Amazon.com Inc., the world’s largest online retailer, sparked user anger over its sale of a book that bills itself as a guide for pedophiles.
“The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure,” written and published by Phillip R. Greaves, has been on sale since Oct. 28, according to Seattle-based Amazon, which defended its decision to sell the book.
The guide has received 513 customer reviews, 498 of them giving it one star. Users also associated tags, or categories, to the guide. The most commonly used was “offensive,” followed by “disgusting.” Amazon said pulling the book from its online store would be censorship.
“Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “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.”
Parry Aftab is executive director of Wired Safety, a New York-based nonprofit group that promotes safe use of technology by children. She said a decision to pull the book would only draw more attention to it.
“There are better ways of dealing with this issue than having Amazon not sell it,” Aftab said. “The more noise that people make about it, the more people will buy it.”
Amazon rose $3.06 to $173.33 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.