Amazon Is on a Digital Book Burning Spree

Allum Bokhari, Breitbart, April 8, 2019

Under pressure from left-wing journalists and activists, Amazon is purging right-wing authors from its store, including a book co-authored by English Islam critic and independent commentator Tommy Robinson.

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Amazon began its new round of purges by targeting the white nationalist fringe. In February, the tech giant banned a number of books from white identitarian Jared Taylor, and a book called The White Nationalist Manifesto by Greg Johnson.

This followed bans on Holocaust revisionist books in 2017, and a purge of all books by controversial pickup blogger and author Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh in 2018.

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In 2010, Amazon refused to take down a book defending pedophilia on first amendment grounds. “Amazon believes it is censorship not sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable,” an Amazon representative told CNBC at the time.

“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.”

Public and media outcry was not enough to pressure Amazon into watering down its commitment to content-neutrality when it came to a pro-pedophile book. But it now takes only the slightest pressure for the tech giant to ban right-wing critiques of religion.

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Amazon doesn’t seem to have a problem with extremist of destructive books in general. Two of the most destructive books in history, Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are available for purchase. So too are books by black nationalist Louis Farrakhan, notorious for his racist and anti-semitic comments — so it seems racial hatred isn’t subject to a blanket ban on Amazon either.

Amazon has abandoned its previous commitment to carry all books no matter how controversial, and it’s unclear what consistent principle, if any, the company now follows.

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