Jennifer Valentino-DeVries writes on the Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog:
Amazon.com has removed a how-to guide for pedophiles that was appearing in its Kindle store, after a day of online outrage and threats of a boycott.
The e-book, “The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct,” and its removal raise questions about how Amazon reviews self-published works and what types of books are allowed on the e-commerce site.
Amazon on Wednesday defended the sale of the $4.79 book, telling technology blog TechCrunch that it “believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable.” But by early Thursday morning, the book was removed from the site. Amazon did not immediately return requests for further comment about the book or its disappearance from the site.
Other books about pedophilia remain on Amazon, including those that have previously prompted calls for boycotts. “Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers,” a paperback published in 2000, is still for sale on the e-commerce site, and even has an official Amazon.com review. (”Defensive in tone and amateurishly produced, this monograph uses both pseudo-scholarship and anecdotes in its attempt to justify its target audience’s actions and feelings,” Amazon says.)
Amazon did not specify why it would remove one work and not the other, but the guidelines for its self-publishing system for e-books say the company itself “reserves the right to determine the appropriateness” of items sold on its site. “The Pedophile’s Guide” presents itself as more of a how-to for pedophiles than “Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers” does, and includes tips for pedophiles as well as suggested limitations.
Read More on the Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog