Amazon has grown wildly popular in the world of bookselling that Democrats have tried to politically whitewash that as well. Just last month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy demanding that the platform uses their Big Tech algorithms to throttle the sale of any books that “spread COVID-19 misinformation.” While some are calling on Amazon to tighten the reins on the kinds of books they sell, others are leaving the platform entirely.
Warren emphasized how every step towards ending the pandemic could “save countless lives” and that the misinformation in these books poses a substantial obstacle.
“This pattern and practice of misbehavior suggest that Amazon is either unwilling or unable to modify its business practices to prevent the spread of falsehoods or the sale of inappropriate products—an unethical, unacceptable, and potentially unlawful course of action from one of the nation’s largest retailers,” Warren wrote.
She criticized Amazon for promoting books that assert that vitamin C, vitamin D, and quercetin can prevent COVID-19, adding that there are “little claims” to support these unproven COVID-19 cures. Her push for censorship has just been another example of the relationship that has been developing between Big Tech and Big Government. When the government wants to start controlling the narrative and stifling free speech on specific topics, you’ve got to see a few red flags.
One of the authors noticing the red flags is Dave Eggers, who is banning Amazon from selling his newest novel about the dangers of Big Tech. He told the New York Times that he doesn’t like bullies and said they’ve been kicking sand in the face of independent bookstores for decades now. Eggers said he still uses a dated flip phone, only recently got Wi-Fi, and that he writes on a 20-year-old laptop that has never been connected to the internet.
Eggers said he was surprised why how difficult it is to only make the hardcover available through independent bookstores, adding that he has continued to fight back against Amazon’s control of the book sales. While his new book “The Every” will make it into Amazon online stores as a paperback, they will not receive exclusive copies of the hardback edition. He said the purpose of the project was to drive people around the corner to get them to purchase the book at a little store that might benefit.
“One of the themes of the book is the power of monopolies to dictate our choices, so it seemed a good opportunity to push back a bit against the monopoly, Amazon, that currently rules the book world,” Eggers said.
Egger’s new book is about corporations that take control of online retail, social media, and search engines. While bigger authors can take on the luxury of working exclusively with independent bookstores, some of the lesser-known writers still believe that selling through Amazon is one of the only ways to reach readers. Of course, Big Tech’s anti-competitive behavior has helped create that environment.
As Amazon works its way into the Washington DC Swamp, authors are looking for alternatives to sell and support. It might not make the difference Eggers wants, but it’s a start.