Amazon is selling an e-book entitled "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure," and shocked consumers across the nation now are calling for a boycott of the online retail giant.
The e-book, authored by Phillips Greaves, was published late last month, according to product details on Amazon.com. It sells for $4.79 on the company's Kindle Store.
"This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian [sic] rules for these adults to follow," a product description reads. "I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter sentences should they ever be caught."
The content has led to hundreds of tweets criticizing Amazon for allowing the title to be sold. A Facebook page has been created calling for a boycott of the Seattle-based company.
" This is totally unacceptable," one Facebook posting reads. "This is not about freedom of speech. This is a HOW TO GUIDE FOR PEDOPHILES! Shame on you Amazon.com."
Another posting reads: "They are screwing themselves over just in time for holiday shopping."
But Amazon is standing by the decision to sell the e-book.
"Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable," the company said in a written statement. "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."
Child online safety advocacy group Enough is Enough says it isn't surprised that someone would publish such a book, but believes that Amazon should remove it. It says selling the book lends the impression that child abuse is normal.
That doesn't mean Amazon should be prohibited from selling it, counters Christopher Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. He said that Amazon has the right under the First Amendment to sell any book that is not child pornography or legally obscene. Finan said Greaves' book doesn't amount to either because it does not include illustrations.
The debate over the e-book is even lighting up the reviews page on Amazon, where there is a nearly unanimously uproar against it -- with labels like "Shame on Amazon," "No Excuses Amazon" and "needs to be removed."
But a handful of "reviews" defend Amazon on free speech grounds, while others -- with what appears to be comedic irony -- purport to praise the book itself.
This isn't the first time Amazon has sold material that promotes illegal activity. It is currently accepting pre-orders for the hardcover version of "I Am the Market: How to Smuggle Cocaine by the Ton, in Five Easy Lessons" by Luca Rastello.
Nor is it the first time Amazon has come under attack for selling objectionable content in its store. In 2002, the United States Justice Foundation, a conservative group, threatened to sue Amazon for selling "Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers." That title is still available through Amazon.
In 2009, Amazon stopped selling "RapeLay," a first-person video game in which the protagonist stalks and then rapes a mother and her daughters, after it was widely condemned in the media and by various interest groups.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.