Folks who’ve been following Amazon for a while might be forgiven for double-taking at a Huffington Post article noting Amazon just took down a pedophilia guide after a concerted protest. “Did we just time warp back into 2010 or something?”
After all, a couple of years ago one fellow posted a pedophilia how-to guide to Amazon, and Amazon at first defended it and then hastily pulled it down. (You could almost set your watch by it: the defense was issued by whatever low-level peon was in charge of responding to all complaints about content with generic form letters, then it was pulled after exactly the amount of time the complaints took to percolate upward to someone with the actual authority to do something about it.)
Is Amazon, one might ask, up to its old tricks again?
Well, no, not really. When you pay close attention to the Huffington Post article about it, it looks almost exactly like a tempest in a teacup.
Whereas the 2010 book was basically (so I’m told—never read it myself) a fairly-detailed how-to guide on how to indulge pedophilia “safely,” Age of Content: A Sex Tourists (sic) Guide was all of 18 pages long, and essentially amounted to lists of various countries’ ages of consent—all information that could readily be found on Wikipedia already.
While anti-human-trafficking organization Love146 ran a successful protest campaign to get the book removed, it really didn’t need to promote pedophilia for Amazon to want to take it down. It already ran afoul of prohibitions on e-books with little to no actual new content, just like “Private Label Rights” based works, and also apparently plagiarized its cover image from a series of stocking advertisements.
So, Amazon takes down a rather lame, content-free so-called e-book and Love146 gets a little free publicity. Not really a bad outcome altogether given that the book was lousy by any objective standard and it helps shine a little more of a spotlight on the nasty things Love146 is fighting against.
But let’s not make more of it than it really deserves: the 2010 case really did involve some seriously objectionable material, resulted in the arrest of a pedophile, and probably gave Amazon an important object lesson in how to react (and how not to react) to certain hot-button issues. By comparison, this is the equivalent of sponging graffiti off a bathroom wall. It makes the wall look better, but in the grand scheme of things doesn’t make much difference one way or the other.
(Found via TeleRead.)