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#AmazonFail and the Sale of Pedophilia Guidebooks

If you’re seeing #AmazonFail on twitter today it’s probably because they are selling this book.

Yes. Really.

Amazon has also released a statement that says in part:

“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.”

Which is fascinating, except when I go to their support forums I see this:

Content Guidelines

Titles sold through the Digital Text Platform Program must follow our content policy and guidelines, detailed below. Publishers are expected to conduct proper research to ensure that the Titles sold through the Digital Text Platform Program are in compliance with all local, state, national, and international laws. If Amazon Digital Services, Inc. determines that the content of a Title is prohibited, we may summarily remove or alter it without returning any fees. Amazon Digital Services, Inc. reserves the right to make judgments about whether or not content is appropriate.Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with some examples of prohibited content:

Pornography and hard-core material that depicts graphic sexual acts.

Offensive Material
What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect. Amazon Digital Services, Inc. reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of Titles sold on our site.

Illegal Items
Titles sold through the Digital Text Platform Program must adhere to all applicable laws. Some Titles that may not be sold include any Titles which may lead to the production of an illegal item or illegal activity.

Perhaps someone at Amazon want to enlighten me and let me know when an adult fucking a child isn’t illegal?

On a very personal level I really don’t want to boycott Amazon, because I have a wonderful book for sale there right now that is written to support a fabulous nonprofit. If you decided to boycott Amazon, you can buy a digital copy of the book here.

If you’re looking for Amazon’s 800 number it is (800) 201-7575 or (866) 216-1072.

At a minimum all of us moms should not be buying toys from Amazon. I don’t think they should be able to abuse our kids and profit from them all at once.

UPDATED: I hear some whisperings that this book is a spoof. Assuming that to be true (I’ve not read it) I’m still left wondering how it doesn’t violate their very own Content Guidelines. We are clearly looking at criminal activity.
UPDATE: The bravest blogger in the world has bought the book. It is absolutely a manual for raping children. Proceed at your own risk.

Update: more text is found at TechCrunch, do NOT read this if you think it will give you nightmares. Whatever it is you are imagining, it’s in the book.

21 thoughts on “#AmazonFail and the Sale of Pedophilia Guidebooks”

  1. I understand not wanting to boycott Amazon because your book, among many of the other author/bloggers who’ve written one. I’m not sure how to deal with that aspect, though, because I do want to support my fellow bloggers, but I do NOT want to support Amazon. Are there are other ways to purchase these books (like you’ve offered, digitally), or do these author/bloggers have a say in pulling their books from being for sale there?

    1. I don’t have an answer to that question. I’m still hoping they’ll see the light, and make a smart business decision, as well as a compassionate decision.

      The good news is that I don’t think I need to have an answer within the new few moments, but certainly we all will before the holiday season.

  2. I am a firm believer in the freedom of speech, even when the speech is abhorrent.

    Amazon’s reply, I think, is appropriate.

    BUT. But, and it’s a but as big as my own…

    In my opinion, their Content Guidelines clearly give them final say without it being an issue of censorship. They already addressed the issue when they wrote this.

    My question is, if they feel that this book does not fall in the Offensive Material category that they have already outlined, what does? Where is their “line”?

  3. Gosh, forgive me, but I find this blog post among all of the other ones and tweets so ironic. While trying to get the book removed, in the process, everyone is offering the author a crapload of free advertising.

    While the numbers are slim (I hope), I imagine there are quite a few pedophiles that are delighted to see all these tweets and posts, they were just introduced to new reading material.

  4. Talking about an illegal act is not in and of itself illegal. And unless the actual content is illegal (pornographic, it incites violence, it is a clear and present danger, etc.), it falls under Amazon’s content guidelines.

      1. I did read those. Unfortunately, discussing finding prophylactics for boys under 13 is not illegal. Sex education classes talk about the use of condoms to kids younger than 13 every day.

        It seems to me that the book is a guide for pedophiles who don’t want to break the law, and if they’re not breaking the law, it’s not illegal.

        Don’t get me wrong – I find the whole thing despicable. But I don’t think it crosses that line. I just wrote about a thousand words on the subject myself.

        1. I sort of want to read the book so that I can find all the places he breaks the law, but then I’d get screechy and shrill and quite possibly never let my children leave the house again without an armed guard.

          And then on a more personal level I’m sickened that he’s from the very small town where I went to college. So I feel worried about my “once upon a time home”

          1. If I could get a copy without paying for it, I would read the book, too, because if I could find anything illegal in there, I’d be first in line to get it removed. It’s terrifying, true.

            He sounds, from the interviews, like he’s mentally disabled or something. Maybe he was born under power lines.

  5. Ugh. Reading about this garbage made me physically nauseated. I have a Kindle and buy A LOT of stuff on Amazon (ebooks included), for myself and my family. I love(d) Amazon. I hope they do the right thing and remove the book. No matter what your views on free speech, their content guidelines are clear.

  6. Freedom of speech is one thing. That pervo is entitled to think and write what ever he wants, as long as he doesn’t hurt any children. However, Amazon is full of it in the sense that as a business, they have the right to carry or not carry whatever merchandise they choose. No one forced them to list that book on their site. In fact, it was most likely an oversight and a CYA operation after the fact. I blogged about Amazon’s betrayal of our trust as consumers and their abuse of the social media uproar as a PR vehicle to suit their own agenda.

  7. For me it was a simple call. But a friend questioned the whole freedom of speech/book burning aspects and I said “put it this way – if it were a film ‘teaching’ these things instead of a book – would you defend the filmmaker? If yes, would you defend the movie theater profiting from selling tickets for it?” It’s funny how the medium impacts the perception.

    I tend to err on the side of anti-censorship. But this one falls past my lines – as it was quite clear that the issue was one of Amazon making a profit off of something that teaches people how to victimize children, not one of telling the author he can’t write that (another issue entirely, one the law would have to deal with.)

    I am so happy they didn’t dig their heels in due to the Internet movement – a less mature approach would’ve been to say “well now we’re not changing our position because that would be giving in!” instead of saying “okay, we’ve listened – we are removing it.”

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