Tag Archives: pornography

Amazon stops selling ‘Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure’, a self-published Kindle e-book

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In the face of enormous pressure, Amazon.com appeared to reverse itself early this morning and pulled a how-to guide to pedophilia from its Kindle e-book store.

There was no official word from Amazon as of 3 am, but the book’s sales page had been removed (pictured above).

The pressure on Amazon to back down on its unequivocal free speech stance was especially acute in view of its announced purchase last week of Diapers.com for $545 million.

BULLETIN (2:30 AM): Amazon appears to cave, removes ‘Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure’

In the face of enormous pressure, Amazon.com appeared to reverse itself early this morning and pulled a how-to guide to pedophilia from its Kindle e-book store. There was no official word from Amazon at this posting, but the book’s sales page had been removed. The pressure on Amazon to back down on its unequivocal free speech stance was especially acute in view of its announced purchase last week of Diapers.com for $545 million.

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EARLIER (12:15 AM):

Amazon stands firm as ‘Pedophile’s Guide’ sales soar 232,264 percent in less than 1 day … boycott threats spread


Amazon.com stood its ground tonight, with boycott fever spreading through the blogosphere as sales were soaring for a Kindle e-book on how to be a pedophile.

Amazon responded to the uproar with a written statement:

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.

The statement is similar to the one Amazon has been using to defend its sale of “The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion.”

“The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure,” a $4.79 self-published Kindle download, sold at a quickening pace throughout the evening. By midnight, sales had jumped 232,264 percent for the day, closing at number 65 on Amazon’s list of all-time best-selling e-books (President Bush’s memoir, “Decision Points,” was at number 284).

The screed’s author, 47-year-old Phillip Greaves, told The Smoking Gun that when TechCrunch first wrote about his book and attacked Amazon on Wednesday afternoon, he had only sold one copy — and the book stood at number 158,221 on the all-time hit list.

“Even as Mommy bloggers, tech bloggers and Twitter users call for an Amazon boycott over the title [it] is selling like it was just announced as an Oprah Book Club selection,” Gawker reported.

“People want to know what the fuss is about. (Or a surprisingly large portion of Kindle owners are pedophiles.)”

Gawker assures that the book, subtitled “A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct,” “will not convince a single regular person to become a child predator. Nor does it include a pull-out map of secret shops where already-existing pedophiles can buy underage sex-slaves or anything.”

The Smoking Gun tracked Greaves down at his Colorado home and posted an interview in which he said he was first introduced to sex at age seven by a 10-year-old girl, and that he was involuntarily hospitalized about three years ago when he suffered a “mental collapse.”

Asked if he had engaged in sexual acts with children as an adult, Greaves first answered “could have,” before stating flatly that he had not engaged in such illegal conduct.

CNN quotes Greaves: “True pedophiles love children and would never hurt them.”

In describing his book on the Amazon website, Greaves wrote:

This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian 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 sentences should they ever be caught. [sic]

Further comment from Amazon was not forthcoming during the evening.

Attached to the book’s page on Amazon.com are (as of midnight) approximately 2,500 comments — almost all of them negative. The lead comment, by “onegoldplanner,” states:

This is my SECOND review for this book … my first one was deleted by Amazon. I have contacted NUMEROUS news agencies, as well as the FBI. I have contacted Oprah, John Walsh and Diane sawyer. I will be on this until it is taken down. And As a customer of Amazon I will no longer be one, as soon as this is taken down I will delete my account. And I am going to make sure NONE of my family and friends will buy from you either! SHAME ON YOU for listing SUCH FILTH!!

Greaves via The Smoking Gun

‘Alt’ media’s slimy underbelly

Back in the day, alternative media – weekly newspapers like the Village Voice — were dependable stalwarts of the Good Fight, defenders of the right (usually on the left). They were fiercely independent — and positive cash flow seemed to assure their continued good fortune.

Times change. Big profits made many alt weeklies excellent targets for acquisition by mainstream media companies on the one hand, and by formulaic bottom feeders from their own alternative universe on the other.

Now, in the wake of recession and in the midst of a permanent migration to the Web (especially among the young who are the alt papers’ core readers), alt media (print and Web) has become increasingly dependent on sex advertising for their sustenance. This is not news, and I point to it again only in light of developments at Craigslist, which was bullied into removing its own sex-trafficing section.

Such ads remain a key component in the print editions of most alternative newspapers, including those owned by Village Voice Media.

Now that the anti-porn crusaders have vanquished Craigslist, they’ve turned they eyeballs on alt media sleaze.

The Washington Post has announced that it would no longer run “escort” service ads.

ChatRoulette: Keep your clothes on and lock up the children. This social media site is nasty.

What if you could fire up your webcam and videochat with total strangers all over the world — in complete anonymity. What would you do? What would you say?

ChatRoulette is an internet sensation that is … let’s put it kindly … a bit rough around its edges.

