A technology start-up business that I’m co-founding has as its goal helping online stores sell more by giving better experience to their clients.
As we look for our first customers, one company that we have a personal connection to and could approach for collaboration is a bookstore having an online presence.
They mostly sell regular books, but they also have an erotic section. I had a quick look at the titles and while it’s not pornography, clearly a person caring about their spiritual life should stay far away from these books.
I now see the following options:
- Don’t work with them at all.
- Put some checks in our automated system, so that if a client is interested in any of the erotic books, it doesn’t help them. Obviously, be clear about it with the bookstore owners and why we do it.
- Work with them as normal. This would mean that our automated system would probably on occasion contribute to the sale of the erotic books.
It seems to me that 1. is excessive, unless the bookstore was erotic in a larger part, not marginally. 2. is probably my preference, and it has the extra benefit of pointing out to the owners that not everyone thinks this is a category like any other. However, my co-founders say they don’t want to be censors, and also worry whether we could have legal problems for ethically-motivated differentiation like that.
So, in short, I wonder:
a. Could we be sued for insisting on 2. in our Terms and Conditions? While we’re in the EU, I’m curious about other legal systems too.
b. Is 3. an immoral option for us? Or given the small scale of the erotic section, no human involvement in our system, possible opposition of my co-founders, and possible legal consequences, this is permissible for me as a Catholic.
Thank you! God bless.