Amazon Yanks Pedophile "Guidebook" After Twitter Storm
Filed under: In The News
The link led her not to an illegal pornographic website, but instead to the online mega-retailer Amazon.com, where the "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure" was available for instant download for the Kindle for $4.79. The e-book appears to have been yanked from the site as of Nov. 11, after the issue went viral and many, including Connors, called for a boycott.
"To say that I was horrified would be a dramatic understatement," Connors tells ParentDish. "It really actually needed a trigger warning."
Connors, a Canadian mom of two who lives in Toronto, took her outrage to the Internet, where she used her significant social media clout to alert other moms that Amazon.com is selling a how-to book for child abuse. Connors is the author of the popular "Her Bad Mother" parenting blog, and her take on motherhood has garnered her more than 9,000 Twitter followers.
Immediately, Connors began blasting the retailer for allowing the e-book to be sold, using the hashtag #amazonfail, which allows all Twitter users to track the conversation.
"Please boycott @amazon until this (TRIGGER WARNING) pedophilia instruction manual gets removed http://amzn.to/9SKcJi #amazonfail," she tweeted.
Connors tells ParentDish that she did attempt to reach Amazon directly, but every avenue led to a customer service form or a 1-800 number.
She was looking for more immediate attention, and so she turned to Twitter. She decided to tweet about it, she says, because it is an issue about which no one should remain silent.
"The abuse of children thrives on silence," she says. "The sexual abuse of children especially thrives on silence. I think that we need to be outspoken and unsilent on anything that supports or perpetuates the abuse of children."
The e-book does appear to do just that. The product description reads: "This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow. I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter sentences should they ever be caught."
Connors says she's had "some weird blow-back" from Twitter users, some of whom are calling this a free speech issue. That hasn't deterred her, however. Nor has the argument that using a medium like Twitter to call out major brands isn't always the best way to make your case.
"As I said, the sexual abuse of children thrives on silence," she says. "I can't see one reason why anyone should be silent on this issue. Amazon's reputation doesn't trump the safety of children, sorry."
Amazon could not be reached for comment, but TechCrunch reports that the company released a statement Nov. 10 about the matter: "Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."
According to AOL News, Amazon has not issued an updated statement as of Nov. 11, but the e-book appears to no longer be for sale. Users can still search for the title, but clicking on the link results in an error message.
Negative reviews about the e-book, which rolled in on Amazon.com after the Twitter storm, are also no longer accessible. However, ParentDish captured the following review from user L. Stauber before the page disappeared: "There is no excuse for Amazon to be offering this product. It clearly promotes an illegal activity and it is offensive. I've removed my Amazon shop from my website and won't be doing any Christmas or household shopping through Amazon.com until this product is GONE."
Discussion about the e-book can still be found on the site's forums.
Editor's note: This story was updated Nov. 11.
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