Okay so I am a bit late to the game on this one. Looks like all of the outrage over the following started on Wednesday. Apparently a Kindle book was put up on Amazon called “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Conduct” and of course outrage ensued. I think it is pretty safe to say the vast majority of us are strongly against pedophilia. Amazon ended up pulling the book, which took a bit of time because of some of the legal issues they were up against. You can see the final resolution of the issue here: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/11/11/pedophile.guide/?hpt=T2
I just can’t help myself…I have a couple things I need to say about this. First of all the overwhelming initial sentiment and knee-jerk reaction was for people to start yelling about how they are going to boycott Amazon and will pull all of there reviews etc from Amazon’s site. Now I don’t know about the rest of you but Amazon has kind of become an intergral part of my life with the Vine program, reviewing, and even running this blog. Given that Amazon doesn’t screen all of the Kindle books that are published I feel like this is a pretty harsh and stupid reaction…it’s not really going to solve anything. Unfortunately this whole issue burns down to a more basic question…should Amazon be able to decide what is and isn’t published on their site?
Granted in this case it was dealing with pedophilia, which is probably one of the only issues that 99.999% of the population agree is a horrible thing and shouldn’t be allowed. But what if this was a more controversial issue? What if someone wrote a handbook to abortion? Should Amazon ban sales of that book in states where is abortion is illegal? Do we really want a large corporate conglomerate telling us what we should and shouldn’t read? I know I for one don’t want that. I agree with the comment Amazon returned with which was:
“Let me assure you that 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. Therefore, we’ll continue to make controversial works available in the United States and everywhere else, except where they’re prohibited by law. We also allow readers, authors, and publishers to express their views freely about these titles and other products we offer on our website. However, Amazon.com doesn’t endorse opinions expressed by individual authors, musical artists, or filmmakers. “