Amazon Banning Books on Kindle

Amazon Censors Kindle eBook Offerings, Again

If Santa is bringing you a Kindle this year, make sure you're not into incest erotica, because those books are the latest to have been banned from the ebook's library.

A handful of self-published authors have been told that their ebooks had been deleted from the Kindle offerings for violating content terms. All of the books that were removed from the Kindle store this time involved incest story lines, according to Selena Kitt, one of the banned authors who blogged about her experience earlier this week.

Amazon has been in the news for censoring several times since opening up the Kindle store, from remotely removing copies of 1984 from Kindles to banning a book about pedophilia. Want to learn more about this latest Amazon fail (or #amazonfail, if you're venting on Twitter)? Read more after the break.

In addition to deleting the books from the Kindle store, Amazon once again quietly deleted them from user libraries, even though its settlement in the 1984 case last year said it was banned from doing so unless there was a specific reason, meaning failed credit card transactions, malware, user permission, or a judicial order. While Amazon has not yet commented on the bans, its letter to Selena said that it reserved the right to "refuse to list or distribute any content that it deems inappropriate."

Most of you dislike Amazon's ebook content policy, and I agree; after all, these books are actively sought out by users who want to read them, not the other way around, so it's not like they tried to download the latest Oprah Book Club offering and instead got a story about a man and his, ahem, sister. And even if the incest erotica genre contains content that the company finds morally repugnant — one of Selena's readers was supposedly chastised by a customer service representative for her literary taste — if the readers like it, it seems like it should be their freedom to determine whether or not it belongs on their ereader, even if Amazon suddenly decides to stop carrying the title.

What do you think about this latest instance of ebook banning? Still disagree with Amazon's policies, or do books about incest take it too far?

Update: Amazon responded to customers complaining about the policy in its Kindle discussion forum, saying that the deletions from Kindle users' libraries was a "technical issue" and has since made the ebooks available again for those who previously purchased them to redownload their copies.

Source: Flickr User CarbonNYC

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