Happy Ending, Ominous Plot

Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson, a prominent critic of the Wuhan virus lockdowns, submitted his booklet, “Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns” for sale on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing site, where he has had other works published. Ten minutes after he tweeted that his manuscript had been submitted, he added, “I can’t believe it. They censored it,” to this message:

But after fellow billionaire Elon Musk re-tweeted the message to Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos noting “This is insane” and adding “Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!,” Amazon reversed its decision.  Berenson received notice from Amazon’s customer relations department that his book would, indeed, be available for purchase within hours.  Amazon claimed to have pulled the publication “in error.”

It’s nice that Amazon was shamed into dropping its attempted censorship, but the inclination of the tech and communications giants to use their power to control what the public gets to see, hear and read is becoming increasingly apparent. If billionaires are only going to yield to the objections of other billionaires, the nightmare oligarchy will have become a reality.

3 thoughts on “Happy Ending, Ominous Plot

  1. I have to admit, I really do like Amazon, and I want it to be a big friendly giant. But I think Musk is right in a sense. Amazon needs a powerful competitor to keep it in check, but at this point, I don’t think any business on its own could scale up to Amazon’s level and make it a competition.

    Jack, how would you advise a giant corporation like Amazon on how to keep ethical? Do you subscribe to having a department dedicated to maintaining an ethical culture, or do you favor a more diffused approach, by trying to coach all employees from the CEO on down to individually act responsibly? I’m thinking of how safety departments are structured in industry, where they work to promote a culture of safety by insisting that it is everyone’s responsibility, and then follow through with regular audits on all procedures, work permits, and so on to ensure people are behaving properly.

    • Ryan
      Given that Bezos controls Amazon it is highly unlikely given his behavior with The Washington Post will be able to give leadership in ethics.

      • Highly unlikely, agreed. Just because I’d like Amazon to be the big friendly giant doesn’t mean that it actually is, or even will be. But, if in some parallel universe, there was a CEO of a gigantic corporation who was willing to hire Jack as a consultant, what would that consulting look like?

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