After initially defending its sale of a controversial e-book, Amazon.com has removed a self-published guide for pedophiles.
It's been sparking outrage across the country ever since word got out that Amazon.com was selling the e-book. Controversy erupted, leading many to call for a boycott of the popular site.
The title is shocking, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct." It's a self-published e-book sold only as a Kindle download and, until last night, was available with the click of a mouse on Amazon.com. And yes, just as the name says, the book is a child molester's guide. Now, there's a growing online movement to boycott Amazon for selling the book.
But is there a free speech issue here? Amazon thinks so. Prior to its decision to stop selling the book, the company released the following statement: "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."
It's not just the title that has people outraged. It's what the author writes. The book offers advice to pedophiles so young children don't get hurt or mistreated during sexual relations with adults. Essentially, it's an etiquette book for pedophiles.
Here's an expert from the book:
"The best advise I can give pedosexual-pedophiles is this: ...avoid becoming sexually involved with actual minors of any age. I'm not saying this because I believe pedophilia is wrong, but because it is illegal...within an intolerant and hostile society," the author writes.
Who's the man behind this book? His name is Phillip Greaves II and he lives in Colorado. Here's what he told CNN: "You know, every time you see them on television they're either rapists, murderers, or kidnappers. And you know, that's just not an accurate presentation of the, that particular sexuality." So far, Greaves says, he's sold only one book.
Jennifer March-Joly is just one of many people outraged by the book. She's executive director of the New York based Citizens Committee for Children. She's unleashing her fury at Amazon saying, "Profits should not override the necessity of keeping children safe."
As you might imagine, people are expressing their outrage online. There's even a Facebook page set up for those supporting a boycott of Amazon.
Here are some of the comments we found online:
"This is truly disgusting. If this is the corporate culture that Amazon wants to promote than I will go elsewhere. I just purchased a Kindle last month. It will never see the light of day again. I will not shop at Amazon again, and that is MY constitutional right," one person writes.
"The First Amendment was written SPECIFICALLY for the speech you might not like. A lot of blood has been spilled over the years so he could write that book," says another.
"The publisher of the book has every right to publish this abomination, but Amazon has the choice to not sell it. The public also has the right to boycott Amazon," another reader said.
It's still not clear whether Amazon.com pulled the book, or whether the author withdrew it. CNY Central contacted Amazon for a response. We'll let you know what they say.
Some are questioning whether the author has the constitutional right to write the book and whether Amazon has the right to sell it. Others say those are moot points. Instead, many say, the big question is should they? Is it putting profits above anything else? Would you ever buy anything from Amazon again? Leave your comments below.