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Amazon Defends "Pedophile's Guide": Will You Boycott Them?

By Sierra Black |

Amazon should stop selling how-to guides for child molesters

Amazon should stop selling how-to guides for child molesters

Amazon is defending their right to sell a how-to guide for pedophiles. Apparently I was wrong about them not having drunk the “no censorship” kool-aid.

Not only are they continuing to sell the book, they told The Marketing Mama that they believe it would be censorship to cut it from the Kindle just because it makes some people unhappy.

Even though their guidelines clearly state that they won’t publish “objectionable” material or anything that could lead to illegal activities.

Their statement reads:

“Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.”

MSNBC reports they’ve used that argument in the past to defend other pro-pedophilia books.

As Backpacking Dad points out, they’re just wrong. Censorship is when the government decides what people are allowed to read, write or publish. Continuing to sell this book is a business decision for Amazon.

A bad business decision, too.

The executives at Amazon may not yet know Catherine Connors from Her Bad Mother and Kristen Chase from Cool Mom Picks by name, but they will soon. Cool Mom Picks has said they won’t promote Amazon through their posts and or holiday guides until this book is removed from the site.

Other bloggers have organized a petition to support a boycott of Amazon until this disgusting book comes down.

Amazon is a behemoth, but a well-organized publicity blackout from some of the biggest names in blogging will sting, especially at the holidays.

Is it worth the material cost to them to defend a self-published tract that openly flouts Amazon’s own stated content guidelines? I guess we’ll find out. I certainly don’t want Amazon to be bullied into deleting a book every time a special interest group gets a hate on for one of their titles.

On the other hand, this is a book about how to rape children and get away with it. That’s very far away from a controversial political position.

Several people have suggested it’s a troll pulling a prank. I prayed they were right, and wanted to find out. But not badly enough to risk giving a rapist $5 for his insights on how to pull off a violent crime.

Blogger I, Asshole went there for me. She may be the only person who has actually bought a copy. The author told The Smoking Gun he’s sold one copy so far.

She says the book is exactly what the cover says it is, and offers a few choice passages I won’t repeat here. She reports that it describes child rape as “appropriate” and includes pornographic descriptions of adults violating children.

There is a very powerful voice in my head that says book burning is always bad. I am going to have to rely on Neil Gaiman to jump into the fray at some point and make the case for Amazon’s behavior here. Me: I’m going to wash my brain out with ethanol.

What I won’t be doing is joining the boycott on Amazon. Confession time: I have actually been boycotting Amazon since the last major AmazonFail, when they briefly stripped thousands of GLBT titles of their sales rank because they were deemed inappropriate.

I just don’t want to help a publishing company and marketplace that has as large a market share as Amazon does grow any bigger. Whether they’re defending pedophiles or discriminating against the queers, Amazons sheer size makes every misstep too big. I’ll spend my money at smaller, local businesses.

Meanwhile, I’ll close with Jessica Gottleib’s awesome question: “Perhaps someone at Amazon want to enlighten me and let me know when an adult f**king a child isn’t illegal?”

Want to let Amazon know what you think?  Call (800) 201-7575 or (866) 216-1072.

Photo: Amazon

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About Sierra Black

sierra

Sierra Black

Sierra Black lives, writes and raises her kids in the Boston area. She loves irreverence, hates housework and wants to be a writer and mom when she grows up. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sierra's latest posts →

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23 thoughts on “Amazon Defends "Pedophile's Guide": Will You Boycott Them?

  1. SG says:

    Are they INSANE?? Would you sell a book titled “How to Rape Someone”?? Censorship is one thing, we don’t live in a black and white world – it’s all shades of gray. It’s OK to choose not to sell something that is this offensive to your buying audience. You are a business and pretty soon, you will be OUT of business!

  2. Ashley says:

    That is disgusting!

  3. Aniqua B says:

    The fact that they are supporting thid book shows how little they care about.a child’s life and that’s sickComments

  4. bbkersey says:

    Not Good, not good for anyoneComments

  5. Bethany says:

    Its lunacy and complete irresponsibility! It makes me sad. I buy my books via my KINDLE and as of right now until this crap is taken away I will avoid amazon.com at all costs.

  6. Rebecca Weger says:

    Commentsi won’t boycott. But it is worth monitoring Amazon’s consistency and compliance with their policies. I want to buy whatever I want to read, and I’d like there to be at least one company from which I could do that.

  7. Anon says:

    That statement does not say they won’t publish that objectionable material or material that may lead to criminal activity at all, just that they don’t promote it.

