I'm sure you have heard by now. There was (it has been taken down,) a book on Amazon that was a guide to pedophilia. It's all over Facebook as groups to boycott Amazon and on Twitter with the hashtag #amazonfail. Many people have voiced their opinions, most of those opinions outrage. I am outraged too. Still, I had to wonder: Did Amazon fail by posting this book? Did this guy have the right to publish this book? Was I right demanding it be taken down?
This incident is a double edge sword. On one hand you have a book about something deplorable that someone could use to harm a child. On the other hand you have freedom of speech and the fact that everyone is suppose to be allowed to exercise it. Add to it the fact that there are plenty of other books out there that could harm others, have questionable content or be flat out offensive. What do we do with all those books? Do we ban each one? Burn them? Make it illegal to write about that subject matter? What's the fine line between censorship and removing something because so many people find it offensive?
I honestly have no answers. I think that book and any like it are horrible. They are just asking sickos to commit a horrible crime, the risk is to high. But on the flip side, I'm against censorship of ideas. Part of what makes America so great is the freedom of speech. The ability to say whatever you want.
I think what I'm trying to say is as much as someone can argue that the book had a right to be published under the freedom of speech, we also had the same right to stand up and protest. We had the right to say, "I believe this book will cause serious harm to a child and it shouldn't be available for sale. I want it removed."
The only failure would have been if no one had spoken at all.
Here's a video of CNN Anderson Cooper on the subject with Dr. Phil and Jeffrey Toobin that discuss the story very well.
Outrage over Pedo Book
Also some blogs on the matter.
Walk with me
Tech Crunch << I think they've done the best of describing what I feel.