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Thursday, November 11, 2010

#AmazonFail

Don't mess with Mama Bear and her cubs. 

While many people have voiced complaints about the downsides of social media, the mothers of Twitter have used it for a good cause.  They have banned together against the nation's leading online business.

Yesterday Amazon was selling an e-book titled, The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child Lover's Code of Conduct. For only $4.95, the e-book would be quickly and privately downloaded. Today, the book has been pulled from the listings because of blogger threats to boycott Amazon.  Catherine Conners, writer of the blog, Her Bad Mother. began a Twitter campaign yesterday, sending tweets to over 9,000 followers and also using the hashtag, #AmazonFail. 



Her original tweet, which was retweeted hundreds of times, read: "Please boycott @amazon until this (TRIGGER WARNING) pedophilia instruction manual gets removed http://amzn.to/9SKcJi #amazonfail."

Conners told ParentDish, "The abuse of children thrives on silence," she says. "The sexual abuse of children especially thrives on silence. I think that we need to be outspoken and unsilent on anything that supports or perpetuates the abuse of children."

Dr. Phil and Anderson Cooper chimed in on the topic this morning:  Click HERE to see the YouTube clip.

Amazon has removed the book, and while many are happy and relieved, others are still wondering when Amazon will release a public apology. 

This story gets even more shocking. Apparently the removal of the book has sparked some to say that this book should not be removed and doing so is a violation of the First Amendment.  Should we encourage book censorship?

My Take: 
Amazon needs to take steps to ensure that offensive materials that have the potential to harm innocent children are removed. Amazon is a private business. Just because they choose to not sell a book does not mean that the book has been censored from the entire population. It means that they are taking a stand against criminal behavior. There should be a screening process in effect to prevent this type of material from slipping through the Amazon cracks.

I believe that the first amendment was not enacted to protect the words and voices of criminals. 

With all of the recent attacks on social media (bullying, etc), I am happy to see a positive action as a result of many individuals making use of a very powerful network

Want to read more? Here are few links to get you caught up.

-Amazon's Statement
-OneNews: Amazon Pulls Book
-Fox News Report
-PopeHat: Amazon, Outrage, Pedophilia, and the Internet
-CNBC: Amazon in Violation of Masha's Law

Voice your opinion. How do you feel about Amazon's original decision to limit the censorship of reading material? Is an Amazon boycott necessary? Where do you stand on the issue? 

18 comments:

  1. Amazon doesn't sell porn but will sell this disgusting book? Set a standard across the board.

    A boycott is necessary if it becomes available for purchase again... Despicable and disgraceful issue!

    Hope it gets fixed, apology issued, etc.

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  2. I highly agree w/ your My take. That is exactly right, just because amazon refuses to sell something doesn't mean it's censored. I am sure that guy has found other ways to distribute that 'book' (should we even call it that?)

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  3. I am glad to hear it is off the site, Still really bothered with them that they decided to put it up there at all. If it had a different title and the description was a little different I could understand it slipping by. With the title and what it said and they still let it makes me want to take my business elsewhere, where I know that they are trying to do what they can to help protect our children from the get go not because bloggers and the social media got upset. I do think that is why they pulled it the boycott right before the holidays Not because they have a spine and care.

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  4. The fact that Amazon didn't recognize the potential PR nightmare that was the result of putting this book up for sale is mind-boggling to me. I understand that Amazon will not under any circumstance put up pornographic content, which made the availability of this book even more controversial. I think it wasn't a matter of First Amendment rights they were upholding, it was just a very bad business call and lack of judgment, IMHO.

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  5. I'm glad they took it down, but I'm absolutely flabbergasted that it took them as long as they did.

    To me, that is like turning a blind eye to something and when it involves a child, well frankly it puts Amazon in a light almost as bad as the pedophile.

    You would think Amazon being as big as they are would have certain keyword alerts set up so that items added to the site for sale with those keywords would get put into a review que by a person before being sold.

    I've already gone and removed everything that I could from my profile and payment stuff there and found an alternative, because the book may be down but I just can't support something if I don't believe what happened once would never happen again.

    There has been no real action on the Amazon side other then the removal of the book as far as I know, so whose to say what they will actually do when the dust settles.

    I think this is one of those situations where a temporary boycott just may not be enough.

    Just my two cents.

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  6. First of all, thanks for the comprehensive overview on the scandal. Well done.

    OMG so so sooo disturbing! I don't think this has anything to do with censorship. It's about not spreading hateful things. Would censorship be an issue if racism were the issue and not child abuse? Sexism? Homophobia? If it's blatantly wrong, it's just wrong.

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  7. Thank you for the update. I was following it at work and then needed to catch up to find out when the book got taken down.

