Amazon this week blocked an advertisement for a new book on Black Lives Matter leaders, claiming content that “revolves around controversial or highly debated social topics is not permitted.”
“BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution” is the latest book by Mike Gonzalez, a former journalist who is a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation, parent organization of The Daily Signal.
>>> Update: Amazon notified The Heritage Foundation on Thursday morning that it had reversed its action, saying: “Our policies were inaccurately enforced, and the book is now being advertised. We are providing training to ensure our teams are clear on our policies.” The Daily Signal is preparing a follow-up report. <<<
The Heritage Foundation, which attempted to buy the ad for Gonzalez’s book, said Wednesday that Amazon, the nation’s largest retailer, had blocked the ad from its website.
Amazon sent a message to Heritage on Tuesday stating that the ad for Gonzalez’s book “no longer complies with our current Creative Acceptance Policies.”
“Specifically for the following reasons: Your ad contains book/s or content that is not allowed. Content that revolves around controversial or highly debated social topics is not permitted,” Amazon’s notice to Heritage says. “Please remove this content from your ad.”
Gonzalez said he wrote the book to answer questions about the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I wrote this book because most of the press refused to cover the important questions about the people and organizations behind Black Lives Matter,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “Now Amazon is trying to limit how many Americans read this book.”
Gonzalez, a former reporter and opinion editor for The Wall Street Journal, added:
The American people deserve answers to those questions, especially after the 630 or more riots that left our cities burning, businesses destroyed and billions in damage, and Americans dead.
I have to wonder if Nikole Hannah-Jones’ and Ibram X. Kendi’s books—which also sell in [Amazon’s] ‘Black and African American History’ category, where my book often outranked them in the past week—face similar constraints. Herbert Marcuse, the critical theorist who authored the essay ‘Repressive Tolerance,’ would be proud of Amazon.
Gonzalez also is the author of “The Plot to Change America: How Identity Politics is Dividing the Land of the Free” (2020) and “A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans” (2014).
Amazon continues to sell his new book on Black Lives Matter while blocking advertising for it.
Earlier this year, Amazon stopped selling “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment” by Ryan T. Anderson, a former senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation who now is president of the Washington-based Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Amazon’s public relations office did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Signal for this report.
Heritage noted that in 2020, one of the conservative think tank’s videos on gender dysphoria was censored by YouTube. In 2019, The Daily Signal reported that YouTube took down a similar video from its platform.
In early 2019, Google—which owns YouTube—invited Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James to be a member of a new advisory board on artificial intelligence. But Google dissolved the board after some employees objected that James, a conservative leader, was asked to join.
“The examples of Big Tech censorship are inescapable and irrefutable,” James said in a statement Wednesday. “Sometimes they are brazen and outright, other times, they are dressed up in vague platitudes about ‘objectionable content.’ But the outcome is still the same—conservative voices are deemed ‘unacceptable’ and are silenced.”
This cannot continue. While respecting private property rights, Heritage has put forward solutions to limit the nearly unchecked power of Big Tech companies and make them more accountable to the American people. The time for action is now. Conservatives and all those concerned about Big Tech censorship need to come together on solutions that hold Big Tech accountable while preventing even more power from going into the hands of the corporate-government nexus.
Fred Lucas is chief national affairs correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Abuse of Power: Inside The Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump.” Send an email to Fred.