business news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday we took note of an Associated Press report that “Amazon has removed books from its website that promoted ‘cures’ for autism, the latest major company to try to limit the amount of misinformation related to autism and the bogus notion that it's caused by vaccines.”

I commented:

I cannot imagine any circumstances under which I wouldn’t vaccinate my kids. But I have to admit that I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea that Amazon isn’t making these books available, even if they are preaching nonsense.

I checked, and Amazon has books espousing flat earth theories. Which is sort of the same thing.

MNB reader Lisa Malmarowski responded:

At first I thought the same thing. But then changed my mind because Amazon isn’t the government. This isn’t censorship. Retailers all the time pick a product selection they want to feature. Amazon, despite having the economy of a nation, doesn’t mean it is one. Even if they like to think they are. Other retailers can sell these books.

Another MNB reader agreed:

My initial reaction is that flat earth theories don’t kill people, not vaccinating your children could. So I have no problem with not making books touting these asinine theories available.

And from another:

I strongly disagree with your statement that flat Earth theories and the vaccination debate are the same thing. One brings back deadly disease and puts not only the unvaccinated children in danger, but also the elderly and very young who can’t get the vaccination; the other just makes some people look uneducated and overall no one really gets hurt.

Kudos to Amazon for trying to do what they can to help stop the spread of harmful misinformation.

Responding to yesterday’s FaceTime report from SXSW, one MNB reader wrote:

You should define SXSW! Who ever even heard of it?

I’m a little surprised that you haven’t heard of it, but you are right - on first reference, I should’ve said the South By Southwest technology and media conference and festival.

I’ll do better next time.

As for my FaceTime video, one MNB reader asked:

Are you that smart, or do you have someone holding up cue cards like they do on SNL? I’m betting a lot of your subscribers have the same question.

I’m not that smart, but there is nobody holding up cue cards. I generally just prop up my laptop or iPhone and just deliver my commentaries off the cuff. Sometimes I write them in advance so I have a better ideas of what I’m going to say, but not usually.
KC's View: