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Amazon Censorship Expands

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the seven-words-you-can-never-read dept.

Censorship 764

Nom du Keyboard writes "Recently word leaked out about Amazon removing titles containing fictional incest. Surprisingly that ban didn't extend to the 10 titles of Science Fiction Grand Master Robert A. Heinlein that incorporate various themes of incest and pedophilia. Now, it seems that the censorship is expanding to m/m gay fiction if it contains the magic word 'rape' in the title. Just how far is this going to be allowed to proceed in relative silence, and who is pushing these sudden decisions on Amazon's part?"

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Just wait. (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709514)

If they think books with any one of these things in them are "bad", just wait until they find out about that "bible" thing that contains pretty much *everything*.

Re:Just wait. (5, Insightful)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709774)

Great point. I remember the congregation's reaction when our pastor pointed out that the Bible would be rated NC-17 if accurately portrayed in a movie, and no movie studio would dare produce it not on religious grounds, but because the content would be so explicit.

Incest, rape, murder, mutilation of corpses, etc...it is all there. Even King David, a man after God's heart, had a man murdered so he could add that man's wife to his harem.

So, I'm curious if the same people calling for these books to be banned will support a Bible ban?

Re:Just wait. (4, Informative)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709926)

That's incorrect about King David. He was called a man after the Lord's heart when he was a young man; however, that does not mean that David remained so. It also doesn't mean that what he did was sanctioned by God (it wasn't). Because David had Uriah murdered and sinned with Bathsheba, he fell from God's favor. He tried to get back in God's favor but was unable to completely.

Anyway, yes the Bible does contain a lot of stuff in it.

Re:Just wait. (4, Informative)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709790)

30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”

  33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

  34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

  36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab[g]; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi[h]; he is the father of the Ammonites[i] of today.

-- Genesis 19:30-36

Re:Just wait. (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709860)

It's too bad: If Lot's daughters had had access to the valuable moral contained in the Dead Kennedy's classic Too Drunk to Fuck none of this would have ever happened...

Re:Just wait. (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709942)

It was pretty common in Ancient cultures for relatives to not just have sex, but also marry. Even amongst the Romans who were advanced enough to know the negative consequences.

It's the new censorship (5, Insightful)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709930)

This is an interesting (if not really new) phenomenon that seems to be on the rise.

The threat of censorship in liberal democracies isn't as much from governments as it is from corporations which have a monopoly on their market. In addition to Amazon, look to Apple, Google, Walmart, Comcast, Facebook and... I'm sure y'all can think of some others. These companies have a kind of power we haven't seen since the days when there were only three TV networks. Probably even more.

The one really, really bright star in all of this? I'd say: Wikipedia. It can be manipulated by these megacorps to some extent, but such manipulations usually can be rectified by singular individuals.

Well, that is until net neutrality goes away and then perhaps opens the door for traffic shaping... Then perhaps Comcast, bizarrely, will bring on the new totalitarianism.

What are we supposed to discuss? (0)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709524)

There isn't really much to discuss about this story, so how about we just take potshots at the summary?

Grand master? How about Grand Blowhard? Or Grand Fascist?

Also: who cares? If you don't like it, don't shop there.

Not much but... (1)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709732)

Not much to discuss, so I will make a trip to the local bookstore.

Re:What are we supposed to discuss? (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709778)

"Grand Master" is a title that was conferred upon Heinlein (and Asimov and others) by the World Science Fiction Society (aka the hugo award people).

My corporate black list continues to grow. Let's see: There's Toyota, GM, Sony, Microsoft, Dell, Apple iPad/store, Walmart, Ebay (great for buyers;bad for sellers), and now Amazon with their censorship. ----- Maybe it'd be easier to just list the good guys: Honda and Ford and...um, Nintendo maybe (although they were pretty bad from 1985-95).

>>>If you don't like it, don't shop there.

You are so right. The free market is the ultimate form of democracy where dollars are your votes, and you can cast those votes for any company you choose. Companies that don't receive enough votes go bankrupt (Circuit City, Wards, etc).

Re:What are we supposed to discuss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709862)

The command syntax of emacs is impossible to remember. The guy who invented it ended up with CTS for crissakes.

