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people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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amazon uses words it does not fully understand, like 'adult'
children of dune - leto 1
Hold on, keywording: Amazon Fail, Amazonfail, AmazonFail. Amazon Rank.

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.

Amazon Rank via Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.


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)

MetaFilter: AmazonFAIL

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.]

Amazon Searches

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.

Community Involvement

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.

You should see the textbook like titles that got hit. There's a politics and gender class (and probably something else) that got laid to waste in there.


I've been following this for the last two hours (and posted rant on my lj) It's horrifying what you get when you search for "homosexuality". Heaven forbid anyone actually go there /looking/ for guidance.

I just ran that and closed it so fast I saw spots. What the fuck was that about?

I've read elsewhere that apparently the Kindle listings are handled separately and therefore are not affected by this purge.

Hmm. That's--werid, come to think of it.

...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.

Something for him to treasure when he's older maybe... =P

DearAuthor (I got the link from marthawells) has a piece up on this which makes it totally clear what Amazon's motivations are here. And more to the point, that it was a deliberate move...

And Reply #1 highlights teh LULZ.

Also, The LATimes Blog has a good comparison piece.

Edited at 2009-04-13 01:07 am (UTC)

Added links to both. Thank you! *hugs*

I've been following this all day, and even check on the (mad, crazy, INSANELY FAST-MOVING) Twitter stream every now and then. Via Twitter I just came across this ...

Added the link and boggling. So. Much.

(Deleted comment)
...you are kidding? I mean, I know you aren't, I have amazon open to try it, because the fail is just that endless. Thanks for the heads up!

How do you like what comes up now when you search homosexuality on Amazon? Have you seen THAT shit??

jonquil has the screen cap.

I looked on AmazonUK and I was horrified.

To experience the true horror of this, search homosexuality on Amazon.com. And then start swearing.

Yes. And I keep going back to look again, hoping it's my imagination.

There's a good post up on The LA Times Blog that is discussing this. Good links, good points, good all around info.

I like my Easter Sundays to be chaotic.

They took out Michel Foucault - which is a textbook for me this semester. It also enrages me that The Parenting Guide for Preventing Homosexuality</a> is now apparently at the top of the result page for searches using 'homosexuality'.

Twitter is going nuts with this (see #amazonfail).

Some people have suggested that the tagging system is at fault, and others suggest (can't find link atm) that people should hit amazon with 'gay porn' tags on everything so it crashes.

As for the Kindle thing, I think it's because Kindle books are under a different category.

Re: I like my Easter Sundays to be chaotic.

I'm trying to find my zen. It left teh country in a fit of rage.


I wonder if the gay porn tag would work? Hmm.

SBTB and Publisher's Weekly have both gone down from traffic...Cleolinda has a screencap of the PW article where Amazon claims "glitch!" here.

Homg, the internet killed Publisher's Weekly!

*falls over* God. Added, and thank you!

From the chatter over at Jezebel, www.powells.com has been following this via Twitter and are considering a sale on GLBT books to show support. I know where I'll be spending my money...

Ooh. I'll watch for that one!

Thanks for the great roundup of info. I've linked to this post because let's face it I'm too lazy to compile all the links myself. So thank you again.

I'm adding the good ones as quickly as I can!

Thanks for the great info. I couldn't believe it and then paniced and went to cancel my orders from amazon.ca. However, it appears the deranking dosn't seem to be happening at amazon.ca????

Sorry, I was wrong. Amazon.ca is affected...but haphazardly. sigh...