AMAZON REALLY NEED TO CHECK THE ITEMS AVAILABLE ON THEIR SITE.
Phillip R Greaves's self-published ebook, The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure, went online on the US site on 28 October, but was not taken down by Amazon.com until last night, after receiving more than 40 outraged reviews from customers and sparking an angry debate on the online retailer's Kindle discussion forum.
Chris Cloke, the head of child protection awareness at the NSPCC, reacted with horror and dismay. "It is deeply worrying that books like this, which could encourage adults to commit sex offences against children, are in circulation," he said. "They are abhorrent and should not be made available to a worldwide audience."
According to Cloke, the availability of such a book raised difficult issues for the internet retailer. "This concerns corporate responsibility," he said, "but more importantly it is about protecting children from sexual predators."
In a statement, Amazon said it "believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable", adding: "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." However, the offending Greaves ebook has now been taken down from the site. Other ebooks by the same author on different topics remain for sale on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk today.