Here is the letter I pasted into my request to close my Amazon account (find it with “Help”) to explain why I will no longer be a customer or partner of Amazon. If you make the same decision, which I encourage, I invite you to borrow appropriate pieces of this text in your own message to customer service.
For a company that wishes to be viewed as respectable and reputable, as well as a company that depends on freedom of speech for its business, it was perverse enough to kowtow to anti-free-speech fascists like Joe Lieberman, but it is adding insult to injury to make libelous public statements about WikiLeaks instead of honesty about Amazon’s “censorship” of content (Amazon’s own word in its defense against a recent outcry over unpopular content sold on Amazon).
Amazon Web Services would not have hosted WikiLeaks previously if they had objections to their material, and Amazon must be aware that government documents cannot be copyrighted, so Amazon’s stated explanations are nonsense. It is further unbelievable and duplicitous to suggest that AWS was not aware of WikiLeaks’ identity and purpose as a customer (“AWS does not pre-screen its customers”), while “massive DDOS attacks…were successfully defended against.” WikiLeaks is also one of the most famous web sites in the world.
Amazon should not lie to its customers. Amazon should not be in the business of reacting to officials’ personal requests for censorship of speech protected under the first Amendment (cf. the Pentagon Papers case), nor should Amazon anticipate legal intentions of prosecutors. Amazon should support free speech under the legal process. In the absence of a court order, and without benefit of due process, WikiLeaks should not be judged on the basis of mere political accusation. Amazon should not have shut down the server access that WikiLeaks paid for, especially without notification.
I have been a loyal customer of Amazon for many years, and an Associate, as well as selling my books and Kindle downloads as an author. From now on, I will encourage everyone I know to shop elsewhere instead. Like other bloggers and writers, I have also publicly expressed my objections to Amazon’s servile, and now toadying response to the persecution of its hosting customer, WikiLeaks. Unless Amazon admits the truth, apologizes to WikiLeaks, and reverses its censorship, Amazon will lose a great deal of business from all the many supporters of free speech, and WikiLeaks.
Please close my Amazon account, including my Associates account, and my Digital Text Platform account, and do not contact me with any marketing.
Colin Patrick Barth
Don’t like the word “boycott”? Some don’t. Just view it as a personal decision to encourage honesty and discourage dishonesty, and to encourage US web hosts to uphold legal protections to freedom of speech, and discourage adoption of the fascist line as an official company position. These are your purchases, and you have a choice; if you think freedom of speech on the internet is important (even if you don’t favor WikiLeaks), express yourself—and please, think about a world in which you can’t.