Row over Amazon sales of paedophile advice guide

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A self-published guide giving advice to paedophiles that was on sale through online retailer Amazon is stirring up controversy, with some threatening to boycott the website.

The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct has now been removed from sale.

But Amazon had defended the listing, saying it did not promote criminal acts but also avoided censorship.

Amazon allows authors to submit their own books and shares revenue with them.

Start Quote

The irony is that it's the web which has made so visible an obscure book which might years ago have been passed around furtively among a few dozen men in some American city”

End Quote Rory Cellan-Jones BBC's technology correspondent

Before authors are able to sell a work on the site, they are asked to read a set of guidelines, which bans offensive materials.

But Amazon does not specifically state on its website what material it deems offensive, instead saying "probably what you would expect".

Boycott threat

In recent hours the book listing appears to have been removed from the Amazon website. But there has been no response yet to BBC requests for a statement from the retailer.

It had previously adopted a defiant posture, saying in a 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 author, listed as Philip R Greaves II, argues that paedophiles are misunderstood and purports to offer advice to help them abide by the law.

Individuals on the micro-blogging website Twitter have asked Amazon to remove the book from its site, while some are threatening to boycott the retailer.

One Amazon user posted a comment on the site, saying that "to see a book like this on Amazon's 'shelves', so to speak, is very troubling to me".

The title is being sold for the Kindle electronic reader.

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