Amazon pulls pro-pedophilia book after outcry

Amazon’s finally pulled an ebook from sale after thousands of consumers protested that it was legitimizing pedophilia.

The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure – so the content not very hard to spot, then – was published two weeks ago and sold on Amazon’s Kindle Store.

A product description said the book was an ‘attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian [sic] rules for these adults to follow’.

Author Phillips Greaves said he hoped thereby to help pedophiles, if caught, get lighter sentences.

Amazon’s terms of service say that pornography, offensive material and titles which may lead to illegal activity are prohibited. But while Greaves says he does not advocate penetrative sex with children, he does think that ‘fondling’ is perfectly okay. And it’s not hard to argue that a book which promotes fondling of unrelated children ‘may’ lead to illegal activity.

However, Amazon appears not to agree.

In a statement to the BBC, Amazon said: “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.”

Its decision to pull the book came only after thousands of hostile comments and the setting-up of at least two Facebook pages condemning it. Many customers said they would not order from Amazon until the title was removed, and others canceled existing orders, in what was starting to look like a threat to the company’s holiday sales.

Amazon has been keen in the past to avoid accusations of censorship. Back in 2002, it stood up to the United States Justice Foundation when the conservative group threatened to sue it for selling Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers.

Last February, however, it did agree to withdraw a game, RapeLay, from the store.