Social Media Titans are Preventing Authors From Writing About COVID-19
And this is why ALL creatives should care…
Hello from Amazon Advertiser Support,
Thanks for contacting us.
I understand your concern regards to the ads for your book titled “Heartbreak In The Time of Coronavirus”.
Kindly note, your book has content that is temporarily restricted from advertising. To ensure a good customer experience, we prohibit any content related to sensitive events such as natural disasters, human-caused disasters, health emergencies, incidents of mass drama, or the death of public figures.
The duration of this restriction is undetermined at this time.
Here’s My Problem
Amazon, Pinterest, Facebook, and all of the other social media titans have rejected my submission for advertisement simply because the title of my book contains Coronavirus.
I have escalated this situation to a number of Amazon departments requesting that they look into my case specifically. Unfortunately, the only answer that I ever receive is an automated response.
I have also discovered that Amazon has been blocking many of my reviews. In order to prevent misinformation about the pandemic, Amazon has been blocking any mention regarding COVID-19. And while my title does have the word, “Coronavirus” in it, it is more than a story about the pandemic.
My memoir is primarily about mental health, relationships, and self-growth.
In July 2020, I self-published a memoir titled, Heartbreak In The Time of Coronavirus. My story is a psychoanalytical memoir that describes my experience navigating COVID-19.
On the first day that the first case of COVID-19 was detected in the United States, I had attempted suicide. Then the next day, I was hospitalized in a psychiatric ward.
Two weeks after leaving the hospital, I was shocked to find that the world as I had known it, has been turned upside down. I was thrown into society’s “new normal”, and forced to rebuild myself.
As someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, I began attending weekly out-patient therapy, and then one on one therapy. Throughout my memoir, I share with the reader Cognitive Behavioral Techniques (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) techniques that I have learned while being on lockdown.
Although I do share my story, I also share the story of others as I wanted to reduce the stigma that the general public has towards mental health.
My intentions are to not capitalize on this book during the pandemic. In fact, my plan is to donate a large portion of my sales to the National Alliance of Mental Illness. Whether someone is battling a mental illness disorder, a breakup, or simply learning how to cope during quarantine, my goal is to spread the word and let the reader know that they are not alone in this quarantine and they are not alone in this world.
Yet Amazon along with other social media titans, have never bothered to understand the actual content of my book.
Why Creatives Should Care
There will soon be countless of creatives and scholars who will want to teach, sing, write, and make films about this unforgettable moment in history.
In fact, it’s already happening.
…Because when you have nothing but time, inspiration comes.
Many creatives have already begun to use this quarantine to their advantage through self-reflection and observation. This is how I was able to write my memoir. Writing is what kept me alive. Writing is what kept me sane. Any free second that I had, I would write.
I would write. Write. Write. Write. Write.
For the last four months, the only person I ever really saw outside my bedroom walls was my editor.
Yet since I happen to be one of the first to market, I find the actions of these social media titans to be quite unfair because in the future, people will study the pandemic for years to come. Centuries even.
How long are we forced to stay silent until it’s deemed appropriate to write about this moment in time?
Who is to say how long this Great Era of The Modern Century Pandemic will last?
Protests. Economic war. Unemployment. Starvation. Death.
The ripple effect of this pandemic has already begun. For all we know, these issues can last within the next ten years.
Look at any historical moment.
The Renaissance. World War I. World War II. The Communistic Era.
These were all times when some of the greatest works of art and books were written. It was a creative’s way of making an infinite statement about an unforgettable situation. It was a creative’s way of dealing with profound circumstances that were beyond their control.
Others like me have already begun to experience similar issues. In June 2020, Alex Berenson, former New York Times reporter had self-published his book, Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns: Part 1: Introduction and Death Counts and Estimates. Unfortunately, Amazon had banned the book due to the subject matter.
Yet soon after, Alex was rescued by none other than, Elon Musk. “I think Elon’s decision to highlight the censorship spurred Amazon to move quickly. It’s possible they would have backed down eventually, but his tweets made their position indefensible,” Berenson wrote.
How is possible that I can search for books on Amazon about pornography, real-life murders, and other taboo subjects but Alex was being blocked?
Why does it have to take the Elon Musk’s of the world to make these changes?
While I am grateful that there is a company in the 21st century that even allows me to self-publish my book, not being able to directly advertise has counteracted my ability from reaching my target audience. Therefore, I am forced to find many clever ways to work around this issue through other marketing strategies.
My memoir may never be #1 Best Seller.
But ultimately, all I want is my freedom to try.
I want others like me to have the freedom to express themselves without being blocked.
I want to be able to show that even though we are all experiencing all kinds of mental health issues right now, we can get through this together.
So why on earth are we being stopped?
PS- Shout out to Medium for letting me write about whatever I want.
I tried to run an advertisement for this article on Pinterest just to see what would happen.
I am not shocked.