We've been talking about this for a month now: the extent that social networking is a potent political force. Now there's evidence that it's extremely effective (and quick!) for at least one thing: banning books. A Facebook page and Twitter outcry over what seems like a handbook to child abuse was initially met by Amazon.com with a floral press release about the importance of the first amendment. Hours later, in typical Amazon.com fashion, they quietly pulled the objectionable title from the store.
It might be noted that the same force also temporarily made what seems like a poorly written, toxic book into a bestseller -- no doubt due to the morbid curiosity of those who suddenly became aware of it because of the boycott. Without the boycott it would still be available, but floundering deep in the sales rankings. So is this win or lose for social networking? And how excited should we be that an outraged group can quickly bully Amazon.com into yanking down titles?