Do we want the largest retailer in the world to have the power to determine what we read?
‘The End Of Conservative Books’: Amazon Quietly Bans Books They Deem Offensive, ‘Hate Speech’
ByAmanda Prestigiacomo•Feb 27, 2021
Conservatives are sounding the alarm about an updated Amazon policy that bans books the ubiquitous billion-dollar company deems offensive or includes so-called “hate speech.”
As noted by The Daily Wire, Amazon has ramped up its censorship on conservative views in recent weeks. For example, a popular documentary on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was banned from their streaming service this past week. Before that move, the company de-platformed conservative Ryan Anderson’s book critical of gender theory, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement.”
When Just the News reached out to Amazon over the ban on Anderson’s book, the outlet said the company directed them to a page outlining their “Content Guidelines for Books.” Under a section labeled “Offensive Content,” Amazon states that they “don’t sell certain content including content that we determine is hate speech, promotes the abuse or sexual exploitation of children, contains pornography, glorifies rape or pedophilia, advocates terrorism, or other material we deem inappropriate or offensive.”
“A review of those policies suggests that sometime in the last few months Amazon made a major change to the ways in which it moderates book content on its servers, imposing a much stricter standard on books than it had previously done,” the report said. It appears the company recently added so-called “hate speech” to their guidelines on book platforming and is amping up their censorship of the “offensive.”
Daily Wire podcast host and conservative author Matt Walsh warned that the designation from Amazon broadened to include conservative views, as it seems to be leaning, could lead to the potential “end of conservative books.”
“If Amazon decides to label conservative books ‘hate speech,’ that’s effectively the end of conservative books,” he posted to Twitter on Saturday.
“Publishers won’t bother publishing books that can’t be sold on Amazon,” he explained. “This is a hugely important issue. I don’t think it’s getting all the attention it deserves.
Author and critic of progressive gender theory Abigail Shrier posted a lengthy thread offering a similar warning, emphasizing Amazon’s reach.
“We’re really not making a big enough deal of the fact that [Amazon] has begun deleting books,” she said on Saturday. “Amazon now claims the right to bar all books that are ‘inappropriate or offensive.’ Of course, nearly *every book* worth reading could be characterized as ‘inappropriate’ or ‘offensive’ to someone.
“But also, Amazon is manifestly dishonest about censoring books that are ‘offensive’ or ‘inappropriate.’ They continue to sell books like this, which discusses very young children performing fellatio,” Shrier highlighted. “And I don’t believe they should stop selling it!”
“Books that surprise and inform and challenge us to see things differently are usually offensive to someone. In the short term, sounding the alarm may increase sales of a particular book. But this is a dangerous move – and we are all too complacent about it,” she continued.
“When a company controls over 83% of the market for books, it begins the process of deleting ideas from a society,” the author argued. “A bookseller can sell whatever it wants. If ‘Marxist Books’ wants to only sell books that conform to its ideology, OK; that has integrity.”
“But this is the ‘world’s largest bookseller.’ Amazon can basically make books disappear for *all readers* — and does so on a blatantly dishonest basis. Under guise of removing ‘inappropriate’ content, they will really be removing ideas they disfavor,” she added.
“Please do not make the mistake of analogizing this to a tiny Colorado bakery. There’s a huge difference betw one baker refusing to make a particular cake and Target, Amazon, or Apple deleting content: scale – i.e., the difference between homicide and genocide,” she wrote. “Start to understand the power of scale. The difference between Maoist Books refusing a book and Amazon, is that books Amazon disfavors will never be published in the first place — which is exactly what the book banners want.”