“…Amazon.com does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts; we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions. Amazon.com believes it is censorship not to sell certain titles because we believe their message is objectionable.”
—Amazon.com to the technology blog TechCrunch, in response to the bookseller’s offering the e-book, The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover’s Code of Conduct by Philip R. Greaves II.
It isn’t censorship to refuse to sell a book that actively promotes criminal treatment of children, any more than it is censorship to refuse to publish it….as any responsible publisher would have done in this case. Books giving advice about how to assassinate the President, how to poison the water supply, and how to make your daughter your lover would also apparently fit Amazon’s irresponsible and dishonest definition of books that it has an obligation to sell.
Yes, it’s a slippery slope, but this isn’t even a close call.
Amazon, beset with protests and a P.R. disaster, changed its mind and pulled the book. Unfortunately, we now know more about what Amazon considers ethical business practices, and it is not encouraging.