I get by with a little vi.

Their choice (2, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709526)

It's their choice as to what they sell. It is also not censorship. They are a private company and are free to sell whatever legal products they wish, or not sell them as the case may be. The summary makes it sound like Amazon is the only place one can buy a book.

All they'll do is open the door for alternative online book sale sites catering to specific tastes.

Re:Their choice (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709752)

I'm going to ask you to look up the word censorship again. While they may choose to sell what they want. They can in fact censor things from their channel. Just because its not a government doing it does not make its not censorship.

Re:Their choice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709844)

Shut up.

Re:Their choice (5, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709946)

So, is it only censorship if they carried a title, then dropped it? Or is it also censorship if they never carried the title at all? Is Borders guilty of censorship because they don't carry the "Big Busted Shemales" magazine holiday edition? How about your local library? Is it censorship if your local grocery store doesn't carry the Oxford English Dictionary?

Re:Their choice (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709998)

Is Borders guilty of censorship because they don't carry the "Big Busted Shemales" magazine holiday edition?

It's censorship, but they're not guilty. HTH.

Re:Their choice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709936)

It's amazing how often this gets fucked up on Slashdot in both directions. It is censorship, it's not a First Amendment issue. For a site that's most popular section is called Your Rights Online, no one on it seems to know their rights.

Amazon is not the Library (2)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709530)

This is exactly why libraries shouldn't die right here. A company is not beholden to freedom of speech issues the same way an institution like a library is.

I really wish the library had a online book store like Amazon.

Re:Amazon is not the Library (2)

Aerynvala (1109505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709804)

Some libraries do have online options. My local library has online search of their physical and digital offerings. I can also borrow digital items (movies, audio books, ebooks) online with my valid library card. The Sony Reader store actually links you to a national website that helps you find your local library.

I have a choice (1)

mschaffer (97223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709812)

Sure, it's not the library, but I don't have to purchase anything from Amazon.com if I don't want to.
Mr. Bezos may believe that he can make more money by kowtowing to special interests, but he won't get another cent from me if he unreasonably censors Amazon.com's products.

I used to purchase items from Amazon.com because of the breadth of material available in one "store". Knowing that they are intentionally censoring products makes me really want to support the smaller stores.

Re:Amazon is not the Library (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709832)

Libraries censor books all the time.
I'm not sure where you got the idea that libraries can't do that, because they can. Such as refusing to carry Huck Finn because of words like "nigger", or excising the breast-feeling and vagina-touching passages from Anne Frank's Diary.

fahrenheit ??? (4, Insightful)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709538)

At what temperature does a kindle burn?

Re:fahrenheit ??? (1)

dennis_k85 (828582) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709780)

Fahrenheit 451!!!

Re:fahrenheit ??? (2)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709788)

Well, assuming you left the Kindle in it's cardboard box it came in, it would burn at 451 degreesF http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit_451 [wikipedia.org] :)

Are we to also assume that all self-help books that help rape victims * [amazon.com] will be pulled because it has the word "rape" in the title?

* Just an example not an endorsement.

Re:fahrenheit ??? (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709854)

Are we to also assume that all self-help books that help rape victims * will be pulled because it has the word "rape" in the title?

Maybe the title scoring script assigns -1 for "rape" and +1 for "help" and for "victim", making the title's score positive, and thus okay.

I wonder if the title "help rape- rape- rape- rape victims stop stammering" would be pulled out...

Re:fahrenheit ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34710000)

Okay, what about the book "Rape Helps Victims"?

Re:fahrenheit ??? (4, Funny)

GofG (1288820) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709894)

actually the combustion temperature of paper is no-where near 451F. It is closer to 840F (source [google.com] ), which is 450C. It was gonna be "Celcius 450" but "Fahrenheit 451" sounds cooler.

Re:fahrenheit ??? (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709964)

451 volts will do the job nicely...

Go Amazon! (4, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709542)

First off, it's their store, and it should be their decision to sell or not sell any particular book.

Secondly, if they are indeed pulling titles off people's Kindles like last time, I say: "Go Amazon, and by all means extend the scope of your ban". All the sooner, people will wake up to the fact that they don't really "own" that DRM-ridden content after all.