According to a NY Times report, the site is the invention of Andrey Ternovskiy, a 17-year-old high school student in Russia who said he started it for “fun” and to bring people from different cultures together. Registered only last November, it drew one-million unique visitors in January, according to comScore as reported by the Associated Press. After the site’s viral explosion and initial press coverage, expect February’s numbers to be significantly higher.

Ternovskiy told the Times:

“It wasn’t so easy to create it for me, but I have been coding since 11 … I didn’t advertise my site or post it anywhere, but somehow, people started to talk to each other about the site. And the word started to spread.”

He said he had seven servers in Frankfurt, Germany, and would likely add more elsewhere.

“Each time the user count grew, I had to rewrite my code completely, because my software and hardware couldn’t handle it all. I never thought that handling the heavy user load would be the most difficult part of my project.”

Lots of participants, in their search for international camaraderie, are baring more than their souls. On YouTube, you’ll find several hundred videos made from Chatroulette exchanges; some are quite graphic.

“One minute you’re chatting via webcam with a mom of two from Montauk, NY — and the next you’re staring at a stark-naked man in Bangkok,” reports Fox News.

Here are a couple of YouTube videos that are arguably acceptable for family viewing.

In the first video, your hostess is clearly holding back.

Caution: The next video will begin with loud audio.

Darwin with Chat Roulette,” which ranked number one in traffic with about 520,000 YouTube views in two months, seems certain to be overtaken very soon by “Eye Vagina” — which does exactly that. “Eye Vagina” is number two in traffic after just one week, with 440,000 views.

There’s a site — ChatRoulette Images — that’s offering a bounty for the best screen grabs. So far, most (but not all) of the images posted here are harmless nonsense.

Pornography has been part of the internet from Day One; it was the Web’s first big money-maker — and it’s still there, as parodied on South Park (link here). What ChatRoulette’s done is open a new channel within a child- and teenage-targeted social media steam.

In a column in today’s Daily Collegian at Penn State, Caitlin Cullerot called Chatroulette “a disturbing experience” that’s “a lot like Russian roulette.”

You “pull the trigger,” so to speak, and breathe a sigh of relief when the bullet doesn’t come. Or if it does come, it arrives so quickly that you don’t have a chance to comprehend what’s happening until it’s already over.

Chatroulette is exactly like this, except with penises.

A TV report from Houston (video embedded) said yesterday that “at the heart of it, the Website was not made to be dangerous, but because of its simple nature, it allows kids to easily turn on their webcam and quickly talk to strangers.

“Those who have used ChatRoulette say a majority of the webcams contain obscene images, including nudity and sexual activity [and] many parental groups say kids should not be on ChatRoulette at all,” MyFoxHouston reported.

School psychologist Ann Suchyna told News4 in Buffalo (video embedded) that “it’s really quite disturbing to watch this … What they once thought might be inappropriate or deviant becomes, well, maybe this is more normal than I thought.”

From the News4 report:

“I think it’s a great tool. It has some great capabilities. But unfortunately, there’s a dark side to it,” said Chief Scott Patronik, of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.

Within minutes of logging on, the dark side popped up on the screen. A man, with the camera pointed only at his crotch, was exposing himself.

“There’s no restraint [the News4 producer adds]. These people are showing no restraint. Nothing is stopping them from doing this … This whole thing is really creepy.”

Last night, there was a ChatRoulette party at the Union Hall in Brooklyn, New York magazine reports. (Union Hall, in the pretentiously hip, child-friendly Park Slope neighborhood, caught all sorts of hell a couple of years ago when it banned children after 5 pm.)

It’s not inconceivable that young Ternovskiy’s purported ambition to engender international goodwill may yet be redeemed — he’s reportedly heading to the United States to raise funds for his site, and new backers may add a layer of professional management t0 clean up this mess.

Don’t count on it.

Meanwhile, keep an eye of your children — and on their computers.

—Ed Weintrob

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UPDATE: What should be a pretty obvious side peril of ChatRoulette is the danger of site visitors being photographed, and having their photos distributed to millions across the internet. As seen in some of the links above and below, photographing visitors and broadcasting their silliness is part of the ChatRoulette experience. Curiosity seekers who choose to give ChatRoulette a run might end up with more fun than they bargained for — another reminder that nothing we do on the internet … especially on a social media site … is truly anonymous.

—Ed Weintrob

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ADDITIONAL LINKS

How to block Chatroulette on your [Windows] PC (TechNews Daily)

ChatRoulette, by the numbers (Wall Street Journal blog)

A weekend of ChatRoulette (Or: I play ChatRoulette so you don’t have to) (TrueSlant)

ChatRoulette: Beware of Danger. New spin on an old game. (Psychology Today)

The surreal world of ChatRoulette (NY Times)

Is ChatRoulette the future of the internet or its distant past? (New York)

ChatRoulette, a dangerous Website for kids and adults alike (Examiner.com)