Amazon defends, then pulls listing of book for pedophiles

Amazon became the target of Internet criticism after initially ignoring pleas to remove a book it listed in its Kindle store on the subject of pedophilia, only to quietly change position and remove the book on Thursday without much notice.

The book, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct" by Phillip Graves, was sold by Amazon for $4.79. It was intended to give those interested in such activity advice on the subject. However, child protection advocates saw the book as potentially dangerous, and threatened to boycott the online retailer.

Graves defends his book by saying that it is only a crime if the contact with the child is sexual in nature, and his book offers pedophiliacs methods to stay within the laws. To Amazon's defense, its own policies state that Amazon does not promise to remove or protect any type of book, and it will not guarantee that anyone will vet titles before they are listed.

Multiple requests for comment from Amazon from several news sources including Betanews have so far gone unanswered. Business Insider however got a statement from the company saying it "believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable."

In a statement to ABC News, Graves argued that critics were accusing him "of wanting to hurt children," saying he only wanted to establish guidelines for those that participate in such behavior. Ether way, the book was no longer available from the Kindle store as of Thursday afternoon, and Amazon had so far not spoken publicly about why it had decided to switch its position.

One possible explanation could be the sudden popularity of the book after the controversy erupted across the Internet: the title had rose to as high as #96 on Amazon's Top 100 titles, possibly embarrassing the retailer.

Opponents of the book are not amused, however. "The author of this book is a predator and should never have been allowed to write or promote this trash that is called a book of information. How many children will be assaulted because of this?" one commenter wrote on the book's listing.

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