By David Futrelle
Some good news to start off your week with: Amazon has removed nine of PUA skuzzbucket Roosh Valizadeh’s books from its website. And Roosh, whose latest literary masterpiece dropped on Friday, isn’t happy.
In a post on his blog, he declares that
Amazon has gone on a rampage and banned the paperback and Kindle editions of nine of my books, including my new release Game. The sales pages now give you an error message. Despite repeatedly trying to get answers from Amazon via phone and email, they will not tell me why the books have been removed.
Roosh has somehow convinced himself that Amazon is retaliating against him for … selling too many books on Amazon, a COMPLETELY REASONABLE THEORY that MAKES PERFECT SENSE because obviously Amazon hates making money.
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.
Roosh complains that Amazon sells books that he thinks are far more offensive than the books of his that it has banned — including 50 Shades of Grey, which, Roosh reports with horror, contains a scene “where the sexy male character bludgeons a female.”
Apparently Roosh doesn’t understand why some people might be less offended by a fictional account of a (mostly?) consensual BDSM relationship than by a series of sex guides that often seem like date rape how-tos. But then again Roosh seems fairly baffled by the notion of consent generally.
Roosh is still working out the details of his conspiracy theory.
None of my books contain child rape scenes, physical abuse, pornography, or sexual violence, and yet they were banned.
Well, I suppose that’s if you don’t count his account of a sexual encounter he says he had with an extremely drunk Icelandic woman — which, he wrote, “would have been rape [in the US], since she couldn’t legally give her consent.”
Oh, and there was the woman he says he “I had to use some muscle [on] to prevent her from escaping” after she changed her mind during sex.
And there are plenty more examples like these.
But, hey, in Roosh’s mind none of this counts as sexual violence so never mind.
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. Whatever the case, someone in the company clicked the delete button and I’m supposed to accept it, but it’s hard to do that when your livelihood depends on the basic assumption of fair business practices.
I might just bust out crying.
The HuffPost, meanwhile, has a few details on Roosh’s banning that haven’t quite made it into his conspiracy theories just yet, noting that Amazon had removed the nine books “after HuffPost reached out to ask whether Valizadeh’s content was in violation of the company’s hate speech policy.”
The theory that Amazon hates bad publicity makes a bit more sense than Roosh’s theory that the company just plain hates making too much money.
Up to a point, anyway. As the HuffPost points out, Amazon continues to sell most of Roosh’s titles. Meanwhile, other tech companies like Twitter and YouTube continue to provide a platform for Roosh, directly and indirectly helping him to make money off his nox..ious sex guides and other hateful content. Though, the HuffPost notes,
After HuffPost reached out to YouTube, the company deleted one video from Valizadeh’s channel for violating its hate speech policy and banned him from livestreaming for three months. Valizadeh now has one “strike” against his account. If a user receives three strikes within a three-month period, YouTube will terminate their channel.
Huh. That last bit is sort of … interesting.
Let’s just see how this story develops.