stolen credit cards. It would make sensevforbpiates to use those cards to upload books to their sutes. One thing that has always amazed me abiut the pirates is the sure volume if books. I couldn't comprehend how they could possibly make money, even from advertising. But if they're using stolen credit cards to buy the books, then anything they make is pure pofit. It's an effed up dituation to be sure, but this is what criminal gangs do--find a loophole and exploit the hell out of it.

Bottom line? It's not morality, it's profit.


TheFountainPenDiva | 826 comments We're all going to have to agree to disagree here, but I see your points. I still smell censorship thinly disguised as being about profit. It's a slippery slope and I'm one who firmly believes that when you allow one form of censorship to happen, you'd better duck because you're next.


Roslyn Well, BS and ARe could always do what most of the epubs did and eschew PP altogether .obviously, I have no insight into their P/L statements, but that happened nearly five years ago and they're still up and running. Clearly not having access to PP hasn't shut down porn sites. Up until a very short time ago, they were the most prifitable sites on the web. So no, I don't see this as a slippery slope. PP doesn't have the power to impose censorship, nobody's going out of business because PP refuses to deal with them. If push comes to shove they can separate out their erotica into a separate company and keep on trucking.


Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) You all make some great points!


TheFountainPenDiva | 826 comments @Roslyn: "If push comes to shove they can separate out their erotica into a separate company and keep on trucking."

Now that makes a lot more sense than this massive fail they're committing right now.


Roslyn I think that's ultimately the end game. That makes sense and would explain why they're splitting the category. They can separate out and put all the safeguards you have to have in place for porn, and keep PP for romance.


TheFountainPenDiva | 826 comments The only problem I see is that porn is a total subjective term. I've heard people say that most romance books are porn for women, LOL. Oh well, to each their own.


message 25: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Feb 24, 2012 10:44PM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) And now Smashwords is doing the same thing.

Check out this link to the Absolute Write board and scroll down to post 70. They are removing books as well.

Can't blame Coker though. He sounds like he tried his best to reason with PP.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/s...


Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Good discussion going on about SW at the Kindleboards as well.

http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php...


Delaney Diamond (Delaney_Diamond) | 463 comments Stacy, it's over at Dear Author, too. Along with information about authors who've been caught plagiarizing. SMH. http://dearauthor.com/features/indust...

The comments are interesting. One guy is mad at SW. He said Coker should've fought. Coker made it clear he didn't want to do this, but had to because it affects other authors and they were going to cut him off.

Not to mention, he's trying to keep the doors open so he can pay his own bills (this is a business, after all) and pay his employees.

Maybe all of this will cause some enterprising genius to create an alternative to PP.


Dahlia DeWinters (DahliaDeWinters) | 56 comments For those who go on there looking for a hot romance (that uses the 'hot' words, but has love story, action what have you) as opposed to just "hitting it", then separation would be helpful.

Look, I'm no prude. If folks want to read p*rn, in*est, pseudo in*est, what have you, it's up to them.

Let's just keep it in categories, so folks know what they are getting.

It's not fair for books to be crammed together under a huge umbrella of "romance".


message 29: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Feb 25, 2012 09:15AM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Yeah I saw it at Dear Author too but they were talking more about the woman who plagiarized and I didn't wanna sit through all that. Looks like they went into something else other than the Smashwords thing. LOL! I might check back though since it sounds like it's gotten juicy since I checked last night.

The guy that got mad at Coker is living in a dream world. Coker is running a business and it's not so easy to fight or bite the hand that feeds you.

I think Coker was very respectful in how he alerted the authors. He could've not given them any explanation and just yanked the books off like some places would but he didn't. So people who think he didn't do it correctly should understand this is beyond his control and folks need to give him a break. They'd do the same thing if they were him. The man had no choice.

I understand the authors being upset but they should still look into this with reason and see that Coker has no choice in the matter.


message 30: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Feb 25, 2012 09:38AM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) The only thing with creating an alternative to PP is gaining people's trust. Not many people will wanna start handing over their bank account info to just anyone. One thing PP has is trust of the consumer because folks know they won't get ripped off.

