News & Politics

[UPDATED] Alex Berenson Book Exposing Coronavirus Myths Censored by Amazon?

FILE - In this July 27, 2018 file photo, the logo for Amazon is displayed on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York. Ebay filed a lawsuit against Amazon Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 saying the online retail giant used eBay’s messaging system to steal its sellers. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

On Wednesday evening, former New York Times reporter and author Alex Berenson attempted to self-publish his book, Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns: Part 1: Introduction and Death Counts and Estimates, through Amazon’s self-publishing platform, Kindle Direct Publishing. On Thursday morning, he reported that he’d submitted it and was waiting for the book to go through Amazon’s approval process.

“Last night I submitted my first coronavirus facts booklet (“Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns”) for sale to @amazon,” he tweeted. “Normally the review/publishing process does not take long. Hopefully that will be the case this time and I won’t have to scream about censorship.”

That turned out to be wishful thinking. An hour after that tweet, Berenson reported that Amazon rejected his book. “Today @amazon refused to publish my booklet about the coronavirus because it ‘did not comply’ with their (undisclosed) guidelines,” he reported. “This is outrageous censorship from a company that has gained hugely from lockdowns – and dominates the US book market, especially with stores closed!”

In response to this censoring of his book, Berenson noted that Amazon has previously sold a how-to guide for pedophiles on their site, only removing it after being forced to by public outrage.

Amazon also allows other questionable books to be sold on its platform:

Berenson recently published an op-ed at Fox News noting how YouTube and Facebook “are trying to control information about COVID.”

YouTube has pulled videos from scientists and physicians, even those with top-tier credentials. Meanwhile, Facebook has blocked efforts to organize protests against lockdowns.

Facebook’s stance is particularly problematic because as the largest social media network, it may gain from lockdowns, which force friends or community groups to rely on virtual gatherings instead of real-life meetings.

Investors certainly seem to believe the lockdowns have not hurt Facebook. Its stock rose 5 percent to an all-time high on Wednesday. Shares in Google’s parent company, which also owns YouTube, also are near an all-time high.

Amazon is not mentioned in Berenson’s op-ed, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they are in his next one.

Berenson noted that his book is not based on conspiracy theories or bogus information, but actual government data:

Amazon’s partisan censorship has been well documented over the years and has taken many forms. Last year they purged over 250 reviews from my book, The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obamawithout explanation as it approached 1,000 reviews. That purge resulted in the book’s average rating falling from 4.5+ to 4.2 stars. It now has 993 reviews, and who knows if they’ll purge more soon. Other conservative books have had similar experiences with Amazon.

UPDATE: Berenson reports Amazon has changed course, and is publishing his book.

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Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis