10 November 2010

Amazon: Censorship and Bookstores

by Carrie Bailey

I am one writer with a strong opinion about pedophilia. I am against it. I don't need statistics to tell me that it demolishes a person's ability to trust in the same way lava leaves an ever so slight mark on a mountain during a volcanic eruption. Today, as Amazon invokes the idea that selling pedophilia and an instruction manual on how to do it, I find myself not half as disgusted with them for promoting the rape of innocent children as I am the offensive reasoning behind their choice.

Free speech is protected in the Bill of Rights, a part of the US Constitution, which is upheld by government (legal) institutions. And I believe Amazon needs to explain when believes it became tasked with the role of government.

Each and every bookstore is a business, which has its freedom of speech protected by the law. That means they may sell anything which does not violate the first amendment. Hate speech is not protected and is in violation of the law and a book teaching people how to have sexual relationships with minors and evade the prosecution for their crime, is repulsive, but not hate speech. It is classified as being as benign as "How-to-Make-a-Fortune-Selling-Socks."

Yet Amazon sells the pedophilia instruction manual.

But Amazon is not tasked with upholding the amendment. They do not have to provide every book to the public, even the Library of Congress does not see that as its objective, though they are governed by the principle of free speech, too. In fact, Amazon can exercise their free speech by not providing certain books. For example, do they have to teach people how to sell socks? That is how a business such as a bookstore expresses its freedom of speech: through their selection.

Children do not know they shouldn't trust pedophiles who are most often family members or people close to them... and trusted. They only know that sexual activity may feel good at the time or that they don't want to upset authority figures, loved ones, or they are unable to defend themselves against coercion. The effects of this violation of trust may last an entire lifetime.

Amazon has no more rational for providing an instruction manual on getting away with these criminal acts, than Borders does for placing that same book in the childrens section or next to the self help books for those dealing with the aftermath of incest, rape, and the deepest betrayals a person can endure...

While I understand that talking about an issue may draw attention to the presence of the book on Amazon, I write this in clear conscious. I learned only recently in my personal life that I had to speak against the exploitation of children who are too young to understand sexual activity and consequences involved. While many may choose to ignore it and attempt to silence others in the false hope that "it" may go away, I've not found that does not happen. To say "do not sell this book" is to say "do not supply weapons to pedophiles." That is how I am going to exercise my freedom of speech...by drawing attention to the fact that Amazon has made this available and remind it that as a business and a bookstore, it has no business acting as a body of government. Can Amazon arrest bad writers? Perhaps a few more pedophiles will download the book because I tweeted and I wrote this article, but everyone affected by child molestation will know that this writer supports their recovery and acknowledges what happened to them as a crime.
You deserved better and Amazon is wrong for perpetuating this crime.  
Always the pedophile is the criminal and not the person who speaks up. And I support each and every individual who wants Amazon to remember that it is a bookstore, a corporate entity, and not the US Government itself.

At least with my government, I have a vote.

Amazon has chosen to supply every book, even very detailed explanations of how to wreak havoc throughout an individual's life by deception and betrayal when they are most vulnerable. And they do so with the excuse that they are adhering to the ideal expressed in the US Constitution by the first amendment. Freedom of speech is meant to protect society and our rights on an ideological level, but as a business, they are only promoting pedophilia...that is how they are choosing to exercise their free speech.

I do not buy their argument that a person or business is morally obligated to say everything just because the US government protects their right to do so. That is ludicrous and it's the worst argument to support pedophiles that I have ever heard.

For more information, visit Tech Crunch. Peevish Penman will not be providing links on the subject, but only wishes that each and every individual affected by the trauma of a childhood sexual violation, either personally or through a connection with another, the best recovery and firmest support. We also support free speech on an ideological level, but the book in question is not a book, it's a weapon.


  1. Yes, superb reasoning why can't the idiots at amazon grasp this

  2. Because they like child sex, which coincidentally is the subject of a very short book which I plan to publish through Amazon tonight...

  3. Thanks for your courageous explicit post. Well said.

  4. Thanks, I would prefer to remain positive with everything I do, but sometimes you have to say no. In this case, I say yes to the protection of innocent children. I will never say otherwise.

  5. While I totally agree that Amazon should have thought harder about this book before going ahead and stocking it on their shelves, I have to wonder about the people involved before it became a book in the first place. Someone had to write it. There was likely a literary agent involved. Someone had to read it to determine if it was worth publishing (and evidently decided it was). Someone had to give the go ahead. And someone had to actually print the thing. While Amazon's reasoning- if it can be called that- is on the surface a logical one, Amazon should have remembered that it is in the business of selling books- a medium that is losing popularity yearly- and that public perception is a cornerstone of their business model. They would have been much wiser to have passed on this particular travesty of a book. I am fundamentally against book burning- I find it to be sacrilegious (yes, really. That's how much I value books) and I don't care for the removal of (until today I would have said any) books from libraries, I think in this case I will make an exception. I feel that the people involved in printing a book that instructs people on how to commit pedophilia should all be fired and the manuscript burned. Ok, I'm done ranting now.

  6. It was self pub'd.

    And I am against censorship, too. But I'm pro-bookstores not making themselves available to the public as a platform for pedophilia.

    Some books aren't shelved in libraries or bookstores for many reasons...

    But Amazon is not engaging in censorship if they do not permit a pedophile to sell their material online.

    I think if hate speech isn't tolerated by the first amendment, why would this? Are we saying hate speech is harmful enough to warrant an exception, but give pedophiles a green light?

  7. I totally agree with you: pedophilia is right up there in the crimes against humanity that hate speech embodies.

    I didn't think that Amazon would carry a self-published book. I was under the impression that it took major effort and exposure to various audiences to get a self-published work picked up by a forum like Amazon.

    Luckily for me, I do not frequent Amazon, so my boycotting of them for this egregious lack of common sense will not personally impact me. However, the other side of that coin is that by boycotting them, I will not be hurting their bottom line.

    I truly hope that public outcry over this will cause Amazon to rethink their stance on this subject.

  8. Actually, what's truly devastating is that Amazon has excellent self-publishing tools for writers...

    I did write a short book last night and almost decided to actually publish it "Amazon likes child sex"...just has to be 24 or more pages. I was thinking, hmmm... maybe I can prove a point here, but found that after I heard they did finally remove it... I felt that they must have analyzed their policy and that was all I wanted to see happen.

  9. Excellent post, and I'm completely with you on this. Freedom of speech does not cover endangering others, especially those who are too young to protect themselves.

  10. That's a good point. I think there's been a perversion of the intent behind the first amendment lately. It was meant to permit freedom of religion, freedom to criticize your leaders, and generally to make a free society.

    It was not intended to facilitate harming people and you don't have to tolerate the harming of people in order to preserve the first amendment.

    Defending the first amendment means saying what you think and writing what you want and assembling as you please. When it crosses the line into the deepest arena of criminal behavior...

    I mean, can I shoot someone and call it "self-expression?" No, a crime is crime. I hope they use the sales of this book to locate pedophiles. I hope privacy does not extend to that.

    I hope we have the ability to protect our children, because in my experience rape and the exploitation of children is a difficult crime to prosecute, but it's getting easier for criminals.

  11. I don't see how they have any leg to stand on. Pedophilia is criminal. This book is no different than a book on how to design your own bombs for terrorist purposes, and those are banned. In effect it is aiding and abetting a crime, which is also a crime. I don't see why Amazon's facilitating of this is not a criminal offense in itself.

  12. Well, it's the government that needs to make that call and as Amazon acted as publisher, they need to be held responsible, too, I think.

    I think censorship should never be engaged in lightly, but there are times and places where it matters most.