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Amazon Fail

By Mynx d'Meanor • Apr 12th, 2009 • Category: BLOG, SHITS N' GIGGLES

In the shit category (not giggles)… is removing sales rankings from gay, lesbian (and similarly themed) “adult content” books, thereby excluding their listings from popping up on some searches.

Via Jezebel:

According to author Mark R. Probst, has begun pulling the sales rank numbers from several gay and lesbian books, claiming that the books are “adult” and should be excluded from some searches and lists.

Probst noticed the disappearing rankings after searching for a few high-profile gay romance novels; believing there was some sort of glitch in the system, he continued researching and discovered that “HUNDREDS of gay and lesbian books simultaneously lost their sales rankings,” including his own book, The Filly. When Probst contacted Amazon regarding the situation, he was given this response by the company:

In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude “adult” material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.
Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.
Best regards,
Ashlyn D
Member Services Advantage

This sounds like a big old bowl of BS, does it not? Especially when you consider the fact that Amazon has vibrators, clitoral stimulators and anal plugs available in their search system with sales ranks attached. One wonders why these items are allowed to remain in the system with sales ranks while books including gay and lesbian content, themes, and even, as a commenter points out, autobiographies of gay and lesbian authors such as Stephen Fry, are deemed too “adult” for such things.

Link: Jezebel article

Taking a look at the list, seems like some arbitrary censorship happening. (What’s “adult” and what’s not.) Even Dr. Sketchy’s founder Molly Crabapple was affected. She tweeted about how a book she illustrated for got amazon ranked.

Got wind of this via @neilhimself (Neil Gaiman) on Twitter. Check out the chatter re: #amazonfail.

UPDATE:Amazon calls mistake ‘embarrassing and ham-fisted’

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