Technology

The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

« Previous Post | Technology Home | Next Post »

Amazon criticized for selling advice book for pedophiles

November 10, 2010 |  5:39 pm

Online retail giant Amazon.com came under a storm of electronic protest Wednesday for selling a self-published electronic book called "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure."

The title -- published Oct. 28 by Phillip R. Greaves -- has been flooded with angry criticism mostly aimed at the Seattle-based retailer for offering it for sale.  The controversy raises the question of whether Amazon has any set procedures for vetting books to be sold in its online stores.

Amazon allows writers to publish their own works in its online stores and share in the revenue. The guidebook, described by its author as an "attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles ... by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow," is available for the Amazon Kindle reader.

Amazon The book has attracted almost 800 reviews on its Amazon page, with 760 giving it the lowest possible ranking of one star. Many reviewers threatened to boycott the company unless the book is removed.

"There is no excuse for Amazon to be offering this product," one visitor writes. "I've removed my Amazon shop from my website and won't be doing any Christmas or household shopping through Amazon.com until this product is GONE."

However, other reviewers defended Amazon and praised the retailer for upholding 1st Amendment rights.

"While I deplore the agenda of this book, I defend the author's right to say what he wants and the readers' rights to read what they wish as long as it doesn't escalate into something more than speech," one wrote.

Amazon said in a statement that it "believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable."

The company issues guidelines banning certain materials, including offensive content, illegal items and educational test solution manuals. However, Amazon does not elaborate on what might be considered inappropriate content, stating that "what we deem offensive is probably what you would expect."

RELATED:

UPDATE: Amazon.com removes pedophile advice book after receiving 3,000 comments

Amazon to dominate the diaper market with Quidsi acquisition

Amazon offers president's 192-page budget plan for free to Kindle users

-- Shan Li

 Photo: Paul Sakuma/AP Photo

Comments 

Advertisement










Video