Re:Go Amazon! (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709772)

So, what you are saying is: The more you tighten your censorship, Amazon, the more customers will slip through your fingers? I hope you are correct!

Re:Go Amazon! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709904)

First off, it's their store, and it should be their decision to sell or not sell any particular book.

Yes, queue all the "but tha 1st emedment!!!!1!11!!!" idiots.

It'd be great for Amazon to have the balls to publish everything, but they're also well within their rights to censor whatever they want.

Secondly, if they are indeed pulling titles off people's Kindles like last time, I say: "Go Amazon, and by all means extend the scope of your ban". All the sooner, people will wake up to the fact that they don't really "own" that DRM-ridden content after all.

Yes, but it's not going to happen for a fringe "gay porn" book.
We need J.K. Rowling/Scholastic/Bloomsbury to suddenly decide to pull all the Potter books for anyone to actually take notice. (bonus points if they replace it with gay porn)

Re:Go Amazon! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709986)

BS. They are a monopoly now, or very near it, and as such they lose all arguments related to "free-markets". Free markets only exist where competition is healthy, and there is certainly no healthy competition to Amazon. As a monopoly, they are more akin to governments than they are private businesses.

Even Adam Smith recognized that monopolies are the greatest enemies of free markets. I don't understand why Rand and Hayek's clergy doesn't get that.

Meanwhile, on amazon: (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709544)

Re:Meanwhile, on amazon: (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709872)

Those same books exist in the back of my local Barnes & Noble. Except they are american, not japanese, include both boys & girls, and they are not wearing any clothes at all. You see: Photography of nudes is protected by the First Amendment of the Supreme law of the land. (Freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of expression)

Only images of under-18 sex is outlawed.

What are we supposed to discuss? (-1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709550)

There isn't really much to discuss about this story, so how about we just take potshots at the summary?

Grand master? How about Grand Blowhard? Or Grand Fascist?

Also: who cares? If you don't like it, don't shop there.

(don't yell if this is a double post, because it apparently didn't post the first time -- and, no, I'm not going to take that as God telling me to not troll Slashdot.)

In control of religious extremists? (4, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709552)

Religious extremists aren't limited to the muslim world, it just takes other forms and actions and a lot of the effects seen in the US of that is that anything related to sex is banned but it's OK to sell weapons, show how to abuse someone (as long as it isn't sexually) and glorify war.

So I'm just waiting for the Heinlein books to disappear too along with any books critical of religions - especially the books critical of christianity and the scientology movement.

In the final stages even books related to science will disappear and only creationism books will be permitted to remain.

Re:In control of religious extremists? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709922)

The religious extremists of the US generally turn to politics, because they see that they really can advance their cause through non-violent activism. Not always, but in general. The Islamic extremists elsewhere in the world realise that they havn't got a hope in hell* of achieving their desired aim through politics, so they go for violence instead.

*Or whatever the Islamic eqivilent is - I know they have one, I don't know it's name.

"Who?" (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709556)

I'm pretty sure it's not the atheists...

Don't buy from them? (2, Insightful)

Mark19960 (539856) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709558)

Seriously.. if they don't want to sell something they don't have to sell it.
We don't 'make' stores carry product do we?
If they don't sell the product you want then buy it from someone that does!

Re:Don't buy from them? (2)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709948)

Exactly. Or better yet, seize this business opportunity and serve the market segment Amazon is rejecting. Don't just speak up for the underserved pedophilia and gay rape market, be an entrepreneur and serve them yourself. Publish DRM-free PDFs and accept all submissions for sale. Link to a print-on-demand service for those that prefer physical media.

Amazon is not the only book vendor, and nothing prevents a competing company from also selling books.

Hmm. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709576)

Did you know that "rape" means "grate" in french? Maybe someone should release some "m/m gay fiction" (quick aside, isn't that kind of redundant?) entitled "il râpe le fromage".

Two jaded lovers, finding happiness in their shared interest: making nachos.

He, heh, food for thought. See what I did there?

Re:Hmm. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709954)

Or how about a book on the history of canola farming?

Slashdot is censored! (2)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709578)

It seems that not even Slashdot is safe from censorship.

