WARNING: Please note the content of this post may act as a trigger.
Amazon’s self-publishing feature for e-books allows anybody to put their work up for sale — a great feature for writers who haven’t had any luck with publishers or who see no merit in going that route in this increasingly digital world. The problem? The platform is open to anyone, including people like Phillip R. Greaves II, who has dragged Amazon into a heated argument over liability, with an e-book book titled The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover’s Code of Conduct.
The book description reads as follows:
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. 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.
The book, which sold for $4.79 until its removal Thursday, featured “recollections” of Greave’s sexual encounters as a youth with adults, as well as advice for pedophiles on having safe sex with a child and how to avoid social ire and retaliation.
According to MSNBC, Amazon initially issued a statement defending the book, saying: “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.”
This statement runs contrary to Amazon’s content guidelines, which clearly state that they reserve the right to determine the appropriateness of titles sold on their site as well as asks that books must adhere to applicable laws and not lead to the production of an illegal item or activity.
According to BlogHer editors, Amazon pulled and replaced the book several times over the course of the night until it was finally removed Thursday morning. It remains unclear whether Amazon or the author took it down.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon’s initial position with regard to the e-book has resulted in a massive public outcry. Many groups are taking to social media promoting a full boycott of the site this holiday season.
In the world of custserv 2.0, it doesn’t matter so much what the court says. It’s all about the consumers and they’re not about to sit around passively on this one.
Information via BlogHer.