Friday, November 12, 2010

Censorship or Common Sense?

Have you heard about the recent kerfuffle involving Amazon's decision to pull a pedophilia manual from its catalogue?  You can read about it here.  The linked article ends with the following:

In a statement issued Wednesday, Amazon said it "believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable."

Personally, I'm glad Amazon decided not to sell the book (despite what they've said about censorship).  When businesses start protecting the rights of pedophiles under the guise of "free speech", I think they've gone too far.  And it just seems somehow wrong that a site that caters (partially) to children, with its children's book and toy departments, would also be selling books with instructions on how to victimize those same kids.

What do you think?  Does this fall under the category of censorship?  Or is Amazon's decision not to sell this disgusting book just plain old common sense?


  1. I feel very strongly about the whole thing. It is awful that such a book even exists. As a bookseller myself, the censorship angle does come into play. This goes beyond the pale and I am glad they pulled it.

  2. It's common sense not to sell a product that offends the majority of your customers. Removing it was a business decision, a form of self-censorship. The people spoke (or yelled) and amazon responded.

  3. The fact that that book even existed just creeped me out. I don't see how anyone could blame them for pulling the book.

  4. I'm not a huge fan of censorship, but it's not as though they pulled this book for strong words in dialogue! It's like...a guide...for pedophiles. That is highly disturbing to me, and I agree with Katie that this book should NOT exist. If it were, say a psychological profile of a pedophile, the situation would be completely different, but why would ANYONE condone helping a pedophile to be a pedophile?!