Sunday, April 12, 2009

amazon fail

this isn't particularly crafty (though i do have an idea for an embroidery piece...), but it's definitely an issue very dear to my heart (and other parts of my body!). amazon has changed their ranking policy to SAVE THE CHILDREN (sarcasm) by removing books that they determine to be "adult" content from their rankings and listing. so prudish and all, but okay, fine, be uptight.

the problem is in how they're determining adult. books like playboy (heterosexual sexuality is apparently fine for kids to see), books on things like dog fighting (disgusting, not to mention illegal), etc are not being excluded.

note that they're including young adult books in this "adult" category, if they have any queer or trans content. they're including any book with queer or trans content, regardless of whether or not the have sexual content. books on coming out to your family are among the ones that they are censoring. they're also including books on healthy sexuality (yet playboy is fine. wtf? talk about unhealthy ideas of bodies!) and erotica.

a direct quote from an e-mail sent to the author of one of the books included -
In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.

Best regards,
Ashlyn D
Member Services
Amazon.com Advantage



there are lots of people writing about this a lot more eloquently than me, like tara, smart bitches trashy books, dear author.com, and mashable. there are open letters to amazon popping up - like this one and this one.

smart bitches trashy books has created a fabulous definition of Amazon Rank" and is asking that people link to it to help with Google-bombing.

search google for amazon fail or amazon rank, and you'll see tons more.

there is a petition to sign here, you can e-mail amazon, or call them - 1-800-201-7575 (they apparently need your full name and your e-mail address in order to register the complaint)

2 comments:

Caroline said...

that is awful! Is it just the .com or all the amazons (ie the UK one?)

amy said...

it was all of them, that was actually their explanation for the whole thing, that an employee of one of the other versions (somewhere in europe) misinterpreted the "adult" rankking due to language barriers. apparently all of the amazons are connected, so when one country's amazon made changes, everyone was affected.

it's mostly fixed now, thank goodness, though some people are still seeing problems.

it was really amazing to see how the online communities responded to the whole thing!

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