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Amazon.com has found itself in the middle of a pedophilia controversy after allowing the sale of a guide for pedophiles. "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure," is currently for sale, available as an ebook in the Kindle store. The book, written and self-published by Phillip R. Greaves has been for sale on the site since October 28, 2010.
Surprisingly to many, Amazon is standing behind the book. In an emailed statement, the company said, "Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable ... Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."
Without having read the book, it's hard to say whether the book actually promotes illegal activity. The standard for restraining speech is very high. Generally speaking, speech is protected until and unless illegal action is imminent. Nevertheless, it doesn't seem that too many people are reading it. In an interview today, the author told The Smoking Gun that he has sold exactly one copy.
According to the author, the book isn't about advocating pedophilia, but helping children that are in a "relationship" with a pedophile:
"This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian [sic] rules for these adults to follow. I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter [sic] sentences should they ever be caught."
Parry Aftab, executive director of Wired Safety, a nonprofit group that promotes safe use of technology by children, says despite the uproar, she agrees with the decision from Amazon.
"There are better ways of dealing with this issue than having Amazon not sell it ... The more noise that people make about it, the more people will buy it," Aftab said.