Comments seems to dissapear, and a test gives the message "This exact comment has already been posted. Try to be more original...".

What's a good alternative? (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709588)

I might want to buy an ebook fairly soon. Can anybody recommend a good ebook reader where this kind of crap isn't possible?

I'd like: no DRM, standard USB connector, possibility of uploading anything I want from USB, and open source firmware.

Re:What's a good alternative? (1)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709800)

I might want to buy an ebook fairly soon. Can anybody recommend a good ebook reader where this kind of crap isn't possible?

I'd like: no DRM, standard USB connector, possibility of uploading anything I want from USB, and open source firmware.

A Kindle addresses all of those except the OSS firmware, insofar as it won't refuse to display non-DRM'd files.

Epub support would certainly be nice though.

Re:What's a good alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709852)

The Nook supports epub and PDF. The firmware is Android. For the Color Nook, the API is available. For the original Nook, you can jailbreak it, although B&N has discussed possibly opening it up as well.

Re:What's a good alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709876)

Well, except for OS fireware, the Kindle meets your standard.

Convert your book into mobi format (I use claibre).
The Kindle mounts as a USB mass storage device using a USB micro cable and does not require a book have DRM to view.

AFAIK they can only remove books you bought from them, not books you got from Gutenberg or other free ebook source.

It also doubles as a web-browser (kinda shitty) and mp3 player.

Re:What's a good alternative? (1)

KingArthur10 (679328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709878)

The issue is not finding a device free of working with DRM, but rather a store that sells DRM-free works.

If you want an ebook reader built on open source software, look at the Nook. Many have even rooted them to allow for custom installations. It allows for a variety of DRM and DRM-free formats to be used (should you find those DRM-free stores).

The market is in its infancy, and until one store gains a good monopoly (like iTunes with music), you're not going to see real competition (like DRM stripped books).

Trivial policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709592)

As Amazon is getting more and more money from the GOV, they don't really need "normal customers".

The question would then be, why doing it this way? Just shutdown everything and leave the cloud computing thing.

It is curious... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709600)

A fairly large part of Amazon's business practice, aside from efficient JIT inventory/shipping, is customer profiling and recommendation(an extension of the classic retail upsell, only every recommendation isn't for a magazine or service plan, and beaten over your head!). Given their fair expertise in this area, and generally commanding lead in online bookselling, it seems unlikely that this is a case of "poor, poor, Amazon, haunted by the lawsuits of angry parents whose offspring's attempt to search for sparkle-ponies dumped them into the M/M Rape BDSM section". Surely they can trivially keep team pathologically sensitive from finding anything they don't search for, and wave the free speech flag to cover the rest.

Thus, one is inclined to suspect that(since books about incest, rape, or whatever are presumably sold for a profit just like any other book) somebody inside or outside the company is being pushy for reasons ideological rather than financial, and that they are being surprisingly quiet about it(unlike say, the tremulous morons at the Parent's Television Council, who are explicitly ideological; but ontologically incapable of being quiet). Who exactly that might be is rather puzzling...

Re:It is curious... (1)

h2oliu (38090) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709802)

To take your excellent idea on profiling and expand it. Maybe Amazon found that dealing with government requests about those books was too expensive, and thus chose to stop selling them so they would have fewer government requests to deal with?

Bible (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709602)

Will they be removing the Christian Bible as well for ITS fictional incest? I mean, if you want to talk about books that harm kids minds, the bible is right up there with the Koran and Torah as the most harmful books out there.

Let's not forget the Bible (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709604)

Which contains stories of rape and incest.

Amazon: Remember to remove the Bible too! (4, Insightful)

toriver (11308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709606)

Or is that not considered fictional?

The best known example from there is the story of Lot, his stupid wife who turned into salt by looking back on the devastation, and his daughters who got him drunk and had sex with him to bring him male heirs.

Re:Amazon: Remember to remove the Bible too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709882)

If they remove the Bible, how long before they remove The Empire Strikes Back?

Re:Amazon: Remember to remove the Bible too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709886)

Good thing nobody ever used the speculative perjorative 'Jeff "mother fucking" Bezos' or they'd have to censor themselves too!

