Target stopped selling an author’s book after a few random people complained about it on Twitter.
Target pulled Abigail Shrier’s book “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters” from its online store after a small handful of people complained that it is transphobic.
The book discusses the psychological phenomenon known as rapid onset gender dysphoria and examines whether the sudden spike in cases is due to spreading by social contagion among girls and young women seeking to fit in. It also warns about the dangers of allowing this population to undergo medical treatment at a young age, which is irreversible.
Shrier’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast to discuss her book was a major reason why some Spotify employees threatened to strike unless they were given power to censor his program. Rogan has repeatedly defended the book, saying that it is not transphobic.
Megyn Kelly has likewise defended Shrier’s book as deeply researched, and she has interviewed the author on her podcast.
Following Target’s decision to pull the title and the ensuing outrage, the store quickly reversed course in response to media attention and customer complaints.
Apparently, Target’s decision to ban the book wasn’t irreversible. But it’s scary to see how willing the corporation was to ban a deeply researched book from a respected writer just because some random person on Twitter accused the book of being transphobic.
How it played out
On Nov. 11, Twitter user @BlueIrish04 wrote:
I think the trans community deserves a response from @AskTarget @Target as to why they are selling this book about the ‘transgender epidemic sweeping the country’ Trigger Warning: Transphobia
Target replied the following a day, writing:
“Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. We have removed this book from our assortment.”
That same day, Shrier tweeted about the situation:
“Target.com just made my book disappear. Does it bother anyone that Woke activists and spineless corporations now determine what Americans are allowed to read?”
Target then backed down and reversed course. On Nov. 13, it posted a message that read:
“Yesterday, we removed a book from Target.com based on feedback we received. We want to offer a broad assortment for our guests and are adding this book back to Target.com. We apologize for any confusion.”
The corporation did not explain why it originally decided to remove the book, nor did it explain how or why it determined that it would be appropriate to continue selling the book after all.
On Nov. 15, Shrier posted a comment to Twitter warning that people must oppose the suppression of free speech:
“Decent people need to come together to oppose the suppression of speech before it’s too late. Unfortunately, the ACLU is on the side of the censors.”
Shrier also wrote an article about the situation for the Wall Street Journal after a prominent figure in the ACLU, an organization that historically defended free speech, supported stopping the circulation of the book, and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley encouraged followers to steal the book and burn it.
Meanwhile, the book has shot to #1 in its category on Amazon.