There are blatant and subtle censorship and both are equally wrong.
The Friday Flash initiative on Twitter and on Internet certainly becomes very wrong because of this.
Here is what the organizer says in the guidelines:
«Please, no explicit erotica or gratuitous graphic violence. You can post them, but they will drive readers away and will not be included in the weekly wrap».
He evidently wants timid and sexually and morally inhibited readers. I, myself, and others fortunately set higher standards.
During my editing of my novel Dreams Belong to the Night I got lots of creative energy released and started writing short stories on an assembly line, and the Friday Flash seemed, at first glance to be a suitable arena for them. That was what I figured… until I read the before mentioned misguided guidelines.
I write all kind of stories and don’t have to write «gratuitous violence» or erotica, even though that part of my creativity is stimulated every time I come across shit like this. I know all the arguments people like the organizer are using and they’re all wrong or irrelevant and dangerous. Dadaism and Transgression and similar have been my guidelines since I started making art.
People usually ask me questions like these on these occasions: «It’s his thing. Shouldn’t he be allowed to decide the rules»? «Why don’t you let this one go quietly and go elsewhere»?
And similar stupidity.
The answer is simple and obvious:
No, we shouldn’t leave censorship in peace. Never! We do not live in a vacuum, in our own self-contained world. Censorship in one place supports it everywhere.
Freedom of expression should be total, everywhere, of course. Anything contributing to diminishing that, contributes to diminishing life itself. Censorship is very common today. That doesn’t make it right, but even more wrong.
Any artist not seeing the crucial value of free expression isn't much of an artist, or much of a reader, for that matter.
I will call my stories «My Thursday short stories» instead. Having your own blog and your own countless ways of expressing yourself freely is a great thing about Internet and the digital revolution. I and others may come back to you with some sort of collective platform here.
I have unfollowed the before mentioned organizer on Twitter, of course. I kept using the Friday Flash «logo» for a while, as an added protest, but not anymore.