Last year, Amazon began removing books the gatekeepers felt took the wrong side of the ongoing LGBTQ debate. Some of them weren’t the sort of books most small bookstores would deem to have on their shelves because of their mean-spirited tone.
Then came Abigail Shrier’s book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. When I interviewed her on the book three months ago, we talked about some of the negative controversy that resulted in Target pulling the book off the shelves. But you could still buy the book on Amazon.
That is no longer the case with Dr. Ryan Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment. Amazon pulled the book, even though the book was released three years ago. Why now? Some speculate that it was an inconvenient reminder of the dangers posed if Congress passed the Equality Act.
If you read the book, you will find an accurate presentation of scientific, medical, and legal debates about transgenderism. Anderson currently serves as the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. It would be hard to describe him as a bomb-throwing radical, though he obviously has a viewpoint that comports with a biblical view of marriage and family.
Critics of Amazon usually focus on its size and market share. There’s another problem: its opacity. We still do not know who decided to ban the book or why the Amazon gatekeepers even felt the need to ban the book.
Removing books from Amazon has larger implications. First, it also removes them from Amazon subsidiaries like Kindle, Audible, and Abe Books. Second, it sends a signal to other bookstores not to carry the book.