Amazon has officially entered dystopian territory by banning an entire range of dating advice books because they violate unspecified "content guidelines."
Controversial author Roosh Valizadeh revealed the ban last night, tweeting, "Amazon has removed 9 of my books from sale, including my newest book Game, which was ranking in the top 1000. They won't tell me the specific reason. Many of the books were on sale for 5+ years."
Valizadeh later received an email from Amazon informing him that "content guidelines" were broken, but was again given no specifics.
"I feel like I'm in a Franz Kafka novel," he tweeted.
According to Amazon's guidelines, illegal content and porn are banned (none of which appear in Valizadeh's books), so the only guideline he could be in violation of is "offensive content".
"What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect," states the guideline, a completely vague description which could literally be anything that one person deems offensive.
"I believe the bannings began because the launch of Game was extremely successful. I sold 2,000 books in the first two days and hit the top 700 on Amazon paperback on the first day. Even before Friday's launch, Game was already in Amazon's top 10,000. As far as I know, Amazon didn't receive a single complaint about the content, but they removed it anyway," wrote Valizadeh, adding that Amazon sells all kinds of books which contain details of violent rape and sexual abuse.
"None of my books contain child rape scenes, physical abuse, pornography, or sexual violence, and yet they were banned. Were they banned because they were effective at helping men? Was it because executives at Amazon disagree with my political opinions? Was it an action from a rogue employee? They won't tell me," said Valizadeh.
The author also noted that a 2015 petition lobbying Amazon to ban his books received over 250,000 signatures at the time, suggesting that a similar effort may have been successful this time around given the intense climate of censorship against conservatives that has accelerated over the last month.
The move has brought comparisons to Nazi book burning or dystopian classics like Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, where the state had a unit of firemen dedicated to burning books.
Back in 2009, Amazon made headlines after it erased digital copies of 1984 from Kindle devices, although that was over a copyright issue. This is much worse.
"Did anyone reasonably foresee that Amazon of all places would ban books? It's going to get so bad that you can't imagine how bad it's going to get," tweeted Mike Cernovich.
Apparently though according to many conservatives, so long as it's giant corporations and not governments banning everything and removing everyone's ability to have a platform or engage in commerce, everything's just fine.
Valizadeh also posted a YouTube video talking about the ban, which can be viewed below.