The online retail giant says that they’re continuing to sell the book because they don’t want to censor it. Something that doesn’t make sense for two reasons. First of all, Amazon already exercises editorial judgment over the books and movies they sell (you can’t, after all, buy porn on Amazon). Second, a private company making a private decision not to sell a book isn’t censorship.
Amazon’s stance against censorship may be getting “5 stars” from a handful of its customers, but the big bookseller is getting single-star ratings and threats from consumers promising to “take their business elsewhere” in protest of a controversial volume on its Kindle sales shelf.
“The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure” is getting overwhelmingly negative reaction from online shoppers who have used comments like “absolutely disgusting” and “Are you insane?” in posts that pan both the book and Amazon for selling it.
More than 1,400 comments had been posted to the Amazon listing early Wednesday evening; about 99 percent were critical of Amazon’s decision to sell the volume and many posters were indicating they would boycott making purchases there if the company continued to offer the “Pedophile’s Guide.”
This really is a disgusting work:
“This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow,” writes book author Phillip R. Greaves. “I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter [sic] sentences should they ever be caught.”
Amazon issued this statement on their decision to sell the book:
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.
Despite this statement, issued yesterday, today it appears as though Amazon has taken down its sales page for the book. A search in their database still turns up a result for it, but when you click on the link the page has been taken down.
Good on them, though it’s hard to imagine why the defended selling the book in the first place. As a private company they can sell whatever works they want, but we their customers (and I’m a very good Amazon customer indeed) can also choose to stop shopping there as well.