Re:Amazon: Remember to remove the Bible too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709910)

Or is that not considered fictional?

+5 Troll

I always think it's funny when the vocal minority gets pissy.

Re:Amazon: Remember to remove the Bible too! (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709932)

Heck, not only that, but a good portion of the classical Greek literature goes away too. Homer and Hesiod? Gone, because of the sibling incest between Zeus and Hera. Sophocles and Aeschelus? Gone, because of the 2 most famous instances of parent-child incest (Oedipus and Electra) in all of literature.

Amazon makes a good call (1, Funny)

Proudrooster (580120) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709612)

Amazon has made a good call here by protecting its brand and not associating itself with illegal and immoral activities like pedophilia.

Re:Amazon makes a good call (0)

terjeber (856226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709734)

It must be difficult for you to type after whatever accident you had that turned your brain into slush.

Re:Amazon makes a good call (2)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709992)


There's nothing wrong with a company that has standards. If you don't like those standards then you are free to patronize another company or start your own.

As a publicly-traded company Amazon also needs to be profitable. It's a smart business decision to reject pedophilia - the amount of money made selling pedophile-friendly products would not make up for the sales lost by those boycotting Amazon for carrying those products.

Well I'm all for eliminating degerate art (3, Insightful)

Elbowgeek (633324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709626)

And after expunging all un-Germ^H^H^H^HAmerican art from society we can move on to getting rid of those people who we find to be untermensch.

Thank you Amazon for getting the ball rolling :-)

THAT explains why I can't access my Amazon account (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709630)

Signed,

Rape Fuckmysister
Butthole, MS

Scientology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709634)

I wouldn't be surprised if these acts of censorship are not related to the close connections of Amazon and the Church of Scientology.

We're supposed to be concerned?!?! (0, Redundant)

Courageous (228506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709638)

Titles on the subject of gay rape disappear from Amazon and we're supposed to be concerned. WTF is wrong with you?

This is not censorship. It's a simple issue of a retailer not wanting its image stained by garbage.

It's both their right and responsibility to see to this kind of stuff.

It's business, nothing personal. (0)

nharmon (97591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709644)

Just how far is this going to be allowed to proceed

The answer should be: "until it causes a lot of people to stop buying from Amazon." But I have a feeling you really meant, "Why won't the government step in and force Amazon to sell smut?"

I think the knee-jerk reaction here is that this is some sort of censorship conspiracy, when in reality it is probably Amazon protecting its bottom-line and reacting to what it thinks its customers expect.

They came first for the perverts... (4, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709648)

Well, actually first they came for George Orwell. [rightpundits.com]

And lots of people spoke up, so they promised not to do it again.

I guess this time they decided to pick on an easier target.

where's my literature pr0n? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709652)

And I was thinking about getting a kindle...

Not censorship.... (0)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709660)

Amazon is a business, and has made a business decision to not sell certain items. They're doing nothing to prevent you from buying those items elsewhere. That's not censorship.

Legal and normal (0)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709668)

As much as I hate Amazon for a variety of reasons (the price of their ebooks and the DRM they come encumbered with, their pulling books you've bought out of your Kindle without asking permission, or the bland stupid political correctness they're apparently trying to enforce), there's something important to remember here: they are a private enterprise, and they have the right to chose what they sell. They are not a private library with a duty to provide for the widest possible audience.

Also, they are not engaging in censorship, inasmuch as they don't have a complete monopoly over the book distribution industry. You (still) can vote with your wallet and buy from somebody else, although at the rate they're growing, how long you'll be able to do that is a matter of serious debate.

Open your own store if its a problem (0)

zerodollars (1572217) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709684)

They (Amazon) are not a government entity are entitled to sell what they wish. If someone wants these books to get to the public, they should setup their own store front. DNRTFA

This isn't censorship (0)

nettdata (88196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709694)

This isn't censorship, it's a corporate policy decision. Big difference.

This is them determining what items they want in their catalogue.

They have no requirement to put everything that exists in there.

