The online retailer Amazon still has links to websites that sell literature by pro-paedophilia campaigners, despite being forced yesterday to remove a self-published e-book offering advice to child abusers.
Users can find themselves directed to websites selling the work of two leading figures in the now defunct Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), a British pro-paedophilia activist group founded in the 1970s.
Amazon has become embroiled in a row following its decision last month to sell an electronic version of The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-lover's Code of Conduct, by Philip Greaves II, which could be downloaded to its Kindle e-book reader. The site received thousands of protests online and was forced to pull the title from its website yesterday. The book, described as an "attempt to make paedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them", prompted 2,500 customer reviews, many of them angry. However, hard copies of Tom O'Carroll's 1980 book Paedophilia: The Radical Case is still available via third-party sellers operating through the website. Amazon's British offshoot, Amazon.co.uk, also links to vendors selling the essay collection Perspectives on Paedophilia.
One of that title's contributors, Peter Righton, is a former leading childcare expert charged with possession of child pornography and a former member of PIE. In 2002, Carroll was convicted of being "knowingly concerned" in the importation of indecent material by importing long-lens photographs of children into Britain. Initially, the retailer stood firm on its decision to list Greaves' book. In a statement, it said: "It is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable."
However, yesterday the self-published title was removed from the company's websites. The company allows authors to submit their own electronic books for Kindle and share revenues with them.
Padraig Reidy, the news editor of Index on Censorship, said: "I am uncomfortable with the idea that Amazon would not sell something purely because its content was deemed offensive. The Greaves book clearly is offensive but I don't think it is down to the retailer to act as a censor. You have to ask yourself, would this book incite people to act in a certain way and I'm not sure it would. I'm not sure someone's actions are so easily led."
Amazon.co.uk was unavailable for further comment.