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Amazonfail

April 13, 2009 Leave a comment

This has been reported by several blogs and it’s all over twitter, Amazon has decided to remove “adult” content from it’s rankings, unfortunately this “adult” content more or less includes everything and anything to do with homosexuality and LGBT fiction and non-fiction. Wtf? From the LA Times book blog Jacket Copy:

“American Psycho” is Bret Easton Ellis’ story of a sadistic murderer. “Unfriendly Fire” is a well-reviewed empirical analysis of military policy. But it’s “Unfriendly Fire” that does not have a sales rank — which means it would not show up in Amazon’s bestseller lists, even if it sold more copies than the “Twilight” series. In some cases, being de-ranked also means being removed from Amazon’s search results.

I’ve read American Psycho and I can tell you now that there’s a pretty good reason why the book is sold in Borders covered in shrink-wrap.  Explain to me why a book sub-titled as “Why the gay ban undermines the military and weakens America” should be lumped in the same category? It’s ridiculous, this is not adult fiction, it is a blatant attack on homosexuals in America, worlwide and on the internets.

Since then the hashtag #amazonfail has risen to number one on Twitter (in the space of an hour, reportedly, this is why I love Twitter). Twitterer @duncanriley reported that the top Amazon search result for homosexuality is “A Parents Guide to Preventing Homosexuality” and that’s by “relevance” search. Wtf?

Amazon must be destroyed. Yet another reason for Melburnians to buy books at Readings. Boycott Amazon, support your local bookstore, they can order books in for you anyways.

UPDATE: (Thanks Jacket Copy):

As the Amazonfail fiasco continues to grow online and people continue to question wtf is going on, Amazon has no decided that it was a “glitch”. Um. Yeah right. Jacket Copy:

Responding to our initial post, Amazon Director of Corporate Communications Patty Smith e-mailed Jacket Copy. “There was a glitch with our sales rank feature that is in the process of being fixed,” she wrote. “We’re working to correct the problem as quickly as possible.”

We wanted to know more. We asked for further explanation of the glitch, which has removed the rankings of gay-themed books such as Paul Monette’s “Becoming A Man,” Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando,” and others.

And I asked Patty Smith this:

From a layperson’s perspective, this glitch does seem to have affected certain types of books more heavily than others. In fact, only one of the top 10 books in your Gay & Lesbian section continues to have a sales ranking (the Kindle version of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”). No other section is similarly affected. Can you comment on that?

The reply:

Unfortunately, I’m not able to comment further.  We’re working to resolve the issue, but I don’t have any further information.
I smell panic & bullshit.