Here’s a little test for those of us who mostly believe in free speech.  Amazon is selling a self-published Kindle book that’s a guide for pedophiles. I’m temporarily stumped.  First, I’m not so sure if this does fall within first amendment rights as child porn is illegal though I haven’t read the work and of course won’t.  Amazon has thus far defended the author’s right to publish and sell this masterpiece on Kindle.

Sometimes you know the right thing to do and maybe I’m just having a bad day, but this is a tough one.

Does one boycott Amazon for carrying this trash?  Complain to your state’s attorney general to find out if it’s illegal?  What about if you are also an independent  “Kindle author”?  Should you remove your book?  But what if it is a first amendment issue and other books start getting removed?  And what about print books or Kindle books through a publisher that Amazon sells as a retailer?  You can’t control what retailer buys your published book.  My paperback is also available on Amazon.  I can’t stop them from selling it.

So tell me readers, bloggers, lawyers, and other concerned citizens, what to do?

2 Comments on Kindle Pro-Pedophilia?

  1. chaim says:

    Interesting. Ready to trot out my slippery slope clichés.

    First of all it is not a first amendment issue because Amazon is a private company so they can decide what they can sell and I, as a private citizen can decide to patronize them or not because of this. So long as the gummint isn’t involved then it is a sideshow.

    As to Amazon,I mean, is the book about how to be a pedophile or a book advocating pedophilia? Believe it or not I think there is a difference.

    Conceivably, a book that shows you how to grow pot hydroponically in a closet might skirt a law somewhere because it is teaching how to commit a crime. A book that advocates that pot should be legal is OK even in Oklahoma and your local library.

    A book advocating that cannibalism and contract murder *should* be legal – and Jeffrey Dahmer was a martyr for the cause, so long as they don’t teach how to do it and get away with it, that is part of the (bizarre) marketplace of ideas. A book that is titled “100 ideas for human meat casserole, and where to stalk and bag your human.” well that is a bit different.

    So is this book making a point that (EW!!! a thousand times) pedophilia should be legal? or that an adult who has an affair with a 15-year old is not necessarily a scary pedophile? I don’t want to know. but slippery slopeman wonders how many hops from banning this to banning Lolita.

    • Marion says:

      Amazon has since pulled the book in response to numerous complaints and threat of boycott. The threat btw was not so much organized as spontaneous outrage and people calling to say they were going to take their business elsewhere.

      You’re right about first amendment not being an issue. As for the book it was indeed a “how to” guide with ground rules that should be followed as well as a book that advocated molesting children. One guinea pig in a forum “purchased” the book read it, returned it and posted a synopsis on the forum. For the writer to claim that he never acted illegal and is not himself a pedophile is clearly disingenuous. The book does not advocate actual intercourse with children under thirteen, but does “how to” items like using a fingertip of a glove as a condom if your “partner’s” penis is too small for a condom and much more “useful” information. Amazon’s policies btw prohibit pornography — legal, adult consensual pornography and also state that “offensive” material and material that advocates breaking the law can be removed.
      Keeping it up as long as it was brought massive publicity to this tome which of course can be sold legally on the internet. The issue was always the use of Amazon’s PRIVATE digital platform. As a company, especially one that prides itself on responsiveness to its consumers, the initial blow-off and press statement may cost them dearly.