Take that, Amazon! On Wednesday, the internet was on fire and Facebook and Twitter were fanning the flames. As people caught wind that Amazon was selling a book that advocated and encouraged child molestation people started taking aim at Amazon using any sources they had access to. By 9:30pm the offending eBook was no longer active at the original URL. Only to resurface under two other URLs moments later. By 11:40pm they were all down and a small victory is claimed!
Sure, MSNBC proffered Amazon’s stance that the book is not illegal, defending their right to sell such filth. Blah, Blah, Blah, Whatever! Selling a bag of glass isn’t illegal but Amazon doesn’t do that. I’ll give Amazon the leeway to say that this disgusting diatribe claiming to be literature was self-published and their system allows publishers to upload their books. But aren’t there filters? Can just anyone upload anything? How about a book that advocates killing gays? Oh, no, right. That’s illegal. But evidently pedophilia is fair game for Amazon.
And where were the executives from Amazon during all this? Nowhere! Both the Amazon and Kindle Facebook pages are littered with irate ‘likes’ and people wanting to cancel their accounts and vowing not to shop at Amazon. CNN’s Anderson Cooper did a story on this major corporate fail and interviewed the author of the book. I read the transcript because I couldn’t stand to hear this guy’s voice.
I’m not about censorship or preventing people from promoting their product, so long as it meets some minimum standard. For Amazon to take the stance that the First Amendment is a protection is bull! Amazon is NOT the government. It is a private business that can establish any rules it wishes. Amazon DOES NOT have to allow anything and everything to be sold on its site because the seller wishes. Amazon is allowed to set guidelines, and in fact they do. And their own guidelines say they can make judgements as to what is appropriate. Don’t tell me that Amazon has a list of Prohibited Products and Restricted Products for the heck of it.
So Amazon has a pretty comprehensive listing of things that are prohibited, which includes items which may lead to illegal activity. Now tell me how the First Amendment argument works, Amazon. It doesn’t! And, if someone from Amazon had actually surfaced during this debacle maybe that’s the argument they would have raised, given they’ve done it before. Bull! The First Amendment does not protect this kind of garbage and you knew it Amazon. Which is why you hid in your ivory tower of posh offices doing nothing. I expected more, Jeff Bezos!
And let’s not overlook Amazon’s own list of Prohibited Items classified as Offensive. It specifies the item must be offensive, not the content. In this case they are one and the same! So evidently, pedophilia is OK but listings for items that promote racism, hatred, or religious intolerance are prohibited. Amazon, you are hiding behind a think veil and I can see you!
I took to Twitter and Facebook to help get the fire started on this cause. Was I one of the first? I don’t know. But I was there and I was loud. I tweeted to anyone I knew who could use their influence to spread the word. I even tweeted at Ashton Kutcher, LadyGaga, Oprah and Dr. Drew. I have no shame! I didn’t care if they didn’t tweet back or acknowledge me. Plenty of people ignored me, but then again plenty of people joined me. And for that I am very grateful. I wanted everyone to know that we are the village that vulnerable and precious children rely upon to shield them from these terrible people who want to do them harm.
For me, this was, and is, a personal crusade. This wasn’t about some random book on Amazon. This was about a predator and all the predators out there. Rarely am I this vocal. I’m not a protest-y kinda person. I’m more of a take it to the top and to the people in charge kinda gal. This time, though, I needed to get loud. I needed to do this for all the kids out there who are afraid to speak up and the parents who don’t know. I needed to do this for the kids who speak up and are silenced. But most importantly, I needed to do this for me and for my child. I have once, already, faced the devil and took him down. I don’t care if, this time, the devil is a huge company, I’m not letting this one go.
Amazon, You’re On Notice!