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