Author and self-described “pickup artist” Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh earned a living, selling books on social media platforms that glorify rape and sexual assault.
These platforms that reach millions of people around the world are complicit in making Valizadeh famous even as he confessed to rape, even as he promoted stripping away women rights and even as he said “no means no… until it means yes.” He even advocated for decriminalizing rape in 2015.
For the books that the Anti-Defamation League termed as “how-to manuals” for sexual predators, Twitter verified his account to promotion. YouTube allowed him to live stream events and generate money that would help further his “writing career” and publishing more books which are then sold on Amazon.
All in all, according to Valizadeh, his handbooks on how to harass women provide him with a hefty $60,000 a year income.
However, he just faced a huge setback after Amazon banned sale on nine of his books on its platform.
Amazon has removed 9 of my books from sale, including my newest book Game, which was ranking in the top 1000. They won't tell me the specific reason. Many of the books were on sale for 5+ years. @CreateSpace & @AmazonKDP: can you tell me why the books have been removed? pic.twitter.com/gK2YQyjyap— Roosh (@rooshv) September 10, 2018
In an exclusive report, the Huffington Post noted the sudden change in Amazon’s stance towards Valizadeh’s work only came after news organization inquired if his writing content was in line with the company’s guidelines for self-published material.
Before the book was removed, it had already hit the top 1,000 books on sale on Amazon on that particular day. The “pickup artist” he had sold more than 2,000 copies for $23 each before the book’s removal.
Valizadeh declined talking to a female HuffPost reporter because in his “contract” he demands any female who wants to contact him must provide him with a photograph.
While he blocked another HuffPost reporter on Twitter, he has used the platform (and YouTube) to demand answers for his Amazon ban.
A former employee of a pharmaceutical company, Valizadeh concede all his earnings depend on his “game” related books — game is what he calls his pickup routine for women.
He says his blogs and books are for “heterosexual, masculine men,” where he once said his pursuit of a drunk woman in Iceland would have amounted to rape had he been in America.
“In America, having sex with her would have been rape, since she couldn’t legally give her consent. It didn’t help matters that I was relatively sober, but I can’t say I cared or even hesitated,” he wrote. “If a girl is willing to walk home with me, she’s going to get the d**k no matter how much she has drunk.”
In another chapter, he wrote about “jamming” his penis into a “half-asleep” woman.
Despite such content, Valizadeh was allowed to sell books from Amazon’s platform for years and he still has access to thousands of followers on Twitter and YouTube.
With Twitter’s controversial stance on the banning of Infowars’ Alex Jones, a ban which came a little too late, there has been a huge debate of social media sites’ role in promoting hate and violence.
While media companies often cite “freedom of speech” as anti-Semitic, racist and discriminatory rhetoric keeps peddling from their platform, HuffPost notes the First Amendment only restricts the government and not private companies on regulating content that is put out from their platform.
HuffPost also alleged the company (and all other social media sites) was more prone to responding to negative press than to complaints of sexual harassment.
According to a tweet by Valizadeh, in 2015, over 250,000 signed a petition to ban the sales of his “rape books” on Amazon, yet it took the company three years to finally act on it — after HuffPost reached out to them.
In 2015, a petition with over *250,000* signatures tried to get my books banned. Multiple media articles went out, urging Amazon to do so, but they took no action. What has changed since then? pic.twitter.com/y5PIWsTph3— Roosh (@rooshv) September 11, 2018
Twitter, when asked of Valizadeh’s verified account, referred HuffPost to why their verification program is not their “top priority” at the moment.
YouTube has also helped the rape apologist to promote his books, at times making direct money, availing its “SuperChat” feature, where he raised almost $100 in two hours, answering questions about women and sex — literally making cash from misogyny.
After HuffPost reached out to YouTube, they took down on of his videos and added he currently has “one strike” against him — three strikes within a three-month period would result in termination of one’s channel.
Valizadeh’s previous statement showed he anticipated an Amazon ban was imminent.
“If Amazon shuts me down, I can still sell books directly,” he said in an October 2017 podcast on YouTube.
“A lot of people, they really hate me. I think maybe millions hate me,” he added, noting that he’s hopeful the “couple, maybe, I dunno, hundred thousand or less that do like me are willing to go the extra mile to buy any books that I write.”
However, things still don’t seem to bleak for the misogynist: he still has a verified Twitter account and YouTube channel. In fact, even Amazon has not banned all of his books.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: Wikimedia Commons/ Bartek Kucharczyk