Should I Cover Up the Name of No Bullshit Social Media?

Update: Awesomize.me contacted me with a great response addressing this issue.

I wrote a book with a naughty word in the title.

My latest book, No Bullshit Social Media, which I wrote with my good friend Jason Falls, has generated surprisingly little controversy. It’s been placed cover out on all the shelves in all the Barnes & Noble bookstores. It was even on their New Arrivals shelf, top center, where everyone could see it.

Of course, there has been some controversy. I’ve given presentations where I had to refer to the book as “No BS.” One group asked that I not mention the book at all, and since they dealt with a lot of very conservative Christians, who would be attending the conference, I was fine with that. (I covered up most of the offending word, and kept the cover one the last slide of the slide deck though.)

I’m not ashamed of the title. I’m not sorry I did it. I understand that some people don’t like saying it, and I’m fine with that. If they want to call it No BS, they’re more than welcome to. I won’t tell someone to do something they’re not comfortable with.

But what’s bothering me today is a particular social network, awesomize.me is covering up the title of the book completely. In my bio, I included the title of my book, spelled out in all its 4 letter (8 letter?) glory.

However, the “no naughty words” algorithm covered up the word, and recast it as No @#$% Social Media.

This actually bothers me. I can’t tell you why. It’s not censorship, because awesomize.me is a private company, and they can do what they want. If they want to make a rule that says “no swear words,” then they’re free to do it.

But at the same time, I’m annoyed by the fact that on a social network made up of grownups, I can’t use a grownup word. Not in a gratuitous, shocking, let’s-make-everyone-giggle kind of a way. But in a this-is-a-real-book-title way.

The easy thing to do would be to just change the title of the book myself to “No BS Social Media,” or “No Bull***” or even “No Bullsh*t.” But I don’t want to. That’s not the name of the book.

Am I overreacting? Should I just toe the line and change the title of the book in my bio? Or should I stand firm on principle, and refuse to change it, even if it means that people are going to wonder what @#$% stands for?

What would you do?

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    About Erik Deckers

    Erik Deckers is the President of Pro Blog Service, a content marketing and social media marketing agency in Indianapolis, IN. He co-authored three social media books, including No Bullshit Social Media with Jason Falls (2011, Que Biz-Tech), and Branding Yourself with Kyle Lacy (2nd ed., 2012; Que Biz-Tech), and The Owned Media Doctrine (2013, Archway Publishing). Erik has written a weekly newspaper humor column for 10 papers around Indiana since 1995. He was also the Spring 2016 writer-in-residence at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, FL.

    Comments

    1. Tatiana Sorabi says:

      Erick, We put a temp solution in place. It’s not a perfect one at our end, but it works for now. Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. One of our team member is working on a permanent solution. We just wanted to put something in place for now so your book doesn’t miss the well deserved marketing exposure from awesomize.me :) Here is your page.

      Thx
      Tatiana

    2. Tatiana Sorabi says:

      PS: I will certainly buy your book. On that note, check out our latest blog post:

      Why Your Business Can’t Afford Ignoring Google+ and awesomize.me
      http://wp.me/pJnAS-5Av

    3. Tatiana Sorabi says:

      Meanwhile, I encourage you to create a page for your company and book on our site. You can use the “Add Product” Template for your book

    4. Tatiana Sorabi says:

      Erick, We are working on the issue. You jumped on this too quick. Your inquiry was forwarded to me last week. This was the first incident for us. We are still in startup phase and lacking resources.

      To avoid ending up another myspace, we have put in place a strong policing system to keep the spammers and offenders away. We fully realize you are neither spammer nor offender. We are trying to come up with a solution how to separate your case with others. Once, the solution is in place, I send you a note

      Thx

      Tatiana Sorabi
      awesomize.me

      “Ask Not How Your Fans and Followers Can Awesomize You…Ask How You Can Awesomize Them!”

    5. Dewey Chaffee says:

      Erik,

      I deal with this exact same situation over and over again since our show has the word screw in it. On basic principle alone I don’t like it when others who are uncomfortable with a word change MY title. I don’t enjoy your shitty- looking hairstyle, but it never occurs to me to force you to change it. I simply go somewhere that will allow me NOT to look at it.

      One time, when I worked in a bookstore, a customer complained to me that she saw nudity in a graphic novel on our shelves. She said, “I am offended.” I said to her, “I understand. but the great news is, now you know which section to stay away from.”

      I say stick to your guns. I would. But that’s easy for me to say from here. I don’t have to try and sell them, right?

      It’s all bullshit.

    6. What’s amusing is that while they’re masking the word in your bio, it still comes through perfectly clear via the Twitter feed further down on the page for this exact post discussing the issue! ;)

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    2. […] Awesomize.me very politely pointing out that I can be a big whiner at times. After my last post, Should I Cover Up the Name of No Bullshit Social Media?, Tatiana responded a couple days later with this very nice comment. Erik, We are working on the […]