Amazon Under Fire For Selling eBook About Sex Tourism

Amazon Under Fire For Selling eBook About Sex Tourism

via Huffington Post

Love146, a group that fights child trafficking and exploitation, has successfully lobbied Amazon to take down Age of Consent: A Sex Tourists Guide!, a self-published eBook by Peter F. Friedmann.

Here is the book's creepy description:

In some countries it is even illegal to have sex outside of marriage, with severe consequences if you are caught doing so! On the flipside, there are many countries on this planet where the age of consent is as low as 12 or 13... This $3.49 will keep you out of jail, possibly the most important few dollars that any red blooded testosterone pumped traveler will spend.

Other books by Friedmann are still available, including a guide to sex tourism in Bangkok. 

Amazon's publishing policies say that books can't contain pornography, non-exclusive, illegal, or offensive content. While that final one is a little vague, Love146 certainly found it offensive, and the book did break some other rules: At 18 pages it wasn't so much a book as a series of lists that are widely available on the internet. The cover also violated the copyright policy. 

This isn't the first time Amazon has butted up against issues related to creepy-ass self-published books. In 2010, they were forced to remove The Pedophiles Guide to Love and Pleasure.

Now, if you search for The Pedophiles Guide to Love and Pleasure, the first result is The Parent's Guide to Protecting Children from Pedophiles. I wonder if that's intentional. 

So, we know the sex tourism book violated some of Amazon's policies about publishable content. That aside, let's talk about censorship. Should it have been taken down from the store? Should it have been left up? What do you think? And how stringent should Amazon be in policing the eBooks it makes available for sale? 

Image of The Parent's Guide to Protecting Children from Pedophiles
Author: mbc, mbcowan
Price: $8.96
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2012)
Binding: Paperback, 132 pages
Rob Hart

News by Rob Hart

Rob Hart is the class director at LitReactor, as well as the associate publisher for MysteriousPress.com. He's the author of The Last Safe Place: A Zombie Novella, and his short stories have appeared in publications like Shotgun Honey, ThuglitCrime Factory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir. His debut novel, New Yorked, will be published by Polis Books in June 2015. He lives in New York City, and you can find his website at www.robwhart.com.

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Comments

yesjessica's picture
yesjessica from Chicago August 3, 2012 - 12:12pm

Hm. The content is very creepy, but I think it's censorship to take it down on that reason alone.

Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne August 3, 2012 - 12:13pm

This guy can sell his "book" elsewhere, yes? Can you really call it censorship if a company simply chooses not to sell a product?

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading The Bone Clocks August 3, 2012 - 12:16pm

I'm all for it when loopholes are used to circumvent the law when it comes to things like this, but yeah, it's probably censorship. If the same tactics were used against something I was for, I'd be pissed.

alisia's picture
alisia from Byron, NY is reading The Goldfinch by: Donna Tartt August 3, 2012 - 12:17pm

Censorship or not, this "author" is promoting sex trafficking and pointing out where men can rape little kids. We should censor him completely. As a mom and a member of the Polaris Project, I wish people like this didn't exist.

jacks_username's picture
jacks_username from Louisville, Kentucky is reading A Song Of Ice and Fire August 3, 2012 - 12:22pm

Well if it's legal...

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading The Bone Clocks August 3, 2012 - 12:25pm

Did the title of this book really need an exclamation point?

Tim's picture
Tim from Philadelphia is reading approximately eight different books. Most unsuccessfully. August 3, 2012 - 12:49pm

I'm pretty sure censorship can only be committed by a political body. If a business decides not to sell a product because they don't want to offend the majority of their customers, or because they fear they will be held in a bad light for carrying the product, or because they feel selling the product would be a material cooperation in evil, it is their free choice. Nobody is saying the guy can't write the book nor publish it. Amazon just says they aren't going to sell it and there is no reason why they could be compelled to do so.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading The Bone Clocks August 3, 2012 - 1:00pm

Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne August 3, 2012 - 1:19pm

Yeah, I'm thinking along Tim's lines, here. A publisher doesn't have to accept a manuscript, and can reject it for any reason. Wal-Mart refusing to sell some violent game or movie isn't censorship, but the government making it illegal for retailers to sell the product would be.

JonnyGibbings's picture
JonnyGibbings August 3, 2012 - 2:38pm

You know, I feel conflicted by censorship. When used by an autocracy or such to sensor the freedom of speech, or even simply expression of sexual freedom, no matter how others may see it as deviant is one thing. And in every sphere wrong.

Exploitation is another. To profit, aid profit and traffic trade to the whole industry of child sex exploitation is very different. There is censorship, and there is decency. The reality of such business is about as dark as you can go in humanity. Maybe it's cos I am a parent, but fuck me. There are areas within certain countries that have lowered the age of consent to profit from the ever growing sex tourist trade. Parts of the Philippines being one such country where the age has been dropped to 12 years. 12 fucking years!

I'd not call it censorship. I'd call it decency. If I was a retailer, I wouldn't sell it. If he can sell it to other sick cunts elsewhere, so be it.

JonnyGibbings's picture
JonnyGibbings August 3, 2012 - 2:31pm

Makes me think of Mr J's Constance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqyLRpGgxRs

edsikov's picture
edsikov from New York by way of Natrona Hts PA is reading Robert Caro's THE POWER BROKER August 4, 2012 - 11:50am

One problem with this whole issue is that the line between "childhood" and "adulthood" is too flexible to make judgments about the morality of having sex with youth. 16 no, 17 okay? 17 no, 18 okay?

If anybody touched my 14 year old godson I would strangle him or her. But I dont think I can impose that outrage onto other cultures. 

Finally: I have honestly never even thought about becoming a "sex tourist." But now....? Do you get a continental breakfast along with the package? What is the age of consent in Sweden? Do the toddlers do anything you ask for? Is there any training involved or do you have to be both client and instructor?

--Ed

Ray Richards's picture
Ray Richards from Michigan and Iowa is reading The Great Shark Hunt by Hunter S. Thompson August 4, 2012 - 5:31pm

So, there seems to be this tappible market that is concerned with tapping. I think I'll publish How No to be arrested for the Creepy Sex Things You Want to Do.

It will then say "don't d creepy sex things" followed by a series of insults from my imagination. 

ReneeAPickup's picture
ReneeAPickup from Joshua Tree, CA is reading A truckload of books. August 5, 2012 - 2:15am

The content is creepy, but legal. If he were following the other guidelines, I don't see why it should be taken down. I, personally, think that a grown man shouldn't go traveling to a foreign country just to have sex with twelve year olds, but if it is legal in that country, it seems it is an issue that country should face and not a guy self-publising an ebook.

And now that I've defended it, I'm going to go take a hot shower and scrub myself.

ReneeAPickup's picture
ReneeAPickup from Joshua Tree, CA is reading A truckload of books. August 5, 2012 - 2:18am

Leave it to Jonny to make me feel like an ass.

There are areas within certain countries that have lowered the age of consent to profit from the ever growing sex tourist trade. Parts of the Philippines being one such country where the age has been dropped to 12 years. 12 fucking years!

Okay, so I knew this. But when responding I wasn't thinking of this. And now I have a lot of questions I need to ask myself about how countries that claim to be fighting the sex trade should legislate things that promote the sex trade in other countries...