Okay, be frank with me. This was actually Fail Week and you all forgot to email? Because seriously, I was just talking myself down from Observe and Report that explores the beauty of vomit and date rape, and really. Really. Come on. This is a joke. In my imagination, anyway.
Really, Amazon? You want to go there?
I'm going to try to link in order, for those of you who didn't see it explode across your flist just as you were waking from your Easter nap and still blinking away ham-related lethargy.
Amazon Follies by markprobst, who noticed the sales rankings on amazon disappearing from two gay romance novels.
I'm going to paraphrase: amazon, in a fit of some kind of virtual heterosexual panic, has delisted GLBT authors--specifically, stripping them of their sales rank on amazon and making (so far, only some of) them unsearchable from the main page of amazon.com due to adult content. The books are still there. But not as easy to find, and no longer considered a part of the rankings system that include such worthy pieces of great literature as Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds, which I understand is a valuable part of current literary thought and safe for ages zero through eighty, which is great, because I've been really wondering what to get my nephew for his first birthday.
A list of books that are being stripped of their sales rank is growing here. I sampled five of five from this list and they were not searchable from the main page*. This is a game we all can play! Go find your favorite GLBT novel and hit search.
[* Oddly, however, sometimes the kindle version would still show up from a front page search. I have no fucking clue what the hell is up with that.]
Denver Internet Examiner has an article on this as well.
And thank you Denver, also a layman explanation of sales rank for the n00b. While in theory I know what it is, I don't think I've ever checked it when I book buy. From Denver Internet Examiner:
Overall, the sales rank delisting may seem like a minor issue, but it can have a very serious impact for publishers and authors of lesser known works which depend on the sales ranking to get noticed and help spread the word. Amazon pulls unranked books from search results.
[By the way, if you are like me and have no idea where sales ranking is on the page, it shows up under Product Details, appearing right below Average Customer Review. And it's not just overall sales rank, but also broken into categories as well. Yes, I searched up a non-banned book to see what this looked like.]
Finally, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has more this and the google bomb.
Corrections or additions welcomed fervently.
ETA: Okay, ffs, Virginia Henley's monstrosity The Dragon and the Jewel isn't considered adult? Are you fucking with me, amazon? A page to describe the sheathe he wears his mighty penis in and how he could split people apart with the width of it and it's not adult?
However, so far, Mercedes Lackey's Magic trilogy remains ranked and searchable.
ETA 2: Hi, consider this a running ETA of fail from the awesome people who are tracking this down.
cleolinda: #amazonfail - great round-up and links
tehdely: On Amazon Failure, Meta-Trolls, and Bantown - gives a possible explanation for the Amazonfail book banning.
CNet: Amazon criticized for de-ranking 'adult' books
DailyKos: Amazon's New Morality - For Your Protection
Dear Author: Amazon Censors Its Rankings Search Results to Protect Us Against GLBT Books with further explanations of what amazon is up to. (thanks to beanie_j for the link)
Feministe: Amazon Fail
Jezebel: Why Is Amazon Removing The Sales Rankings From Gay, Lesbian Books?
LA Blog: Amazon Deranks Gay Friendly Books and Twitterverse Notices (thanks to beanie_j for the link)
Net.Effect: #Amazonfail and the politics of anti-corporate cyberactivism
Publisher's Weekly: Publisher's Weekly on a "glitch". (thanks to amireal for the link) [via apetslife - this also has gone down. cleolinda has a screencap of PW's article here.]
kita0610 points to jonquil who has screencapped what now comes up when you search for homosexuality from a top level amazon search here in screencap. To expereince it live yourself, just click here.
azdaja_dafema has a screencap here for Amazon UK in relation to keyword: homosexuality in a top level search.
history_gurl has a screencap for Amazon Canada that does not fail! You may safely search for homosexuality and not want to spoon out your eyes.
Delicious Tagging and Twitter
Mark it: Amazonfail tag on delicious. Learn it, love it, use it, make it a very high number. Any others to add here?
trobadora links the Twitter Stream with the best. Name. Ever.
Unfunny Business reacts here.
SF Drama really reacts here.
icanhazcheezburger: - Macro has been achieved. (thanks to azdaja_dafema for the link.)
Search of googlenews - let me just blink thoughtfully, including this from the AP here.