Amazon.Com and Censorship
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Amazon.com is best known for its vast selection of literary works and affordable clothing and household items. What very few individuals realize is the large amount of censorship that occurs within the organization when selecting which products and literary works are made available to the public. Amazon.com insists that the main purpose of its censorship is to protect the best interests of its organization and its customers.
There are two acts of censorship that Amazon.com participates in:
- Amazon engages in censorship through refusal to sell an item.
- Amazon censors its website by what is known as delisting.
Refusal to Sell
Refusal to sell simply means that Amazon.com refuses to sell the literary work on its network of global websites. Literary works that commonly experience this action are terrorist related materials and hate documents. Books such as Mein Kampf and the magazine Radikal fall into this category.
Delisting is the second act of censorship that Amazon.com participates in. In this situation, the organization allows the sale of certain literary works but delists them from their recommended, most popular, and best seller lists to detour the sale and readership of these materials. Adult content works, gay and lesbian works, and explicit romance novels are often delisted by Amazon.com. Some argue that there is a glitch or internal bias in this censorship practice of Amazon.com. This is because the delisting process does not pertain to all adult content works and explicit romance novels. It is not uncommon to find publications like Playboy and Bertrice Smal's Skye o'Malley excluded from the delisting process.