“Censorship is alive and well over at Amazon Kindle. Last time it was our scholarly edition of the rare 1881 Victorian gay text Sins of the Cities of the Plain, which they banned for several years. Now they’ve banned the ebook of John Blackburn’s 1972 horror novel Devil Daddy, while refusing to explain why. At Amazon, any book can be blocked from sale at some random employee’s whim, with no right of appeal. Please remember that you have a choice of where to shop, and all our ebooks are available on our site, as well as Nook, Kobo and iTunes.-Valancourt Books, “September 2021 Update, part 2“.
If you can’t zoom in on the screenshot below, here is the email from Amazon:
“As stated in our content guidelines, we reserve the right to determine what content we consider to be appropriate. This content includes both the cover art image and the content within the book. We’re unable to elaborate further on specific details regarding our content guidelines…”
I should have known. But, this is the first time I’ve heard of Amazon censoring books. When the largest retailer of book refuses to carry particular titles, especially ones that are controversial in some way, it cheapens the public discourse. Devil Daddy may not be to the taste of the average American, but the average American’s taste and community standards is a horrible basis for content guidelines.
2 thoughts on “Amazon’s Censorship of Devil Daddy”
Amazon should investigate the Streisand Effect, which Valancourt Books appears to hope will drive customers/readers to its own site. Moreover, there is no need to censor books — too few American read anymore to make it worth the effort.
I did a quick scan after seeing your comment, which I agree with. I’m sure this incident, which I missed and don’t want to read about the details (even if I wasn’t at my free article limit), made it an imperative.
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