    I work at a rape crisis center. I have worked there for twelve years. Of course all the advocates/counselors there were horrified to hear the news yesterday.

    I read on another site that inciting criminal activity is illegal...actually unconstitutional.

    Sometimes to get people to see where I am coming from when I talk about rape, I have to make an analogy that hits home. This is what I came up with yesterday. If Amazon had published and was selling a Kindle book about how to bring down two more buildings in New York...like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler tower for example...wouldn't there be many more people up in arms about that #amazonfail?

    I don't think the issue about this particular book for Pedophiles was about censorship. Because the Supreme Court gave pornographers the right to continue to publish under our right to free speech under the first amendment. Yet, Amazon will not sell pornography on Kindle. So, again...just making the connections that some people might have missed. Amazon keeping that book and hiding behind the first amendment was a hypocritical thing to do. My understanding is that they did not do that, but for readers out there who thought they did, that's my rant on that.

    Amazon called the content of the book objectionable. And said we could make a choice whether to buy it or not. And we responded that they had a choice to sell it or not. It was not a first amendment issue, it was a moral issue. And by moral I don't mean religious morality exactly, I mean being a humane and ethical person/business, etc.

    Well, there are my two cents. Thanks for reading.

    @mexicanwoman on Twitter

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  8. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I don't support a boycott. I think the publicity surrounding this particular book simply gave this man unwarranted attention (and money). I'm a member of the Amazon affiliate program and considered severing my ties, but ultimately decided it's not the way to go. There are many other ways to draw attention to the evils in the world that we need to protect our children from, and I think a more productive one is to make sure we keep our focus on what is positive and good.

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  9. The book is gone and other like it are disappearing as well. Relax! Amazon is guilty of not paying attention -- they just sell everything. They did not decide to publish the pedo book. It was SELF-PUBLISHED on the Kindle platform, which any idiot can do, obviously.

    Check out more:
    http://bit.ly/9asfNE

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  10. Tristan here, that is incredible!! I can't believe that got on there. I agree with Amazons decision to remove this item, and especially agree with the Bloggers response. We as bloggers do hold power and should exercise our power to uphold moral standards for situations such as these.

    HTTP://www.tristanisfeld.com

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  11. Unfortunately, that book was just the tip of the iceberg. My latest post details some of the OTHER stuff that is currently for sale on Amazon.com - and if you search the Japanse site - SHOCKING.
    http://www.milehimama.com/2010/11/12/amazon-and-pedophilia/

    I wrote my opinion on the boycott in depth in my post - but what it boils down to is do we want to support a business that profits from normalizing pedophilia and exploiting children?

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  12. I dont quite understand why anyone in their right mind would be defending this crap and putting "first amendment laws" and how to be a pedophile in the same sentence. When you get down to it, anyone who didnt try to get this book- kindle or not out of any circulation better check their moral standards and recognize the info for what it is. Beyond the fact its against the law, its SICK, and from the excerpts i saw, is giving the SICKOs out there special tips on deceiving pure, innocent children who have no one to stand up for them and keep them safe but us, the adults in this world. I am so happy this is gone, but like the large percentage of people out there, have definitely changed my views on the great "amazon" ..

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  13. To say "relax" is being dismissive toward a serious issue that encourages a crime! Amazon's mistake should be a valuable lesson learned... I know, post a comment on a parenting related blog as "anonymous" to try and dispel an issue that needs to be addressed. #AmazonFail

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  14. I am so glad they removed the book. As others and you have said, it's not about censorship, private business have the right to carry what products they want to carry. Amazon doesn't carry pornography and that is not considered censorship. However, we a consumers have the right to not make purchases at store we don't want to. I'm glad that Amazon listened to their customers and removed this offensive product.

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  15. My opinion probably isn't welcome, but...what can I say? I'm good at making Internet friends ;)

    I'm not boycotting. Do I think that guide was horrible? Absolutely. Should they have removed it immediately upon being notified that it was there? Of course. And they finally did remove it, although with very poor grace. But it's gone, which was my major concern.

    Yes, they still stock other items that I disagree with, including the other pedophile book. Unfortunately, those items are legal (if barely). I'm not going to punish a company for not filtering objectionable items for me. If I want them to remove those items, I first need to make sure they become illegal.

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  16. Angela,

    Of course your opinion is welcomed here. I tend to agree with you. I don't think I'm going to intentionally boycott Amazon. However, I do think their actions, statements, and responses were pretty lame. Their excuse for allowing a how-to-be-a-perverted-pedophile book was that they did not want to be a part of censorship, yet they censor pornography.

    They need to be consistent. Either remove objectionable books that promote illegal activities or don't remove anything.

    Just like parenting, consistency, in my opinion, is important.

    Thank you all for your valuable insights.

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