There are things in life that make Good Enough Mother scratch her head, sometimes until my scalp bleeds. The most recent example comes from Amazon.com and it’s decision to publish an e-book on pedophilia. It’s the story EVERYONE is talking about today!
There are so many things wrong with this I literally don’t know where to begin. First, the book. I hate to even write about The Pedophiles Guide to Love and Pleasure because as it is, the book has shot from virtual obscurity to one of Amazon’s fastest movers, thanks to the controversy.
I of course have not purchased it, nor will I, but according to reports it’s a stomach-turning, how-to on child abuse with information on what to do if, say, condoms are too small for your victim. WHAT?
Listen, I’m all for authors getting their work published, even more for people making a name for themselves on their own but teaching people how to abuse children?! Pedophilia is not about love, it is abuse and it is a crime.
But my real ire is for Amazon, the world’s largest bookseller. Look, I’m not naïve enough to think the stuff isn’t out there online for anyone sick enough to search for it but for Amazon to publish it, then hide behind our constitutional right of free speech is a crock. Not only is the content morally outrageous but also there are limitations to free speech. Surely this has to fall under that.
What were Amazon executives thinking? I mean this decision had to be made by someone. Did that person actually read the content? Were they okay with teaching men how to avoid being arrested by using pictures of fully clothed children to masturbate to? Did they not think of the heartache this would cause among parents whose own children have been abused or worse? Maybe they weren’t thinking at all. Yeah, that must be it.
The heat and light must have finally gotten to them because the e-book has now been pulled. Was it the hundreds of comments on their site, like the one from the mother of an abused child? Was it the outrage in the Twitter verse calling for a boycott of Amazon? Maybe it was the Boycott Amazon.com pages popping up on Facebook page. Whatever the reason, the book is no longer available on the site (though at least one other book along the same lines still is). Now all Amazon are left with is a ridiculous – and avoidable – PR disaster on their hands!
Amazon did the right thing in pulling the book but in my mind the damage has already been done. Some shortsighted executive chose protection of free speech (even with its limitations in cases like this) over the protection of children and speaking for myself that will cost them. Good Enough Mother’s prediction, this will be a banner year for Barnesandnoble.com. That’s where my dollars will go.
What about you? What do you think of Amazon’s decision to publish the book in the first place? Will their late decision be enough to keep you as a customer? Start commenting everyone…