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Amazon Redeemed???


Found on: Towleroad

Amazon released a statement late today offering more explanation of an error they say caused the removal of sales rankings for hundreds of books, many of them gay and lesbian themed, over the weekend.

Said the company in a statement:

“This is an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection. It has been misreported that the issue was limited to Gay & Lesbian themed titles — in fact, it impacted 57,310 books in a number of broad categories such as Health, Mind & Body, Reproductive & Sexual Medicine, and Erotica. This problem impacted books not just in the United States but globally. It affected not just sales rank but also had the effect of removing the books from Amazon’s main product search. Many books have now been fixed and we’re in the process of fixing the remainder as quickly as possible, and we intend to implement new measures to make this kind of accident less likely to occur in the future.”

Earlier on Monday, a known hacker claimed responsibility for the event, saying he exploited a vulnerability in the tools visitors use to rate products.

The hacker’s confession. Is it plausible? Perhaps.

Amazon Fail …


Found on: Joe My God

I have tonight, closed my account on Amazon and shut down my Amazon widget. If this is the way they are going to play, then we should no longer do business with AMAZON…

Gay Twitterland blew up over the weekend over the news that Amazon was removing titles with LGBT content from its hotly-followed sales rankings.

The number one word being used over and over on Twitter at this moment is “AmazonFail.” Why? Users are angry about a perceived anti-gay policy that removes lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender books from appearing in sales rankings. Author Mark Probst writes on his blog that two days ago, “mysteriously, the sales rankings disappeared from two newly-released high profile gay romance books: ‘Transgressions’ by Erastes and ‘False Colors’ by Alex Beecroft. Everybody was perplexed. Was it a glitch of some sort? The very next day HUNDREDS of gay and lesbian books simultaneously lost their sales rankings, including my book ‘The Filly.'” Probst eventually got a response from Amazon.com Advantage member services, he says.

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

All gay content is now “adult”? Michelangelo Signorile notes that all of his decidedly non-erotic books have lost their rankings. Signorile: “In my case it is a clear suppression of political speech. It’s that simple.” Even the “gay boys growing up” anthology I contributed to a few years ago has lost its ranking.

A petition for Amazon to restore LGBT titles to its sales rankings is here.

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan reports that his books have been de-listed as well.

UPDATE II: Amazon is now claiming that the whole thing is just a programming “glitch.” Anybody buying that? Since they are now backpedaling, I think we have to give the win to Twitter.