But really, I don't know if anyone would care enough to open an alternative to PP just for this going on. What happens to authors is rarely seen as important especially SP authors which is unfortunate. It would probably have to be some big famous authors getting their books yanked down to even get media attention beyond the literary world.

I saw a discussion the other day when someone mentioned this and other folks (authors) were like, "Meh, it's just self-published erotica authors." So the attitude was like they didn't care because it wasn't serious enough based on the fact that these people were not only SP authors but wrote erotica (well in this case porn). And these were other writers saying this. So I think seeing how even some writers think that the authors aren't worthy of mention says a lot.

I even spoke to some of my closest friends and only one said, "That's awful for those authors." One said, "Who cares? They're a bunch of nobodies writing trash." Then I said, "No, they are yanking off books of people who aren't even writing erotica." One asked me, "Why do you care? It doesn't affect you. Don't worry about it." I just shook my head because even though I am not self-published nor do I write erotica or porn, I still feel like as authors we all should care and be supportive of our peers. But yeah on my end I am finding less sympathy.

I think people (other authors) are forgetting that this is something happening to a lot of authors, not just the ones writing incest sex books. But then again no one cares because these authors are SP authors so that's another thing. So with the dismissive attitudes of some folks I wouldn't be surprised if this is how the majority feels outside of the authors this is affecting.

Now I wouldn't be surprised if someone would open up an online retailer for all these porn books or something but I don't know if the fact that authors are getting books dumped will make someone other than authors care and a lot of them outside of being affected by this don't seem to.

A lot of the SP authors say they feel that epublishers are behind this to lock them out because the SP authors were selling better than them. I can't comment on that but I saw someone say that on the Kindle boards. I guess that's what it looks like to some people because some are saying, "They still have books from epublishers that are just like the ones they yanked down." Is that true? I might be wrong but my understanding was that epublishers didn't publish incest porn and stuff like that. I know they don't publish rape-for-titillation books.


message 31: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Feb 25, 2012 09:41AM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) About this not being big news, I am not seeing this being talked about on all the big sites like when Amazon yanked down those IPG books. That story was everywhere, CNN online, USA Today, everywhere.

But I've only seen the BS and SW thing talked about on a few writing/romance forums and erotica author blogs.

That right there proves a point. This is not getting headline news and I don't suspect it will. So that's why I feel like not many people other than the authors involved will care enough to do something.

And if it did get big news the general public will most likely be glad the books were yanked because they were incest porn. They will lump all the books that got yanked together.


Roslyn BTW, there are, or at least were competitors to PP. I don't know if they still exist. A while back there was a Ponzi scheme called daily pays. A lot of folks on the Long Hair forum were involved, some folk here might remember. Of course PP would have nothing to do with it, but these other payment processors did. Of course the feds shut the daily pays down. Not sure if they went after the payment processors.


Karen Scott (KarenKnowsBest) | 26 comments The SP authors who say that the epubs are only pulling them because they're outselling the pubbed authors are deluding themselves.

Of course there won't be a hue and cry about incest porn and the likes being pulled, not when most people consider porn to be a bad thing. In fact, this action enhances Paypal's reputation.

Also, pulling porn from virtual bookshelves is hardly on par with what Amazon did. This isn't a civil rights issue, it's merely a decision apparently made for financial reasons, and the only people who might be galvanised to do something, are the writers involved, but seeing as those same people go to great lengths to hide their real identities, (due to them writing smut, fetish and all that), I doubt many of them are willing to stand up and be counted.


Roslyn Why would ARe or SW care if the books are SP or not? I hesitate to say this, especially since I'm SP myself, but a lot of these people remind me of those conspiracy nuts running around with tinfoil on their heads. Just nucking futs.


message 35: by Stacy-Deanne (last edited Feb 25, 2012 04:42PM) (new)

Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) Karen,

I agree about the epublishers not feeling threatened. It's hard for me to believe that epublishers like Samhain or Ellora's Cave (companies that move thousands of books probably in an hour) would be threatened by the SP incest porn books. These aren't the type of books they publish so why would they have a grudge? I agree authors who think this are on the wrong track.