Re:This isn't censorship (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709794)

I assume you're american. I'll try to put this as clearly as possible. It's not just the government that can engage in censorship. If a company that sells books decides to stop selling certain books and the only reasonable explanation for this is that they have issues with the content (despite it being legal) then that is indeed censorship. It may not be jack-booted thugs breaking down doors and torching your books but it's still censorship, they are for moral/ideological/other non-business reasons choosing to suddenly pretend that these books don't exist, that's censorship (they clearly had little trouble carrying them before so I doubt it's an issue of the books not being available).

Boycott? (0)

Jharish (101858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709698)

I've been attempting to boycott Amazon for stuff like this but I simply can't help myself over how convenient it's become not to have to spend several hours a week shopping. I would seriously like to have input into their decisions and would like alternatives to use that are better than Amazon in terms on not censoring and offering such a wide selection of stuff available for free delivery.

Re:Boycott? (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709798)

I've been attempting to boycott Amazon for stuff like this but I simply can't help myself over how convenient it's become not to have to spend several hours a week shopping.

Randy, is that you? [wikipedia.org]

I would seriously like to have input into their decisions

I'm sure they'd be falling over themselves to provide you with a properly argumented explanation of their corporate decisions as fast as they possibly could if you asked them.

Will the Bible be next? (0, Redundant)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709700)

It contains incest stories as well.

Bad Amazon (2)

Akral (975984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709706)

Honestly, it is scary, how most of the people would not react to this in any way.

Vote with your dollar my ass. Mine is one dollar in 3 billion others. =7

Capitalism To the Rescue! (3, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709744)

If you don't like it, you are free to open your own multi-billion dollar company on the internet.

Just make sure you don't hit any of their patents.

What about Amazon's rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709708)

YRO? What about Amazon's right to sell what they want?

They aren't censoring anything. If you can't buy it there i'm sure someone will sell it. That's not the definition of censorship.

Grocery supermarkets don't sell cars. Are they trying to censor the car market?

Will the Bible be next? (1, Insightful)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709712)

Will the Bible be next? It contains stories of incest.

Apologies for redundancy (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709742)

Sorry for redundancy. /. kept loading this page as having zero comments when I posted, then a second later it said 37 comments, so naturally I hadn't read any.

Vitimization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709716)

I know one of the people who was on Amazon's ass to take down those books. Their "reasoning" was that it "promotes" the rape of children and that the victims of incest and pedophilia demanded that the books be taken down because it will cause it to happen to others. Saying that it's just a book just infuriated her even more - she was unable or unwilling to understand that a book doesn't lead to actions.

Typical of America. We cater to the "victims" and the people who are offended.

Here's what needs to be done. Point out that the Bible - the Holy Bible - has incest, daughters fucking their fathers, and the Song of Songs - pornography. Ban a book about incest? Well, the Bible has to go because now, a pervert can say, "Well, the BIBLE says that daughters can fuck their fathers so that gives me the right to do it - It's GOD'S command!"

I can put tape over my own mouth too (0)

Borealis (84417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709718)

While I would prefer that Amazon carry a full range of titles encompassing all speech, they are a company, not the government. They are free to carry or not carry whatever titles they choose. While I see no upside to them in not offering a full range, it is their prerogative to select their own wares.

The alternative is that we would force retailers to carry products that they do not wish to carry, which is not something that I see happening in a sane world.

yeah they are free. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709776)

http://news.mongabay.com/2005/0718-worlds_largest.html [mongabay.com]

corporations today are bigger than governments. until fools like you wake up to this fact and become aware that a corporation can govern your life much more than a government can, we will have to take all this shit.

no. you dont have choice. economies of scale in capitalism do not allow choice. dont fool yourself.

Re:I can put tape over my own mouth too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709856)

I think you're missing the point. What's being said here is not that Amazon should be forced to sell something they don't want to sell. It is that the decision they made was a lousy one.

Besides, given the weight Amazon carries in the book market, what they do sets a potential example for others. I would rather not see that example followed. And don't give me the "free market takes care of itself" crap -- that's pretending that we live in a world populated by a broad range of little companies, not one dominated by a few large corporations. In the book market, that's Amazon, Barnes and Noble and a handful of others. If the "free market" is so good at policing itself, what the fuck happened to the financial institutions?

It will continue in silence until (2)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709722)

they start censoring things people can defend without sounding like perverts. People generally don't want to be known for defending these things, it hurts their chances of achieving high positions.

