Parents are outraged. Amazon recently released The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct, and sales shot up by 101,000%. The subject matter is offensive, insensitive and – oh, wait – illegal. Furthermore, the marketing of this book shows just how much is out there online. There will always be “bad stuff” on the Internet, but if a corporation as credible and accessible as Amazon is promoting this kind of material, where is the line and how can this affect kids’ internet safety?
When Amazon released the book as a new Kindle download, customers took action. They insisted Amazon remove the book, and created Facebook groups encouraging boycotts of the company and demanding an apology from Amazon. Also following the book’s release, reporters including Anderson Cooper found other explicit and exploitative material on Amazon, asking the company why those products were there and why customer complaints weren’t enough to take them down.
Parents taking action against Amazon provide an example for all parents to be aware of what is online, understand what our kids are doing, and know that we can take action against online dangers. With all the easily available information out there, kids can learn about or get involved in things they never had access to before. By using parental controls and being aware of online risks – as well as your kids’ specific online activities – we can be better prepared to protect our kids from new dangers in this digital age.
What were your reactions to Amazon’s release of this book? What kinds of things do you worry about your kids seeing online?