  8. Liz/ Cool Mom Picks says:

    To clarify, Cool Mom Picks is not behind any organized boycott–although we respect those bloggers who are. We simply choose not to support Amazon this holiday season.

    There are many other wonderful retailers we’re proud to lend our support to.

  9. Guelmi Sori says:

    Comments Pedophilia is criminal

  10. Jean says:

    censorship is enforcing that no one should be able to get the ideas. The author of this filth is welcome to construct a website to post and sell it, or sell his print books on a street corner to “get his message out there.” I don’t support burning his book. But neither do any booksellers have to support it by putting it on their shelves, virtual or otherwise. Amazon wants to make money from the sale, and from people who would buy there just because they are crying free speech over theis garbage. The problem is that they are too big for any boycott to make a difference. Ahh there’s a sticking point. Yet another reason to get a Sony reader instead of a Kindle. And in answer to the first comment; yes they would sell a book entitled how to rape someone, if they thought they could make a buck off it. That is the slimy side of capitalism

  11. Buena Suerte says:

    This is hardly bad what Amazon.com is doing… Yo should see what they’re doing in Japan http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/search/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acandy+doll&keywords=candy+doll&ie=UTF8&qid=1289452006

  12. Sarah says:

    The issue here, is not about censorship, it is about promoting criminal activity. YouTube tried to keep video’s up from Terrorists, claiming it would be censorship to take them down. In the end, it became very clear that they were defending minority rights and risking lives by doing so. Paedophiles not only commit a crime by raping children, they destroy a childs whole life. Children never recover from the emotional damage!

  13. Joan T says:

    CommentsThis is the most disgusting thing I have read.

  14. Jo says:

    As having been a victim of a paedophile, (more than once), I find this is an insult & a horror for children who will suffer the consequences of the selling of this book to the sick minds that are on the brink & don’t know how to go about it. They should NOT be assisted in their sickness! I liked & used Amazon, so very disappointed that they are that desperate for sales that they would stoop this low. Very sad & very sick of their marketing/sales departments. What does that say about the state of the rest of the world as well? The nightmare will continue for many thru this act. Watch for the signs in your children & make sure they know they can come to you to talk no matter what!!! Let them know you love them – NO MATTER WHAT!! It’s what they need to know to stop it more than it is….I know – Been there. I never got the love I needed nor the self security, it means so much to your children to know that Mum & Dad love them unconditionally when they are little thru to adulthood too. Never enough love….always too much frustration & anger….Love your children & listen to what they tell you & to WHAT THEY DON’T. God bless you all.

  15. Brian says:

    It sounds like Amazon is, legally speaking, trying to behave like a telephone company, a “common carrier”. That isn’t quite what they are saying, but it would justify their behavior. A “common carrier” says, “Hey, we don’t control the content, we just deliver it. If you got an obscene phone call or saw a bad website, blame someone else!” I don’t think that argument is going to fly here, though.
    I’ve hated Amazon for years, but mostly because of how badly they treat publishers, big and especially small.

  16. Melissa says:

    Amazon certainly has a right to sell this filth and I have a right to not give them my business anymore. They made their choice and I’ve made mine. I don’t believe in censorship but I do believe in common sense and decency.

  17. bob says:

    Go get ‘em, yall! I know if I would have been lost without a gynephilia/teleiosexuality instruction manual, absurdly grinding up against lampposts and parked cars in desperate bewilderment.

  18. Sierra Black says:

    @Brian: Thank you! That “common carrier” argument is exactly what I was reaching for in trying to understand them. And I don’t think it flies. I believe in ‘net neutrality, and if the creep who wrote this book buys himself a creepy server and a creepy domain name and puts it out himself, well, I wish him luck in all the long conversations he’ll get to have with the FBI about whether or not he’s promoting/trafficking child pornography. But I’d defend his right to say whatever he likes on the ‘net, just like I’d defend his right to print up his own copies and leave them around town if he feels like it.

    Amazon isn’t the only publisher, though. They’re not taking away his right or ability to write whatever filth he wants if they refuse to sell it. No one is guaranteed an audience, just freedom from prosecution.

  19. SJ says:

    Really? Name check but no link?

  20. Sierra Black says:

    There’s a link to your post. It works for me. Or did you mean something else?

  21. iodjam says:

    sooooooo disgusting amazon should b soooo ashamed of themselves it makes them as sick as the people who r paedophiles eughhhhhhh some1 needs a slap :(

  22. Susanne says:

    Thanks for the info. I will NOT be doing any shopping at amazon this Christmas.

  23. anon says:

    I for one will never buy anything from them again, and I am certain they will lose a lot of faithful buyers. This is beyond disgusting and just plain evil! Goodbye amazon..

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