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Amazon censoring sales ranks of LGBTQ products

It seems that Amazon have decided to tag any products with the labels LGBT as “adult” and thus removing them from search results and reccommended titles etc. A lot of feminist books etc are also affected, while many “heterosexual” products that would be highly sexualised (Jackie Collins titles, various graphic sexual novels etc) are still available. Many of the titles affected are young adult novels, young adult sexuality education books etc To find out titles that were affected, read the links below.

I’d urge you to send letters to amazon and let them know this type of censorship is unacceptable.

The saga can be followed on twitter as well at: #amazonfail

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  • It’s a fucking outrage, isn’t it?! And it seems queers, writers (and particularly queer writers) are spewing a rainbow over this whole thing (see what I did there?) all over the interwebs, especially on blogs and on Twitter. (It’s the highest ranking “trend” on Twitter at the moment. I can’t refresh my page fast enought – there are literally hundreds of Tweets per second, esp since the Americas are still before their bed-times.)

    It’s bizarre, because Amazon.com maintains the sales rank of Playboy and Sports Illustrated, but not The Well of Loneliness or Fingersmith. On the other hand, Amazon.co.uk does contain the sales rank for these titles (that’s all I’ve managed to check so far). It’s very odd. (And Amazon.com does know I’m browsing from Ireland, as an automated message appears on their homepage, advising that Irish shoppers go to the .co.uk site.)

    For anyone who doesn’t get what any of this shite means, from what I can tell this evening, the sales rank appears under the “Product Details” section, after you’ve clicked to view a particular book title. (It’s not the little yellow stars rating, which appears both in search results and on the product’s page.)

    The significance of the sales ranking is that titles may then appear in the bestseller lists. In other words, it’s affects demand to the publisher/author and supply to the consumer. Sort of like a boycott-lite, if it was carried out by a retailer, betwixt the wholesaler and customer. Say, if Quinnsworth hid all the prosecco down the back of the shop behind the rice cakes (not that they’d ever do such a thing), but this is with books.

    click here said:
  • Thanks Clicky, you’ve explained it better than I could even have attempted to!

    Slayer (author) said:
  • No worries! I’m just catching up on it all at the moment myself! If nothing else, this is a clear call for us all to send our custom to local, independent bookshops (even the ones with no websites..!).

    It’s shocking.

    click here said:
  • Amazon’s contact information is available on the Daily Kos blog (postal addresses, email, fax, phone).

    click here said:
  • Theres a logo for amazonfail, no less – linky.

    click here said:
  • Amazon are now claiming it was “a glitch”, according to afterellen (see update at end of the post) and publishersweekly.

    And now, I’m going to bed..

    click here said:
  • More here http://gawker.com/5209381/why-amazon-cant-just-call-gay-blacklist-a-glitch

    UPDATE: Former Amazon.com gay and lesbian studies editor Ron Hogan now works at GalleyCat as senior editor. He raises doubts there about Amazon’s “glitch” excuse, pointing first to Seymour’s experience in February and then to the fact that Amazon originally called this a “policy” decision (see here) before contradicting itself and calling it a “glitch”.

    Shelly said:
  • The Amazon Fail Logo can be found here http://www.flickr.com/photos/38881834@N00/3436558792/

    Hunter said:
  • Thanks, Hunter and Shelly. Time will tell what Amazon has to say for themselves by way of explanation, and apology; and both had better be in full.

    click here said:
  • Jessica @ Feministing: it seems that amazonfail was much more than just “a glitch”.

    click here said:
  • [...] the labels LGBT as “adult” and thus removing them from search results and recommended titles many blogs have picked up on this, and our own Daimen Mulley wrote an interesting piece on the immediate [...]

    Elf in Amsterdam | Elf’s Drinky Links (VII) said:
  • [...] sheer coincidence, during the Amazon palaver, I spotted a post about an upcoming event in Dublin on American blog, Queers United, of all [...]

    Get Active, Get Equal: Direct Action for LGBTQ Rights | gaelick said:
  • [...] fair, my fellow colleagues have been all over the place with updates from Slayer’s exposing AmazonFail to Hal telling us all about how Lindsay is just looking for someone to love her for who she [...]

    A Suppa Earl Gae | gaelick said:
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