A View of the C

Funny – Inappropriate – Edumacational

Amazon Fail – A Glitch Perhaps?

amazon-failI’m not sure exactly how I feel about this. On the one hand, I think that if a true “glitch” was made people shouldn’t overreact. But on the other hand, I don’t understand HOW a glitch like that could be made without some sort of mis-categorization, which would be pretty disgusting. Did this happen to other “types” of books, other “categories” of books, etc.?  I’ve included a summary of what happened down below, but I’ve also heard that when someone types in “homosexual”, it will show up with “How to prevent your kid from being a homosexual” types of books – and again, maybe all books related to that topic should in fact be listed, as much as I hate that those books are even available. And after having read the below and the article in its entirety, it seems to be flat-out discrimination, which infuriates me. Especially coming from a company in my own back yard, in a city that in general is very loving and tolerant of diversity. So, I ask the obvious: WTF Amazon?

For those just waking up to the scandal, here’s what happened: Amazon has a policy of removing books labeled as “adult” from its sales rankings (which by itself could discourage sales). This, in turn, has a ripple effect of removing books from elsewhere on the site, such as in search results and “related books” listings. The Amazon system is proprietary, so it’s hard for outsiders to determine the full implications of such a removal. Anecdotal evidence from authors searching for their banned books returned wildly different results at different points over the weekend, but it was clear that if allowed to go unchecked, the “adult” label would have a severe impact on sales—if the readers can’t find it, the readers can’t buy it.

What kinds of books received this “adult” label? Erotica with gay themes (but not heterosexual themes), rape survivor advocacy and rape culture criticism, and feminist missives were among those suddenly labeled adult material. Soft-core hetero porn (such as Playboy centerfold calendars), hetero-themed sex toys and anti-gay screeds were left untouched. Let the maelstrom begin. 


April 13, 2009 - Posted by | Commentary, Did you know? | , , , , ,


  1. Unreal …. I write erotica – and granted it’s of the heterosexual variety – with a threesome thrown in now and then. But the point here is that the ever growing puritain arm has reached out once again. God I miss living in Europe!

    Comment by fantasiaspillowtalk | April 13, 2009

  2. Isn’t it funny how sex is somehow still taboo, yet we have the highest teen pregnancy rates? hmmmm

    Comment by aviewofthec | April 13, 2009

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