I found out today that Amazon.com has started de-ranking what they deem to be adult content. Funny thing about that though is that the only thing that Amazon seem to be flagging as adult content is gay and lesbian themed books. They are stripping these books of their sales rankings within Amazon so as to keep them from showing up on searches.
I knew when they yanked the ultra violent video Rapelay that is was a sign of more to come. Granted that video is horrible and needed to be removed. But this latest development only proves that censorship of any kind opens the door for further discrimination.
The problems I am seeing with what Amazon is doing is the out and out homophobia. While they are removing the gay and lesbian books they are continuing to allow mainstream, yet extremely trashy sexual, books such as Laurell K Hamilton’s Incubus Dreams to have sales ranks. How is that?
Mark R. Probst is an author who is affected by the changes. He has posted the response he got back from Amazon about the removal of sales ranks on his books over on his blog. Amazon’s reply clearly states it is a new policy for adult content, yet other people are posting that they are getting responses from Amazon that it is a glitch, an oddly specific glitch, but a glitch.
This has obviously caused quite the stir across the net with much of that fervor coming from the Twitter community, where they are flagging posts with #amazonfail and in the past hour nearly 3000 posts with that tag have come through.
I have to say I agree with their requests from Amazon.com users to stop supporting the site until this is either reversed or sales ranks are removed from all adult content not just that with gay and lesbian subjects. There are plenty of other stores on the web (many of them with better prices and service) so if you can please avoid them. Thanks.
Update: for even more information check out this call for a boycott of Amazon until the fix this issue.
Here are a few more articles for your enlightenment:
- Amazon Rank
- Is Amazon Homophobic?
- Is Amazon Censoring LGBT Books?
- Go Tell Amazon to F*** Itself
- Amazon Censors Its Rankings & Search Results to Protect Us Against GLBT Books