Sunday, November 14, 2010

Letter To The Editor

So the whole Amazon book listing drama really got to me - I was beyond pissed off.

So I did what I do best....write...a letter to the Editor of the Ottawa Citizen:

Amazon was unethical in excusing pedophile 'guide'

 Re: Amazon halts sale of pedophile 'guide' book, Nov. 12

Amazon's decision to finally cave in to public pressure and remove the sale of a digital book, The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure, isn't good enough for me.

It's a question of ethics. In this new world of self-publishing where anything goes, it shows that the publishing house filter systems are there for a reason to issue red flags.

To allow the purchase of even such an e-book that promotes sexual crimes against children is the equivalent to turning a blind eye to the issue.

It's not OK to say Amazon doesn't promote criminal acts yet it had given the green light to the listing of this e-book. It's hypocrisy.

I am all for freedom of speech and enterprise -- I embrace these principles on a daily basis. But there must come a time where consumers stand up and say there is a problem and the system needs to change.

Companies need to be held accountable for the products they sell. They should be obligated to review each item before posting it on their site. In this day of social media, Amazon's well-crafted press release that "Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable" is nowhere near satisfactory.

This is not about a message in the book that I don't agree with -- it's not a debate in ideology or historical perspectives. This wasn't a book of imagined fiction -- it is a how-to-guide for pedophiles.

There is no hiding their head in the sand on this for Amazon executives. This wasn't just a bad judgment call. This was an error of monumental proportions. They owe it to your consumers, advertisers and more importantly to sexual abuse victims to issue a letter of apology. It would be the right and ethical thing to do.

My memory is long. Despite removing the book for sale and deleting all the negative comments by outraged consumers, Amazon has not resolved this issue. I will not soon forget.

Consuelo Bernardi,

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