I can just imagine how the defenders would be described in the news - defenders of (fictional) incest and gay rapists. They won't mention the fictional part, of course.

How about this one? (5, Funny)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709724)

"Cooking with Rapeseed oil"

GOOD for them (1)

Auroch (1403671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709736)

Amazon isn't required to sell ALL books. If they don't want to sell porno, they don't have to. Same goes for any material, really.

They can do what they want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709738)

Sorry, but I don't really care. It's their store, and they sell what they want to sell.

Is this a case for voting with your wallet? (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709748)

I'm no fan of censorship, but Amazon.com is a private company capable of making there own business decisions whether or not I agree with them. It's not as if these books are not available in other places, perhaps a local business that you could feel good about supporting. Calling a company's decision to stop selling a product censorship is at best an over reaction in my view. Amazon must feel that they will sell more books if they stop selling certain others. Otherwise the leadership at Amazon is making these decisions based on personal or religious views and if that is the case then I wouldn't recommend buying any Amazon stock in the near future.

Oh but .... (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709756)

amazon is a private corporation. they are a private entity. they are allowed to do whatever they wish to do with their property. they may choose to serve whomever they want and refuse whomever they want.

even if they monopolize their field to a great extent alone, or with a few other 'competitors', and therefore their choices would basically mean what citizens will be able to do and what they can not, in that field of life, its still their right, because, well, they are 'private', its 'their' property and they are free to do whatever they wish with it. actually, any corporation has those rights, even if they are as big as a fscking country or biger.

http://news.mongabay.com/2005/0718-worlds_largest.html [mongabay.com]

or, in other words, its naivete, and stupidity.

You don't need a bonfire, anymore. (2)

Ouija (93401) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709762)

A couple of generations ago, you needed a bonfire in the middle of the street to get rid of books full of unpopular ideas.
Today, that can be accomplished very quietly with a few inode updates.
The Internet and DRMed information is like Alexandria written on gunpowder-impregnated flash paper.
Information is easily linked and too rarely duplicated. Unplug a server, and it goes away.
We can stand around and shrug when some paedo gets his dirty book pulled from his tablet.
Nobody will be there - or care - when it's our turn.
Mark my words.

Just a conspiracy theory... (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709770)

Last time I checked Amazon was a company that can choose to sell what they want to sell. They can even choose to not sell things they used to sell, especially if they've hired new people who might be opposed to such books.

Or, the most likely explanation is that the Chinese government is pressuring the Saudi Arabian government, which is pressuring the U.S. government to pressure Amazon to not sell those books.

The Rape of Nanking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709786)

shhh...don't let amazon know.

Why does the left pretend to care about censoring? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709806)

They have basically spent the last 50 years changing the world to implement the extremely stringent and harshly punishable censorship of "racist" material on pretty much EVERY WEBSITE IN EXISTENCE.

And now they seem to care about "censorship", as some kind of principle?

The mind boggles.

Did they censor V.C. Andrews? (1)

Centurion5 (1180605) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709830)

Did they censor V.C. Andrews "Flowers in the Attic" Series. That entire series was about incest.

Shakespeare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709874)

I hope they try to censor William Shakespeare's "The Rape of Lucrece." I would love to hear that explanation.

it started with this guy (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34709888)

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/amazon-removes-pedophilia-book-store/story?id=12119035 [go.com]

After defending sales of a self-published book on pedophilia, online retail giant Amazon last night reversed course and pulled the book from its Kindle store.

The electronic book, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct," by Philip R. Greaves II, went on sale on Oct. 28 and cost $4.79 to download.

that was november 11. to amazon's credit, it initially defended the selling of this book. but it caved under pressure and bad publicity, and now the internal politics of amazon seems to have shifted course, and amazon has proactively started cutting other books that amazon doesn't want to be associated with, for whatever reason. it's a sea change. before october 28, amazon's policy seemed to have been "publish whatever". now, it's "publish whatever doesn't make amazon a target for bad pr"

Meanwhile, "Mein Kampf" is available... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34709980)

n/t

20 bucks (1)

sqkybeaver (1415539) | more than 3 years ago | (#34710006)

its the mormans
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