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‘Forbes’ pulls opinion piece arguing Amazon should replace libraries after public backlash

US business magazine Forbes has removed an opinion piece headlined ‘Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money’ after backlash from American libraries and their communities, reports Quartz.

The heavily criticised article, written by economist Panos Mourdoukoutas, argued that libraries ‘don’t have the same value they used to’ and that taxpayers would save money if they were closed and Amazon stepped in to provide books to communities instead.

Librarians and library-users criticised the article on social media, arguing that libraries offer services that a private company like Amazon could not match, and that the underprivileged would be hardest hit by library closures.

After receiving nearly 200,000 views, the piece was taken down later on the same day it was published.

A Forbes spokesperson said in a statement that the company advocated ‘spirited dialogue on a range of topics, including those that often take a contrarian view’. ‘Libraries play an important role in our society. This article was outside of this contributor’s specific area of expertise, and has since been removed,’ said the spokesperson.

 

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