Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer, has a shady side business.
While the policies of this corporation technically prohibit the sale of pornography, its practices tell a different story. Hardcore pornographic videos are available on Amazon Instant, and many more are available for quick shipping through Amazon Prime. In addition to this, Amazon’s Kindle e-reader has already exposed children to sexually explicit images and content based on themes of incest, rape, and the abuse of minors.
But Amazon doesn’t stop at passively allowing its policies to be systematically violated. Amazon.com goes a step further, and hosts hardcore pornography and prostitution websites through its server hosting services.
There is a growing trend within the porn industry of small and start-up pornographers using Amazon’s hosting services, which manage their websites and facilitate their accessibility on the Internet. A few years ago, one “entrepreneur” explained to Business Insider that he made hundreds of thousands of dollars owning a porn site. He suggested that other aspiring porn peddlers use Amazon, stating: “You can make use of Amazon Web Services to lower costs substantially.”
This man isn’t the first to use Amazon to host this explicit content. On a Reddit thread giving advice to pornographers about the best web hosts, one user stated: “I actually use Amazon S3 with CloudFront. I don’t know much about any others because Amazon is so great I have never needed to use anything else.”
Some posters on another Reddit thread even joked about the lack of concern Amazon has over hosting pornography websites, so long as it doesn’t become public knowledge.
One user commented: “They don’t advertise [hosting porn sites] as a service they provide, and may look
at you funny as you do it, but surely [Amazon isn’t] going to stop you so long as the check clears.”
Another added: “[It’s] not regulated. You can do it unless someone starts crying really loud about Amazon ‘condoning moral corruption’ or some other bull****.”
Unfortunately for Amazon, word has gotten out about their profits from the porn industry.
What can we do to get Amazon.com to change its ways?
Luckily, there is hope.
Overstock.com, a direct competitor of Amazon, recently discontinued the sale of all hardcore pornographic magazines and videos on its website. Inside sources reported to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation that Overstock employees worked overnight to ensure the website was scrubbed of all hardcore material. While Overstock does not provide web hosting services, this change within Amazon’s immediate market shows that it is possible to get major corporations to refuse profits from facilitating sexual exploitation.