(TRIGGER ALERT, UPDATED) #Amazonfail Twitstorm: Kindle Store Selling Self-Published Pedophilia How-To

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CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY - JULY 10:  Amazon's new Kindle DX 9.7' Wireless Reading Device is ready for shipment at the warehouse on June 10, 2009 in Campbellsville, Kentucky.  The reader can hold thousands of books and has text-to-speech capability among other features. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)

Did you know that you can self-publish on Amazon? You can, and that's kind of cool. What's not cool is that it means that anyone can self-publish on Amazon -- people like Phillip R Greaves II, who self-published an ebook called The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure. Yes, you read that right.

The book description:

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.

My Twitter stream exploded with tweets about this today. Some called for a boycott of Amazon until the book is removed. Others encouraged people to post trigger warning with the link. One thing that was the same about all the tweets I saw was the outrage that people felt.

Twitter pointed me to a discussion about the book in a MobileReads forum that stated Amazon replied to the complaints on an Amazon.com forum. I found the forum but the response from Amazon wasn't exactly there ... Amazon.com allegedly replied to a complaint about the book via email by stating it is censorship not to sell certain titles. The alleged response to the complaint was pasted into the forum and contains the following:

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.

But this response seems to be in conflict with Amazon's own Content Guidelines, which state:

Offensive Material

What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect. Amazon Digital Services, Inc. reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of Titles sold on our site.

Illegal Items

Titles sold through the Digital Text Platform Program must adhere to all applicable laws. Some Titles that may not be sold include any Titles which may lead to the production of an illegal item or illegal activity.

Pedophilia is illegal and therefore a self-proclaimed guide to pedophilia would fall under those guidelines, don't you think? The author's comments on the book's page do nothing to help the situation. In the comments section of the book's listing page on Amazon.com, he replies to the protestations about the books' content by stating that pedophiles "share sexual pleasure" with children and pedophiles only rape children in the "statutory sense of the word."

The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure
The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure

I haven't read the book. I certainly don't want to. It seems to me, and again I'm not a legal expert, that this book violates Amazon's content guidelines. Hopefully the public outcry in response to the book will mean that it is removed, but only Amazon can make that decision.

But if they don't remove it, I know this -- I will not buy anything from a company that sells this material. I would not shop in a physical store that would display that on the shelf, and why should it be any different online? The holidays are the on the horizon. I have a lot of shopping to do. If Amazon continues to sell this book, I know that they will not get a single penny of my money, nor will any of the companies they own. I'll take my money somewhere else.

Will you shop Kindle with this book present?

Updated 11/11, 11 a.m. ET, by Editors of BlogHer: Overnight, Amazon pulled and replaced the book several times. As this post was updated, the book appears to be down and the page is yielding an error.

As Wednesday progressed, the story went from being one primarily covered in the blogosphere to one noticed by mainstream media, including ABC, CNBC, CBS and CNN.

Contributing Editor Karen Ballum also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.


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