Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Should we censor Netflix?

I found a discussion on a Vegan Web site about a movie Netflix is carrying which portrays a dogfight. Dogfighting is illegal in the United States, and terribly inhumane to animals. We have a God-given obligation to be good custodians of creation, and you can tell what's in a person's heart by how they treat their animals. I understand and appreciate using animals as servants or soldiers, to feed and protect us, but cruelty for entertainment is the product of a depraved society.

Animal rights activists on the Veg Pub site suggest persuading Netflix to delete the dogfighting title from their database. I say "go for it." Under capitalism, you can ask anyone to delete a title from their store because of your personal beliefs, and you can boycott anyone you like. That's how capitalism works. You are meant to vote with your dollars. It is not fascism or dictatorship for consumers decide where to spend their money, based on their own personal reasons.

But I see a lot of stuff on Netflix which offends me, like Michael Moore "documentaries," and Gaspar Noe movies, but I have never asked Netflix to stop offering them, because I am a believer in free speech. I don't want to tell you what you can and can't watch, because I don't want you telling me what I can and can't watch.

Even though we have the freedom and the right to protest any movie Netflix carries, we must exercise that right prudently. A world cleansed of all disagreeable content would exclude us all.

Update: the movie has been removed from the Netflix library, so the above link is broken.


  1. Outstanding post. I couldn't agree more. Very well said.

  2. Thank you for the compliment.

  3. I'm OK with the the fact that they don't carry porn, narrowly defined. But if Netflix ever starts taking sides on controversial issues by censoring their catalog, then I'm one subscriber who will be looking for a competing service. The "capitalist" argument works both ways, thank you.

    Animal rights activists are a particularly obnoxious set of busybodies, but bluenoses who want to control what the rest of us can watch are to be found in all political stripes. Give these folks an inch and they'll take a mile.