Amazon's stance against censorship may be getting "5 stars" from a handful of its customers, but the big bookseller is getting single-star ratings and threats from consumers promising to "take their business elsewhere" in protest of a controversial volume on its Kindle sales shelf.
"The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure" is getting overwhelmingly negative reaction from online shoppers who have used comments like "absolutely disgusting" and "Are you insane?" in posts that pan both the book and Amazon for selling it.
More than 1,400 comments had been posted to the Amazon listing early Wednesday evening; about 99 percent were critical of Amazon's decision to sell the volume and many posters were indicating they would boycott making purchases there if the company continued to offer the "Pedophile's Guide."
Among the handful supporting Amazon, comments generally praised Amazon for not exercising censorship but blasted the book.
"This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow," writes book author Phillip R. Greaves. "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 [sic] sentences should they ever be caught."
Among Greaves' suggestions are alternatives for children too small to use actual condoms and the use of "pin-up pictures of fully clothed juveniles" for stimulation to avoid arrest.
Amazon has issued this statement: "Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. 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."
But one consumer wasn't persuaded.
"So what's next?" they said. "A do-it-yourself book on how to rape and torture women?"
The book, on sale for Kindle devices for $4.79, is currently ranked the 158,221th bestseller on Amazon.
(Editor's note: As of late last night, Amazon has pulled the book from its site. You can read our follow-up report here.)