Amazon.com
By
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 11/10/2010 1:35:20 PM ET 2010-11-10T18:35:20

Amazon is selling a self-published book defending pedophiles, sparking discussions about the retailer's obligation to vet items before they are sold in its online stores, and threats of boycott from Amazon customers if the book is not removed.

The book, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct" by Philip R. Greaves II, offers advice to pedophiles afraid of becoming the center of retaliation. It is an electronic book available for Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle e-reader.

The author's description (misspellings included) reads:

"This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian rules for these adults to follow. I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter sentences should they ever be caught."

Amazon issued a statement that will no doubt fuel the outraged comments multiplying on the "Pedophile's Guide" Amazon page. "Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable," it reads. "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."

As a private company, Amazon has the right to sell whatever it wants as long as it's legal, and as such, offers books that cater to Holocaust deniers and other hate groups, as well as graphic dog fighting and cock fighting videos. Adult (legal) pornography, while available in book and magazine form, is not permitted in the Kindle e-reader store. This is possibly because of its iTunes partnership with the notoriously porn-free Apple which removed both "Ulysses" and the "Kama Sutra" from its own book store.

Video: Why was Amazon selling pedophilia guide? (on this page)

A customer review on the "Pedophile's Guide" Amazon page written by "Outraged Mother" reads, "The line of immorality is at best a zone with ill defined boundaries. Whatever. This crosses into the unsavory and shameful side of the zone. Take it down."

"There is a point when, even though a company has a no-censorship policy, that selling certain books is simply wrong," reads "Disgusting Abomination," another customer review. "Not censoring is one thing, and I commend that, but choosing to sell this book on a site that accessed by millions of people (including children) daily is reprehensible. This is a disgusting choice you have made, Amazon. Whatever money you are making off this book can't be worth the ire you are receiving for selling it."

In an unexplained turn of events, more than 103 customer reviews populated the "Pedophile's Guide" page earlier today, when news first broke about the book's availability, but dropped down to less than 30 by late afternoon. The number of reviews has since grown to over 60.

As news and outrage about the book spread, the first (presumed) Internet jokester chimed in with "A fantastic guide," the first five star review:

"I can't thank Amazon enough for keeping this great work of literature up for those of us with 'special tastes.' The instructions and images in the guide were extremely insightful and led to a wonderful experience for both myself and my partner. Thank you for protecting free speech, Amazon!"

In 2002, Amazon.com cited the First Amendment as justification for offering another book that advocates adult-child sex, "Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers," by David L. Riegel. Further, the paperback book is still available on the site.

At that time, Amazon stated, "Our goal is to support freedom of expression and to provide customers with the broadest selection possible so they can find, discover, and buy any title they might be seeking."

An Amazon employee emphasized that "Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers" was "not a 'how-to' manual for molesting children. The author simply expresses his point of view about what he feels are misunderstood."

"Pedophile's Guide" has also triggered mounting outrage on Twitter and beyond. A chorus of Twitter users is calling for Amazon to pull the book, and a campaign to push the hashtag #BoycottAmazon into Twitter's top trends is underway.

A keyword search for "Amazon" on the microblogging network reveals a growing number of retweets featuring Amazon's contact info and urges to keep calling and e-mailing "until the book is removed."

Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Why was Amazon selling pedophilia guide?

  1. Closed captioning of: Why was Amazon selling pedophilia guide?

    >> now, for a book listed on amazon's website, offering advice to pedophiles opening a firestorm of controversy. natalie has details. good morning.

    >> good morning to you. a self published , he book titled "the pedophile's guide to love and pleasure," a defense of pedophilia. the online voices against it are growing louder. amazon.com has all kinds of e books on their kindl e- book store site but one is causing controversy, "the bed file's guide to love and pleasure." offering a description of his self published , he book. this is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles who that find themselves involved in them by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow. he goes on to say i hope to achieve this by appearing to the better nature of ped do sexuals with hope that they're doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps lighter sentences should they be caught.

    >> it's offensive and on kindle. out there to the mass. i'm very upset about it.

    >> reporter: the e-book online since later october caused thousands of answers, horrible, lost my business, are some of countless reviews 0 of the book. and anger exploded online. a flurry of tweeters expressing outrage and dedicated to boycotting amazon just as holiday shopping gets under full swing.

    >> they're feel to free what they want to think.

    >> reporter: the author himself said he is not a pedophile defended himself outside his colorado home.

    >> every time you see them on television, they're either rapists or kidnappers. that's not an accurate representation of that particular sexuality.

    >> reporter: amazon.com responded saying it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable and support the right of others to make their own purchasing decisions.

    >> perhaps it's free speech but shouldn't be so widely marketed as it is.

    >> by wednesday night, fewer than 100 books had reportedly been sold online. overnight, that link to buy the e-book is no longer available. no word if amazon reversed their decision.

    >> thank you very much.

    >>> coming up, kanye west responds to former president george w. bush , who called west outburst during the katrina telethon the

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