Banned by Amazon

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Banned by Amazon

1margaretbartley
Abr 19, 2020, 3:04pm

I'd like to start a list of books that Amazon will not list, because they don't like the content.

The only books I'm aware of are two by Jim Fetzer: Nobody Died at Sandy Hook and And I Suppose We Didn't Go to the Moon, Either?

I'm not so interested in having a drawn-out expression of opinions as I am in drawing up a list of banned books, but I'm certainly not going to flag people who want to discuss whether a specific book, or topic, should or should not be made available to the public.

Neither is this intended to be a discussion about the role of Amazon and Big Tech in our world.

I'd like to get a list of books that have been either removed, or not not allowed.

I have seen instances where if you search for a book by author and title, the search will return nothing, but if you have the specific listing, then it will come up, meaning Amazon has it, they just won't show it. I'm not sure if that's because it is banned because of content, or if there is some funky stuff going on with their programmers, and it's a bug in the system. That doesn't seem likely, but I've seen that situation. Those books should also be included.

2aspirit
Jun 19, 2020, 2:38pm

From what I've read about conspiracy theorists Jim Fetzer's and Mike Palacek's books, it wasn't Amazon that pulled them down. The publishers pulled them because of lawsuits. Amazon would be breaking multiple laws by stealing the distribution rights to continue selling those books.

Amazon does have a history of shadowbans (putting books in the "basement"), placing books in wrong categories that restrict searches, and delisting books that break the vague terms of service. The books I know of that are frequently impacted are erotica, romance, and LGBTQ+ (including children's) fiction and nonfiction.

There are also the bans of authors that more distinctly broke the terms of service by gaming the algorithms, linking to illegal sites in their books, or bookstuffing.

But, margaretbartley, the only examples you're aware of are two books by a conspiracy theorists involved in lawsuits for spreading harmful lies. That says something to me about how effectively Amazon can hide books that are by less visible authors.

Rolling Stone's "Sandy Hook Father Awarded $450,000 In Conspiracy Theorist Suit" (2019): https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/sandy-hook-shooting-leonard-po...

Authors are advised in how to avoid an automatic pull-down on Amazon.com: https://publishingwithlove.com/banned-amazon-keywords/

LA Times' "Amazon de-ranks so-called adult books, including National Book Award winner" (2009): https://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2009/04/amazon-deranks-gayfriendly-b...

Interestingly, many of the news links talking about what Amazon repeatedly called "glitches", or mistakes in reportedly new policies, are no longer active, despite news media offering unrelated articles online that were available at the same time.

4aspirit
Editado: Jun 19, 2020, 6:49pm

>3 cpg: ugh. I would've liked an explanation for the link so I hadn't feel the need to read the article.

Summary of the so-called censorship:

Amazon rejected former The New York Times reporter Alex Berenson's Kindle Direct Publishing submission of Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns. Amazon said the book didn't comply with its guidelines and that “due to the rapidly changing nature of information around the COVID-19 virus, we are referring customers to official sources for health information about the virus.”

Berenson complained on Jack Dorsey's Twiiter about the rejection. Elon Musk boosted his complaints and tweeted that Jeff Bezos’ Amazon is a monopoly that should be broken up. The Murdochs' FOX Entertainment covered the rejection in its News.

Then Amazon KDP reversed its decision, saying the rejection was an error. The book has since been published on the site.

This all happened on the same day.

5aspirit
Jun 19, 2020, 7:00pm

I remember reading a few years ago of Amazon moving children's books into the Erotica category for having the "LGBT" keyword. That move removed the books from searches or the site completely, tagged as potential pedophila (as now keywords for kidlit were showing within Erotica). The publishers hsd to go through weeks of contacting Amazon and protesting in social media to have their books reinstated.

I wish I could remember which books they were.

6aspirit
Jun 25, 2020, 9:14pm

Finding the old news articles really is a challenge. Publisher's Weekly in particular has moved many of its articles, breaking the links in blog posts and forums, while not providing results on the topics.

Here is one article I found while trying to recover two others. It focuses more on Kobo. (Has Amazon bought out the PW?) The article is currently available with no paywall.

"Indie Authors Launch Petition Reacting to Retailers' Censorship" (2013): https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/retailing/article/59576-ind...

7margaretbartley
Ago 5, 2020, 12:39am

sometime you can find old articles on Archive.org or Archive.today. Then, if you find the article, you can find some unique words that will help you pull up the article in its current location using a search engine. I've found DuckDuckGo to be generally more useful than google.
Be sure to save the new location in both Arcive.org and Archive.today.