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Amazon in censorship row

by on11 November 2010

Ebook burning called for
An ebook which is supposed to be a guide for paedophiles has gotten Amazon into a censorship row. The booktitled The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure by Phillip R. Greaves is available on Amazon for Kindle for $4.75. It claims to be a guide of insight and conduct for engaging in paedophilia.

Some customers, who are not seeing Amazon's bigger picture, are trying to arrange a book banning campaign. They want to start a boycott of Amazon until it does what they say.

While the book is about as silly and slimey as you would expect, Amazon has refused to delete it from its stores. The outfit does not want to get into a position where it has to censor every book because someone takes offence to it. Amazon told TechCruch that it 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 decision.”

The shopping site, however, does object to “offensive material,” including porn. This particular clause is often used by the religious right in the US to try to get Amazon to ban books that it does not like. It has not been particularly successful.

Here is a list of books that various groups have asked to be banned in the past. Alas, When a Tree Falls by Nick Farrell was not on the list, even if it is heretical.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Christine by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume

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