I think some of the SP authors think it's a big conspiracy going but these epublishers aren't thinking about the SP books. They sell tons of copies, have erotica authors with name recognition and built-in audiences all too happy to buy every book they put out guaranteed, so it's no competition. If anything epublishers would be worried about other epublishers, not the SP authors.


Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) I am trying to read the Dear Author thread on this but it's so frustrating. Why didn't they separate the topics? Some folks are talking about Dreamspinner and plagiarism and some about Smashwords.

It's hard to follow.


message 37: by Delaney (last edited Feb 27, 2012 05:46AM) (new)

Delaney Diamond (Delaney_Diamond) | 463 comments Stacy-Deanne wrote: "Yeah I saw it at Dear Author too but they were talking more about the woman who plagiarized and I didn't wanna sit through all that. Looks like they went into something else other than the Smashwor..."

Good points. I don't see anyone flocking to defend those kinds of books. Even people who read them probably would want to keep it quiet, and establishing another buy option to PP will be a huge undertaking.

A press called No Boundaries is taking on the books with "no home" as they're called. I don't know anything about them. Supposedly they have a different payment option, so I guess we'll see how it all shakes out.

I seriously doubt the epublishers are shaking in their boots about self-published authors. As much as I love self-publishing, I still submit to publishers. It's an alternative to getting books out there that traditional publishers/epublishers may not feel fit into their line but readers still embrace. It's also a way for writers to diversify and have another stream of income.

There are still plenty of people buying through the regular channels. Epublishers and trad publishers are backed up for months on submissions, so they have plenty of product to put out there.


Karen Scott (KarenKnowsBest) | 26 comments A press called No Boundaries is taking on the books with "no home" as they're called.

I bet the books include themes like 'enjoyable rape', daddy daughter books, cutting fetishes, and any books that most self-respecting publishers will say hell no to.

Honestly, I don't see the point, there are plenty of websites out there that offer those kind of themes for free.


Roslyn Precisely, Karen. There's plenty of that daddy/daughter and dub con Literotica. Plus, I don't think Amazon has any restrictions on it either and they're the 800 pound gorilla.


Stacy-Deanne Stacy-Deanne (wwwgoodreadscomstacydeanne) I hope authors are using caution with this No Bounds to make sure it is reputable and not just trying to take advantage of authors going through a vulnerable time.


Delaney Diamond (Delaney_Diamond) | 463 comments Responses regarding erotica titles getting pulled.

PayPal's response: https://www.thepaypalblog.com/2012/03...

Visa's response: http://www.bannedwriters.com/2012/03/...


TheFountainPenDiva | 826 comments Great news!. PayPal is reversing its decision about censoring certain subject matter. I know that some in here had personal views about pseudo-incest books and other types of erotica, but for me the bigger issue has always been about censorship. If no one had fought back, no telling what PayPal would have found offensive next. I'm an adult; let me decide what I want to read.

https://www.smashwords.com/press/rele...


Dee (Joycee) | 95 comments I myself do not like this type of literture, but I like even less someone having the ability to control what I read. I glad paypal reversed their decision. But,I think this reversal had more to do with busines ($$$) than a change in their heart.


TheFountainPenDiva | 826 comments I don't think so. PayPal is still the big guy on the block and Smashwords had already changed their terms of use. What I think happened is that there's been so much fail from retailers like Amazon's "mistake" is that PayPal just didn't want to find themselves on the firing line of a bigger campaign against them. I think a vocal and passionate group came together regardless of what types of books they read/wrote and said "no".

Like I said, "step-daddy/step-daughter" books aren't my thing, but I make common cause when it comes to being told what to read/write/buy. If PayPal got away with this, who knows, someone might think interracial romances were "controversial" and start making companies pull those.


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