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Win! Amazon and LOVE146 Get it Right

August 29, 2012

You have to love a victory, even in the little things. Amazon’s Kindle section, until recently, included a short self-published e-book called Age of Consent, which was marketed as a one-stop shop for foreigners interested in learning where they could have sex with what age of child and how in trouble would or would not get. Classy, right?

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Anti-trafficking organization LOVE146 picked up that the book existed and requested their community to let Amazon know this wasn’t acceptable. The Age of Consent book obviously raises some content flags, but it also broke the rules when its cover included a photo of legs in stockings that is owned by a costume company, not the author of the e-book. When LOVE146 asked its community to ask Amazon to remove the book, they got a big enough response that Huffington Post picked up the story and shared the request as well. That same day, Amazon dropped the book.

LOVE146 posted a follow-up to the story on their blog, and it included a little behind-the-scenes that explains their part of the process. For one, they didn’t ask people to straight-up boycott Amazon because the commerce giant had esponded positively to a similar protest back in 2010 (over A Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure) and removed it from its inventory. We can all learn a lot not only from this small victory, but also in the respectful, thoughtful way this organization went about the quest. 

Great care goes into how we approach an issue like this.  We learned about “Age of Consent” from Dr. Glenn Miles in Cambodia back in May.  As many as 10 people from our office and our Task Force were involved in the discussions about our approach to Amazon, over the course of six weeks before we acted.  We wrestled through approaching Amazon about this one title … or the whole sex tourism category.  We ultimately decided to target titles that are apparently directed at people pursuing children.  We spent several days creating the initiative and the accompanying letters and scripts because we desperately wanted to approach Amazon in the most positive and collaborative way.  

We have learned some important lessons on how to thoughtfully approach a problem like “Age of Consent”.  We are always wrestling with the urgency of protecting and caring for children and the creation of thoughtful and effective responses and we hope our volunteers and friends do to.  Feel the urgency.  React, but don’t be reactionary!  Pause, think, pray … respond thoughtfully and if you can in humility and gently … there is enough anger out there already.

Thanks to Amazon, all who contacted them, and LOVE146 for leading the way, in the right way.

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