Publishers now quail before Twitter

From Lionel Shriver at Spectator US:

Suppose you’re a writer with a self-destructive proclivity for sticking your neck out. Would you sign a book contract that would be canceled in the instance of ‘sustained, widespread public condemnation of the author’? Even cautious, congenial writers are working in an era when a bland, self-evident physiological assertion like ‘women don’t have penises’ attracts a school of frenzied piranhas. So journalists would be fools to sign a document voided if, in a magazine’s ‘sole judgment’, they were the subject of ‘public disrepute, contempt, complaints or scandals’.

These are the ‘morality clauses’ arising in standard publishing contracts in the wake of #MeToo. More.

Reality check: It was bound to happen. The Raging Woke, who know nothing about a book or the author (and may never have been able to read a book right through and talk about what they learned) can now do what centuries of attempted censors have often failed to do: Tweet a book into oblivion, with the publisher’s approval.

One wonders whether most of the world’s worthwhile reading will end up on the dark internet.

See also: Twitter doesn’t just seem out of control. It is.


No, Twitter is not the New Awful. It’s the Old Awful back for more. The Town Without Pity