Several of you have emailed me about yesterday’s dust-up surrounding the discovery that Amazon is carrying a self-published Kindle book about pedophilia, and Amazon’s subsequent refusal to pull the book from its library. I was emailing folks back one by one when I realized it probably just makes more sense to say something here.
I want to be perfectly clear about this:
1) I am—like everyone else, I’m guessing—horrified by the book in question. I would be delighted if it was never available to anyone, anywhere.
2) That said, in this age of the Internet (and Amazon’s self-publishing platform), anyone can release anything to the masses without any sort of quality control.
3) And finally—and this is where, I suspect, I’m going to get into trouble—I do not support the vilification of Amazon over their refusal to pull this book. Amazon is refusing to participate in censorship, and as someone who writes for a living, I respect that.
I completely respect your right to decide for yourself that you don’t want to patronize Amazon because you feel differently, of course. But I’m just telling you how I feel about it.
Two more things:
1) I read an excerpt from the book and feel confident that the whackjob who wrote it is too far into his own mental illness to provide anything in the way of “helpful tips” to fellow pedophiles,
2) I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. This last point is not really anyone’s business, but I share it because I’m not open to anyone coming and yelling at me about how we need to “protect the children!” I get it, believe me. In my opinion, we protect the children by making our best possible decisions about where they go and who they’re with, and educating and empowering them about their own bodies and rights… not by storming Amazon’s gates with pitchforks in hand.
Again, I’m not here to change your mind, because you’re entitled to your opinion. I just wanted to clarify mine.
[Edited to add: Amazon has now pulled the book, citing violations of their TOS.]