As my readers well know I vigorously exercise my right to free speech whenever I can. I like to say whatever I want, whenever I want, to whomever I want, however I want. I strongly encourage other Americans to do the same. There is, of course, certain speech that is questionable and often in violation of the law. For example, I can’t stand up in a crowded room and shout, “Fire!” if there isn’t one. I cannot incite a riot. I can’t call people to violence and mayhem. I’m okay with that. Sometimes you have to give a little to get a little.
So, last night, while goofing off on Twitter, I see a Tweet in reference to a book being sold on Amazon. A book, you say. What’s wrong with a book. Nothing’s wrong with a book, but everything is wrong with a book that is advocating pedophilia–even instructing individuals how to engage in the vile act.
The book, entitled The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct was available for purchase on Amazon.com until late yesterday evening. Naturally, the majority of people who are opposed to this sort of thing began an outcry against Amazon. I for one tweeted that Amazon wouldn’t get my Christmas business if they didn’t remove this sort of filth from their website immediately.
I believe in free speech but advocating pedophilia is a direct violation of law and Amazon’s own content guidelines. You cannot promote the abuse or exploitation of a minor child. While pedophiles claim their predilection is true love, in the eyes of the law it is abuse and molestation. Amazon’s policy seems a little vague but they do have a proviso about offensive content and content that clearly violates local, state and federal law. Since this book clearly promotes the exploitation of children, that has to be a violation of many laws.
The author of the book had plenty to say about his sick interests. It is clear from the article I read on CNN that he was abused as a child himself. Usually, that is the case with pedophiles. They were abused as children and they grow up to be abusers themselves because nobody was around to tell them it was wrong.
A lot of people have stated that they will take their business elsewhere this holiday season. Some people seem to think that Amazon put this filth up there as a courtesy to the FBI so they could set up a string operation. At least one person I know said Amazon did it for the free press (even bad press is better than no press). Amazon has not even responded to the outrage, which in a sad way amuses me.
I know that a lot of Amazon’s processes are probably automated. This guy probably listed his book on the website in much the same fashion as you would on eBay and whatever automated system Amazon has going on didn’t catch it. Then when people started to find out that’s when Amazon kicked it into gear and removed the material. Having said that, I still think that Amazon should offer an explanation. As one woman wrote, she was abused as a child herself and she was thoroughly outraged that Amazon would offer something like that. Great way to make victims feel victimised all over again, Amazon. Half the U.S. population has children. Alienating half the population before Christmas time is an excellent idea.
I think in this day and age, companies and individuals have to be mindful of what they’re advocating. Once again, I am in no means saying we need to curtail free speech, we just have to be careful how we wield that very powerful sword. Fantasies of pedophilia is just gross but if it’s going on in your mind that’s your business. Once you start acting out on those fantasies there is a huge problem. Writing and publishing a book to assist with the actualization of those fantasies is tantamount to setting a forest fire. You’re creating a problem that is going to spread and destroy everything in its wake.
Amazon, you really need to pay a little more attention to what’s being posted on your site. Have clear and definable rules so that people know what they can post and what they can’t. Your website was just a little too vague for me. Shame on you, Amazon. I expected better of you.