Amazon is facing scrutiny from conservatives over the company’s decision to quietly remove a book on transgender issues which has previously been sold on their site for over three years. The best-selling book, When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by Ryan T. Anderson, was pulled from Amazon’s selection of book offerings in late February without any notice to the author. Anderson said that said that after a week, Amazon had still refused to tell him “which aspect” of their new policy his book was in violation of and “which page commits the offense.” Nonpartisan news media site Just The News was the first to notice that Amazon had also quietly updated their book content policy to include a ban on “hate speech” sometime within the past year, as well. Amazon would not respond to multiple requests when asked what it defined as “hate speech.”


    Some on the left agree that such “hate speech” should rightly be banned. TransLash Media wrote, “Ryan Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally was finally removed from Amazon’s cyber shelves Sunday, three years after the anti-trans best-seller spreading dangerous misinformation was published.”

    “Ryan T. Anderson, who wrote the transphobic book ‘When Harry Became Sally,’ that was recently banned by Amazon, argued on Fox News that if Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ can still be sold on the site, his book should as well. I don’t think he realizes how that’s exactly why it shouldn’t.”

    Ernest Owens, President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists

    However, some on the left argue that it sets dangerous precedence. Josh Anderson, a fellow at Tablet Magazine and a contributor for Los Angeles Magazine, who describes himself as a liberal, tweeted, “As someone who disagrees with the conclusions of my fellow (but unrelated) Anderson, ‘When Harry Became Sally’ is a really stellar read; particularly for those of us who do disagree with him! I highly recommend it, and it’s mad that Amazon would remove it.”


    The Right condemns Amazon’s move. Republican Senators Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Josh Hawley, and Mike Braun co-authored a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking for further explanation for the decision. Anderson argued that to the Left, it’s not about science or research: “For a heretic-hunting Left…it’s not about how you say it, or how rigorously you argue it, or how charitably you present it. It’s about whether you affirm or dissent from the new orthodoxy of gender ideology.” Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur and the executive chairman of Roivant Sciences, noted that Amazon continues to sell Let Harry Become Sally, Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, and The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. He tweeted, “The Big Tech Thought Police strikes again. We thrive on open debate in America. It’s laughable that the response to this book is still sold on Amazon, but not Ryan’s original book.”

    “You don’t have to agree with the common-sense, historic understanding of gender in order to acknowledge how dangerous it is for one of the biggest corporations in the history of the world to start banning books. Amazon could easily censor other views that offend Jeff Bezos.”

    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
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