On Monday, after it became clear Elon Musk would soon own Twitter, Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, and executive chairman, as well as the owner of The Washington Post, planted a seed of a conspiracy theory that China may influence Twitter, given its business relationship with Musk in Tesla.
“Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?” Bezos mused.
Ironically, it took conservatives to point out that the Chinese Communist Party paid Bezos’ Post $4.5 million to publish its propaganda, in the form of a newspaper, between 2016 and 2020.
Now, for more irony, Bezos’ first company is acting like the Chinese government in censoring ads related to a conservative book.
This week, a children’s book called “Johnny the Walrus” shot to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list.
Written by conservative podcaster Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire, the story is about a little boy who claims he is a walrus and then the “internet people” convince Johnny’s mother to treat him like a walrus, which she does.
Amazon employees melted down over the book. Leaked audio from inside the company saying they were traumatized by it, and even one broke down crying. He called it “one hell of a problem.”
Accordingly, Amazon began blocking ads for the book.
On Wednesday, Walsh tweeted a screenshot of a notice the Daily Wire received about its ads for the book, saying they were pulled because of violations of the company’s Creative Acceptance Policy. In this case, Amazon determined the advertising was inappropriate because it “promotes, endorses, or incites potentially dangerous or harmful activity.”
That was not all, though.
CNSNews.com reported that Amazon also axed the book from the category of children’s books and declared it belonged under political books.
In response, Walsh tweeted, “They can’t take the book down because it doesn’t violate their rules, so instead they’ll pull these tricks.”
“They just so happened to conduct this ‘periodic review’ [of the advertising] on the same day that the videos leaked of their employees crying about the book,” he continued.
“Amazon won’t allow ads for Johnny The Walrus because it’s ‘not appropriate for all ages’ (it’s literally a board book for preschoolers), but they do allow ads for this book that promotes puberty blockers and tells kids that some girls can get erections,” added Walsh, citing a book called “You•ology” by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Walsh, however, got the last laugh.
When the book hit No. 1 on Amazon later on Wednesday, he tweeted, “We did it. Amazon is actively trying to suppress my children’s book but in spite of that Johnny The Walrus is now the number one best selling book on all of Amazon. This is causing unimaginable trauma to Amazon’s woke employees and I couldn’t be happier. Thank you, everyone!”