Internet, I'm Proud of You

November 11, 2010

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We did it together

Yesterday, Cecily was alerted to a book that was being sold on Amazon that is a “How-to-Guide” for pedophilia. Specifically how a pedophile might be able to receive a lesser sentence by modifying his/her approaches – but that pedophilia is ultimate okay and should be celebrated.

Not surprisingly, the Internet lost its mind. There was outrage and disgust that the book was even available for sale on Amazon and a request to them to remove it from their inventory. Under the guise of “censorship”, Amazon refused and, once again, the Internet responded. LOUDLY.

This was not censorship. This was a business decision. A bad one. There are several great responses to this situation from a variety of view points — all well thought out. Here are a few:

Backpacking Dad: A slippery slope argument only works when you show that the slope is SLIPPERY, not that it’s a slope.

Shannon: Amazon and Moral Codes

Milehimama provides a timeline of events for those that want to catch up.

Today we found out the book was pulled. The kids won. We should all be proud of that.

Cecily took a great amount of heat from some folks who believed it was censorship – and that she (and the rest of us) were acting like Internet bullies. There was a lot of talk of “mobs” and “radical” and “Big Brother”. There were threats and name calling. In many cases it quickly went from an argument to a fight.

Cecily has a great deal of notoriety on the Internet and because of this and the success of the efforts yesterday, has received more information about other books in the same genre.

This is not Cecily’s job. It’s your job. And my job. We all have a voice and a reach. For all the talk of the dangers of social media, it can do a great amount of good in the world. I hope you’ll join the conversation. I hope you’ll advocate when you can. Yesterday’s efforts exposed a company in need of a moral compass – and saved children from sexual victimization.

Yesterday it was a good day on the Internet.

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6 Responses to “Internet, I'm Proud of You”

  1. elz Says:

    Agreed. It really pissed me off when people (some friends) portrayed the “book” sale as Amazon standing up to censorship. No, it was a business decision. There is no “free speech” in private business only when a citizen petitions the government for something (rally, meeting space, etc). This was not government censorship, it was another example of big business being unwilling to act in a moral and ethical manner. We were right as consumers to demand that the book (And others like it) be pulled.

    Reply

  2. Loukia Says:

    Yup. I’m so glad that book is gone. I wrote about this at length on my blog today, too, so I won’t get into it here, but I agree with you.

    Reply

  3. Jonathan Says:

    This whole case has opened the can of worms once again about censorship and free speech. Not a good can of worms to open – for all sorts of reasons.

    I’m not saying what happened shouldn’t have happened – just that it’s a far bigger issue than this single case illustrates.

    Reply

    • Pammer Says:

      Well, see, that’s the thing. This has nothing to do with free speech or censorship. No one said don’t write the book. He’s clearly free to write the book – and free to sell it via his own website. The request was for Amazon to make a decent business decision not to sell it.

      And censorship is done through the government – which clearly also doesn’t apply here.

      This was a business decision. And the market has spoken.

      Reply

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