If you haven’t already heard, Amazon removed the ranking from almost 60,000 books, claiming that they are “adult” material. The result of not having a ranking means the books are extremely hard to find, even if you search specifically for them, and don’t show up on any of their bestseller lists. This would be understandable, if the books labeled as such were actually “adult”.
According to a variety of sources, the newly labeled “adult” books include:
- Anything to do with accepting or promoting homosexuality (yet not books that deny or advocate against homosexuality)
- Some erotica, but apparently not Playboy.
- Harlequin’s Spice line.
- Ellora’s Cave books.
- Books about non-heterosexual love whether or not they contain anything sexually explicit.
- Books about gay and lesbian parenting, including books on preventing suicide in homosexual teens.
- Classics such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
- Non-fiction non-explicit accounts of gay/lesbian experience (contemporary and historical).
[list taken from here]
What is not included in the “adult” section, however, are books about dog fighting, Mein Kampf, and a plethora of other extremely offensive topics. It is obvious from the above list exactly what “values” Amazon was trying to promote.
Amazon claimed first that there was a glitch, and then that there was an employee in France that was responsible. Right. I totally believe that. It’s totally plausible.
*looks out window* That’s a mighty fat, pink bird up there!
The Twittersphere, however, mobilized itself. First there was #amazonfail. Then, after Amazon’s first public ‘apology’, we had #glitchmyass. And then, to add to the fray, a hacker claimed responsibilty, sparking #hackermyass! Finally, we have #francemyass.
It’s times like this that I am really impressed by the blogging/microblogging community. We shall have to see how this plays out…
And since this is an admittedly short overview as I am trying to update between class blocks, here are all the posts of the blogs in my feeder that have discussed this:
- Amazon accused of manipulating site content (again): Searches and rankings this time from Booklorn
- Amazon claims glitch affected search & ranking; consumers say #glitchmyass from Booklorn
- Open Letter to Amazon Regarding Recent Policy Changes from Booksquare
- Amazon Fail: Certain “adult” books (like mine) are de-ranked from Feministing
- Amazon FAIL Update: A “Glitch,” Says Spokesperson from Feministing
- Amazon Fail Sunday from Meg Cabot’s Diary
- #amazonfail or how Amazon finally eclipsed Jesus from Book Patrol
- About “Family Friendly” (or) How Amazon is Being An Ass from Big Bright Bulb
- Amazonfail Sunday from Neil Gaiman’s Journal
- #AmazonFail and the problem of monopolies from The Fidra Blog