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.