A buyer's right or no-brainer? Amazon feels the fury of the media and its customers

11 November 2010

Bitterwallet - screenshot from TechCrunchAfter our story earlier in the week, we're not so keen to turn into Paedophiles Weekly here at Bitterwallet, but the story about Amazon that has exploded in the past 24 hours bears repeating, because it's the sort of situation that could do significant damage to the company.

Yesterday a US blog uncovered that Amazon was selling an e-book for the Kindle, a title called The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure - a very graphic manual to help paedophiles evade the law and have sex with children, with useful tips such as using the fingers of surgical gloves as condoms for boys under 13. Smashing.

TechCrunch got hold of the story and all holy hell broke out; the US news networks and the mainstream media picked up on the lead and customers began playing merry hell with Amazon, yet the company refused to remove the title from sale:

“Let me assure you that Amazon.com does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts; we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.”

“Amazon.com believes it is censorship not to sell certain titles because we believe their message is objectionable.”

Obviously the Amazon spokesperson failed to spot the contradiction, in that paedophilia very much is a criminal act. It wasn't until a couple of hours ago that Amazon removed the title from sale, but not before it hit Amazon's Top 100 Bestseller list. The story broke too late to whip up a frenzy in the UK, but expect the tabloids to paint a bullseye on Amazon tomorrow morning. And the bad publicity probably won't end there; TechCrunch has proved that its editorial and readership can influence mainstream media, and it's unlikely Amazon will be let off the hook so easily.

13 comments

  • iPadLover
    Next time you see someone whip out a Kindle, take no chances and apprehend the scumbag.
  • Mark M.
    Does it have a section on how not to get on Dateline NBC's "To Catch a Predator"? That would be a shame if it did because I love watching the faces of the dirty little beggars when they realise that their world is about to fall apart and that they will be on TV!
  • PokeHerPete
    Where can I buy the hardcover from?
  • Phil
    Don't Amazon reserve the right to remove purchased books from your kindle remotely (there was a shitstorm about them doing it last year with 1984 I think). Surely this is the exact scenario they should be doing that on? Also, guess that gives Amazon a nice database of people with that tendancy. Love to see their recommended products next time they use the site!
  • Alex
    I thought it was disgusting, I only gave it 4 stars
  • garyglitter
    Do they do a wipe clean version ?
  • Nobby
    Amazon reviews would be mroe reliable if (1) they only allowed you to review if you bought the product through amazon (hence proof that you actually bought it) and (2) if you can comment about amazon delivery/customer services separately to the product. From that snapshot, a lot of people have voted it 1 star. How many of them actually bought it? I bet most just object to it, and so vote on that basis, and have not even seen it.
  • fox h.
    Is there a wildlife edition ?
  • John S.
    Shanks here. My screen smells of hammers.
  • Mr G.
    How do you know what "useful tips" are in it, you sicko?
  • Tom
    @Nobby Amazon.com fulfils all your 1) desires.
  • Be R.
    [...] Jodi on Twitter at @greatonthejob or on her blog at www.greatonthejob.com/blog. Related BlogsA buyer’s right or no-brainer? Amazon feels the fury of the media and its customers | BitterWa...Skoll Award Recipient Discusses Renewable Energy In Light Of $200 Billion In Investments In 2010; [...]
  • Be R.
    [...] entrepreneur. She is the founder of communication consulting firm Great on the Job. Related BlogsA buyer’s right or no-brainer? Amazon feels the fury of the media and its customers | BitterWalletSkoll Award Recipient Discusses Renewable Energy In Light Of $200 Billion In Investments In 2010; [...]

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