If you’ve been following the state of politics in the Union, you’re probably aware of an increasingly common threat: corporate censorship. For the last couple of years, monopolistic tech/media companies whose proprietors favor a progressive political bent have been abandoning their previous neutral-platform status. Now, they seem bent on forwarding some views while suppressing others. Whether it’s the de-monetization policies of YouTube, the anti- fake news algorithms of Facebook, Google’s censorship efforts, or the shadowbanning on Twitter, left-leaning companies have turned to suppression of political speech in lieu of preferred government action. The latest such company to join the corporate censorship club is Amazon, and their target is the best-selling book TEXIT: Why and How Texas Will Leave the United States.
TEXIT (for those that don’t know) is Texas Nationalist Movement President Daniel Miller’s magnum opus on the legal basis for Texas to peacefully leave the Union and the case for why it should do so; it is a serious political work that knowledgeably informs the conversation on dealing with an out-of-control Washington. The title has received a lot of positive attention from reviewers and even reached #1 on three previous Amazon best-seller lists. However, last month, it inexplicably moved from their general sales to being restricted to Prime members only, with a cap of 4 copies per customer. Additionally, they dropped the price to below wholesale cost.
Now, for Amazon to drop the price of an unsuccessful book is understandable. A business might drop the price of a title if they’ve overestimated the demand, but then also capping the number sold to the individual would make no sense for a company trying to liquidate a poorly-selling book. And as Texit has been very successful, those rules wouldn’t apply anyway. Offering a special deal on a title to attract new members might make sense, but not to drop the price below cost. Amazon would lose money with such a promotion. It just doesn’t seem to add up; it doesn’t seem to be good business! So, the explanation for these actions must be something else… But what?
Defiance Press CEO David Thomas Roberts tried for weeks to get an explanation from Amazon, but got nothing but dead-silence and contradictory clarifications. Thomas had this to say about one of his successful titles being treated in such a way:
‘Amazon is the “bell cow”. All other retail outlets structure their pricing in response to Amazon. So, if Amazon drops the price below wholesale, all other outlets will be forced to drop their prices to at-or-near cost. If other retail outlets can’t make money off a title, they won’t reorder which effectively kills the book in the long-term.’
To put it another way, instead of taking overt action (title removal), Amazon is attempting to use their influence to kill the book in the market in a semi-veiled act of political sabotage, a disturbing act on the part of one of the largest media/online retail companies in the world.
Of course, neither the publisher nor their distributor is taking this lying down. Both are working together to fight Amazon and bring to the public’s attention how Amazon is singling out TEXIT for censorious treatment, whereas anarchical tomes like ANTIFA: The Anti-Fascist Handbook are not set aside for suppression. Their efforts have already had an effect! Beginning today, August 5th, Amazon has dropped the title from being a Prime-members exclusive, although the price-drop and purchase limit remain intact.
If Amazon gets away with what they’re trying to do with TEXIT, it’ll create precedent for them other companies to soft-ban political speech in the future, a form of political censorship beyond what protections the Constitution affords. Amazon needs to have their deeds brought out into the light and they must hear the voice of the consumer. To help fight the efforts of Amazon and discourage them from doing such things in the future, Defiance is asking supporters to “head over to Amazon.com and leave a 5-star review for TEXIT. That helps us further prove the case that there is no rational business reason for their actions and that this is purely political. For those who haven’t ordered the book, now is the time to do it. Success is the best way to fight this new brand of shadowbanning.”
Also, TEXIT: Why and How Texas Will Leave The Union is now available for a substantially discounted price on TNM.ME with a further discount for members of the TNM.
Original Article from the TNM: https://tnm.me/news/tnm-news/amazon-caught-shadowbanning-texit-book