Only three years ago, Amazon was asked to ban the sale of Bibles to people in China.
How do you suppose Amazon responded?
It instantly capitulated.
In 2018, Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post and the richest man in the world, wanted to do business in China. He was told he could not sell Bibles. So he settled for selling everything else in China.
You didn’t know? More on that story tomorrow.
Now that Amazon sells virtually everything to Americans, how long do you think it will take the biggest seller in the U.S. to start banning books – one by one?
The answer is … they have started already.
Amazon has adopted a policy to ban the sale of any book that “we determine is hate speech.” I don’t know what that means. But I know what it means in the current “cancel culture.” It means conservative authors shouldn’t be worrying about publishers banning their books, they should worry about whether Amazon is going to sell them. Remember, Amazon already sells about 50% of ALL books in the U.S. And Amazon has already destroyed most quaint little bookstores that once dotted the landscape throughout America.
Now that they have begun to play this game, in the case of Ryan Anderson’s “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement,” Amazon will surely make this a much bigger thing. Banning books never stops at one or two or three. Just recall what the Nazis did.
Simon & Schuster dumped Sen. Josh Hawley’s book recently. But when Regnery publishes it, will Amazon shun it? Or will Amazon likely begin with books that are much more controversial and less popular? Mark my words, Amazon will disappoint you every time.
I can now tell the story of how Amazon, after years of selling all our books and movies at WND, took a stand against one movie. They stopped ordering it – when it still had life. You wouldn’t think it would be controversial at all. “70 Years: Israel’s Prophetic Past, Present, and Future” was the title. Made in 2019, it was not the most controversial movie we ever made. And Amazon did not refuse to sell it! But it was the first time they killed a book or a film intentionally – by not ordering them in sufficient quantities when the movie was selling at peak times.
I think Amazon killed it intentionally – and thus destroyed our once-lucrative movie and book business. This came at a time, coincidently, that others in Big Tech were ravaging our revenues – mostly advertising. There was collusion between Google and Facebook, which at that time represented 80% of digital advertising.
WND had been in business at that time for 22 years – earning more than $150 million. Between these two calamities, our revenues dropped to around $2 million. It was Donald Trump’s second year in office. He was the greatest president we had ever known. Despite that, we were down in the dumps. Broke. Begging for donations.
But Amazon has more than one way to kill a movie. It even stopped streaming a critically acclaimed PBS documentary on Justice Clarence Thomas, the only black justice currently serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, during Black History Month in February.
“Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words” has a five-star rating. Amazon also banned the DVD version of the documentary.
The Amazon Prime page reads: “This video is currently unavailable to watch in your location.”
Try to find a location in which it is available!
The documentary’s producer Michael Pack of Manifold Productions Inc. said the documentary was pulled from Amazon Prime around Feb. 8., just eight days into Black History Month. The producer added that Amazon stopped streaming the documentary at its own discretion.
On Jan. 31, Amazon announced that it “is kicking off Black History Month 2021 with a monthlong celebration that is rooted in our commitment to being a place where Black leaders want to grow their careers, as well as supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in the Black community.”
“We are committed to diversity and inclusion and always look for ways to scale our impact as we grow,” Amazon states on its diversity and inclusion page.
So your choice of contemporary films celebrating Black History Month featured four movies on the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and two on Anita Hill, the woman who accused Thomas of sexually harassing her during the confirmation hearing.
Last June, on the recommendation of the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, Amazon banned the mainstream Christian conservative activist group Family Research Council from its AmazonSmile program, which allows customers to choose a charity to receive proceeds from their purchases. The SPLC frequently labels conservative and Christian organizations as “hate groups.”
In 2017, Amazon also banned D. James Kennedy Ministries from participating in the AmazonSmile program after it was labeled as a “hate group” by the SPLC. Before his passing, the much-loved D. James Kennedy was perhaps the most influential Presbyterian minister in the world.
Being banned in Boston was once a badge of honor – and good for sales. Not the same effect for banned in Amazon.
You see, there’s a catch on the way Amazon sets the rules.
It’s not only “hate speech” that’s on the chopping block. As Amazon defines it, they will ban “other material we deem inappropriate or offensive.”
So, get ready to see fewer movies and read fewer books on Amazon. Soon it will be “whatever Jeff Bezos finds inappropriate or offensive.” And we know what he thinks.
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.