Amazon is quietly removing controversial books from its website, The New York Times reported. Books penned by the ex leader of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke or George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the Nazi party in the United States can no longer be found on Amazon. The company has also prohibited books like "The Ruling Elite: The Zionist Seizure of World Power" and "A History of Central Banking and the Enslavement of Mankind”.
The move angered third-party book merchants, who supply books to Amazon. In an interview with The New York Times, they criticised the company’s decision to quietly remove controversial books without informing them and said Amazon’s rules are vague and non-existent.
"If Amazon executives are so proud of their moral high ground, they should issue memos about which books they are banning instead of keeping sellers and readers in the dark. They don’t tell us the rules and don’t let us have a say. But they squeeze us for every penny", said Gregory Delzer, owner of Defunct Books in Nashville Tennessee.
Delzer said he doesn’t support white supremacist material, but noted that people should be able to read what they want. Danny Caine of the Raven bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas told The New York Times: “I’m not going to argue for the wider distribution of Nazi material. But I still don’t trust Amazon to be the arbiters of free speech. What if Amazon decided to pull books representing a less despicable political viewpoint? Or books critical of Amazon’s practices?”
Commenting on the news Amazon’s spokesman said: “All retailers make decisions about what selection they choose to offer, and we have policies outlining what books may be sold in our stores. We do not take selection decisions lightly and we are always working to better support our partners by improving how we enforce and communicate these decisions".
Amazon found itself in hot water over its controversial rules on censorship in the past. When in 2010 it became known that a self-published book called “Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure” was available on Amazon’s website, the company did not remove it. "Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable", the company said at the time. After thousands of people threatened to boycott Amazon the company pulled the book from its shelves.
Despite Amazon removing popular books about white suprematism and Nazism and other controversial content one can still buy such books as "SS Leadership Guide" or diaries of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and other products.
Besides removing certain books Amazon has also erased the swastika from the cover of a book based on Amazon’s own TV series "The Man in the High Castle". The events of the show are set in an alternative universe where Nazis won the Second World War.
This decision apparently raised the eyebrows of the show’s fans, with one user saying: "This book, for one, has all references to the Swastika removed. If you cant even have swastikas shown in a book about Nazi's taking over america, please do not make books ever again. Not to mention that it is very wordy and hardly has any interesting production art for the series. Honestly, you are better off getting the art book for Wolfenstein II, as absurd those games were".