After defending sales of a self-published book on pedophilia, online retail giant Amazon last night reversed course and pulled the book from its Kindle store.
The electronic book, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct," by Philip R. Greaves II, went on sale on Oct. 28 and cost $4.79 to download.
"This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certain rules for these adults to follow," the author wrote in the product description. "I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter [sic] sentences should they ever be caught," Greaves said in the product description.
The book quickly sparked a massive protest online, with thousands of Twitter users and Amazon customers calling for Amazon to remove the book, and some threatening to boycott the company altogether until it did.
Amazon did not respond to multiple requests for comment from ABCNews.com, but in a statement Wednesday, the company defended the book's place in its online store.
"Let me assure you that Amazon.com does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts; we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions," Amazon told the technology blog TechCrunch. "Amazon.com believes it is censorship not to sell certain titles because we believe their message is objectionable."
But it seems that Amazon has since changed its mind and is no longer selling the book online. Now, when you search for the book in the Amazon store, it still appears in search results, but when you actually click on the icon for the book, you see an error message.
"We're sorry. The Web address you entered is not a functioning page on our site," the message said.
When ABCNews.com spoke to the book's author Wednesday afternoon, Greaves said he had sold just one copy of the book. But according to TechCrunch, sales of the book skyrocketed after news of its controversy spread across the Internet.
Before Amazon pulled the book, it apparently shot to #96 on Amazon's Top 100 list. (As of this morning, it no longer appears on the bestseller list.)
Greaves, author of the book, said he was aware of the "stinging accusations" online, but argued that his critics are misunderstanding the point of his book.
"They're accusing me of wanting to hurt children. They're accusing me of encouraging pedophilia and all these other things. But that's not why I wrote the book," the 47-year-old from Pueblo, Colo., said.
"I wrote the book to establish guidelines so that people would behave in a manner that is non-injurious to each other, for one, and, for two, to communicate the fact that these people who are so different in maturation, etc., that when they develop relationships, they use certain principles that regular people, adults, would be well to attend."
Greaves, who was a nurse's aide until he retired because of a disability, said he was not encouraging pedophilia through his book, but, pointing to the case of Mary Kay Letourneau, the Washington state teacher who had an affair with her student, said he believed it was possible "to have a loving, sexual relationship with a child."