Monday, 13 April 2009

Amazon Under Fire

This in a couple of days ago from Alex Pryce @ Poetcasting: news that Amazon have turned up the heat on 'adult'-themed books, clipping sales rankings. I'm still reading through the articles, but here's what Alex says:

"Some of you may have noticed the fuss about Amazon's removal of sales rankings from LGBT books (or those it considers LGBT themed, including feminist textbooks). If you don't, this site has a good summing up of the story so far."

This blog has a set of further links, one of which points out the first complaint about Amazon's policy came up a couple of months ago. Mark R. Probst, was on the case a few days ago, just before the twitter/facebook storm started raging. He received this response from Amazon in response to his question as to why hundreds of books had lost their sales rankings:

"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."

Amazon are currently claiming it's a result of a 'glitch', or even a clumsy French employee (blame the French why don't you?), to which twitter users are responding with '#glitchmyass'. It's not a policy, they say, but the fact that it was pointed out on the quiet two months ago suggests not; they class many gay and lesbian books as adult, even though, according to authors like Mark Probst, the books don't have sexual content.

Alex also points out: "Cathy Ryan's first collection, 'I Dare You' from tall-lighthouse is among those to lose ranking position." You can listen to some of Cathy's poetry at Poetcasting.

1 comment:

Jane Holland said...

I completely missed all this Amazon PC insanity. But then, I get all my 'adult' fiction at service stations where no one will know me. Doesn't everyone?