Amazon reluctantly does the right thing

Amazon.com's "commitment to principle" lasted about twelve hours, and then it showed that it's still in the business of turning a profit and dependent on the good graces of its customers to do so.

In pulling from its virtual bookshelf the disgusting The Pedophile's Guide To Love & Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct, Amazon proved that even the largest retailer is not immune to public pressure, and that community standards - however fragmented or ill-defined - still carry weight in the marketplace.

The only surprises in this situation are that (1) Amazon decided to sell the book to begin with, and (2) that it tried to support that decision with a "freedom of speech" argument. In this case, the right to freedom of speech should be strongly trumped by the basic tenets of human decency, the violation of which threatens the foundation of our society. If that sounds overly dramatic, then you're just not paying attention.

One of the first websites to break this story was TechCrunch, and this article focused on an interesting phenomenon: the apparent reliance on "the Red States" and "Middle America" to be the moral gatekeepers for America. I suspect the public outcry against this book was more widespread than that, and I would caution any one group from thinking it has a monopoly on the moral high ground in general, but to the extent that "Red State" residents succeeded in convincing Amazon to change its corporate mind, I proudly claim citizenship in that group.

4 Comments

Eric, whatever TechCrunch's take might be on "moral gatekeepers" or whatever, this was something that people of all political color and geographical location found offensive.

Having been overseas, to locations-of-choice for pedophile tourists seeking free expression of their desires, I applaud Amazon's most recent announcement ... though I must go totally 'Dr. Phillish' in assessing their original decision to carry the book ... "What were you thinking?"

And, sadly, it's not just overseas, either ... but right here in our own country.

Certain segments of our society have become so 'enlightened' that they are blinded to sheer evil.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on November 11, 2010 7:50 AM.

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