Amazon censored the third installment of former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson’s booklet on the ineffectiveness of face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday.
“CENSORED AGAIN,” the author wrote. “After being published. And I told the @amazon KDP team I was putting out another booklet so their automated review wouldn’t do this. Here we go again.”
Amazon originally claimed that it would remove the book, “Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns: Part 3: Masks” for violating the company’s content guidelines but did not specify which rules were allegedly broken.
“Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns: Part 1,” which included information on death counts and estimates, was also rejected by the online retailer when it was first published in June. After prominent voices like journalist Glenn Greenwald and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk spoke out about the censorship, Amazon said it was rejected in “error” and the book went on to be a No. 1 best seller in Amazon’s Kindle Store.
The e-book version of Berenson’s third installment in the booklet series eventually went live for people to purchase on Tuesday, but the paperback version was blocked from sale on Amazon’s site.
Shortly after his original post, Berenson reported that the e-book was also removed.
Berenson returned to Twitter to announce that Apple began selling the book on its platform, directing users to try and purchase his book there.
He also continued to call out Amazon for its blatant censorship, saying that his claims are not conspiracy theories or inaccurate, but should not be curbed by the company even if they were.
“Just to be clear – this doesn’t say 5G causes Covid or Bill Gates is Satan (although frankly, it wouldn’t be @Amazon‘s business if it did). But censoring me for saying masks don’t/haven’t been shown to work is a quarter-step from censoring me for saying schools should be open),” he wrote.
Hours after Berenson’s book went live on Apple, it made it into the top 10 most paid for books on the platform.
“And this is what it looks like when censorship fails: three hours after @apple started selling it, Unreported Truths cracked the top 10 on the @applebooks chart (Hi Barack!). Thank you to everyone who’s standing up to @amazon,” he said.
Berenson also noted that Apple has nothing to gain from censoring a book about COVID-19 policies.
“Do you think it’s a coincidence that @apple– which has much less to gain from lockdowns and arguably does better in a normal environment because phone use may rise with mobility – is far more willing to sell my books than @amazon? Yeah, me neither,” he said.
Following Berenson’s success on Apple’s platform, Amazon appeared to reinstate the sale of book as well as the review section below it.
Berenson’s update on Tuesday night questioned if Amazon would be restoring the paperback version as well.
As of Wednesday morning, part three of his book is available on Amazon’s website.
Amazon did not answer The Federalist’s questions about why the ebook and paperback book were both removed and simply stated that the book is now available.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has censored dissenting content. In August, Amazon Prime blocked a pro-life film on its platform without warning, making all of the content inaccessible except a trailer. Despite the director and producer’s numerous attempts to reach out to Amazon, he still received no answer as to why the film was suddenly removed from public viewing.