Amazon and the End of Free Speech

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
By Paul Martin

The internet giant is censoring books it doesn’t like. Who determines what is ok?

Gregory Hood
Russia-Insider.com
3/5/2019

White Identity by Jared Taylor has just been delisted by Amazon. Like most cases of this kind, the digital book burning was in response to a hit piece. An article from Quartz called “There’s a disturbing amount of neo-Nazi and white supremacist material on Amazon” frothed about White Identity and other titles. The piece was headlined by a picture of a flaming swastika and a group of people performing the stiff-armed salute.

The article recycles the usual silliness, claiming Mr. Taylor is a “white supremacist who has earned a place in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Extremist Files.’” But the most “extreme” quote Quartz could find from the book was a warning to whites: “If they do not defend their interests they will be marginalized by groups that do not hesitate to assert themselves, numerically and culturally.” The fact that White Identity has been banned while books championing “black power” are still on sale suggests Mr. Taylor is correct.

Another book targeted by the article—and banned by Amazon—was the The White Nationalist Manifesto by Dr. Greg Johnson, in which he “argues for ‘the right of all white peoples to self-determination.’” There is no explanation as to why this is bad or even controversial. Meanwhile, black nationalist flags and books promoting Aztlán continue to be sold.

As they should. Unless a book threatens immediate violence against specific people, a free country should not fear it. Of course, America is no longer a free country, and the impulse to censor is growing, especially younger Americans. A recent poll found more than half of college students believe diversity and inclusivity is more important than free speech, with blacks especially likely to favor restrictions. The whole country is becoming one giant college campus, with Google, Facebook, and Twitter arbitrarily censoring anyone they don’t’ like.

Amazon used to be different. The first major book banned by Amazon was The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure in 2010. Amazon banned it after a raucous media campaign. Certainly, almost no one would disagree that the book is vile, but at first Amazon defended it on free speech grounds:

Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable.

Since then, Amazon has banned several books without a clear explanation. For example, some authors were allegedly manipulating Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) to get more money than they deserved.

The Rest…HERE

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