• 04.02.08

Amazon’s Power Grab–And the Feds Mess With Bloggers

I’ve been closely following two stories that have implications for social responsibility this week.

I’ve been closely following two stories that have implications for social responsibility this week.


First,’s obnoxious decision to play bully and tell publishers with digitally published products that they can only get into Amazon’s main system by using Amazon’s own printer. This could have disastrous implications for freedom of choice in the idea marketplace, and at least a couple of Amazon’s largest suppliers in the “long tail” are putting up a fuss. However, rumor has it that two major players have caved. If you’d like to get involved in the protest, see the follow-up post. And don’t forget to remove any links you might have to Amazon on your own sites. Today, I’m asking my assistant to pull my links down and terminate my affiliate relationship; if enough people do, I think they’ll get the message. While I doubt it gets to CEO Jeff Bezos personally, apparently the address jeff [at] is monitored pretty high up the corporate ladder.

Second, and ultimately more disturbing–and it’s gotten almost no coverage, even in the blogosphere. Release of a 2005 US Department of Defense report urging the Pentagon to buy off some bloggers (bad enough) and–even worse–actually tamper with the content of blogs that paint the US military in an unfavorable light. Am I the only one who’s absolutely appalled by the idea of the government hacking into blogs to distort their content? This is a big story and should be all over the place. In the link above, you can go back to the source document.

Boy, do I look forward to the day when both of these abuses would be simply unthinkable.

Yours in social responsiblity,

–>Join the Business Ethics Pledge – Ten Years to Change the World,
One Signature at a Time (please tell your friends)

I show the world the value in your values! Shel Horowitz, award-wining author,
Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First,
Founder of the Business Ethics Pledge,

Ethics Blog: