CNET is reporting that some authors believe that Amazon changed it’s ranking to exclude gay and lesbian literature from their rankings system.
I have spent the morning searching the web for an indication that Amazon is attempting to bury GLBT literature and I can’t find it. I did get an email from an unnamed source at Amazon. They say:
“Amazon tries to flag adult products like toys and products w/ explicit nudity on packaging to prevent them from popping up when they’re not desired (eg Doc Johnson is a manufacturer of adult toys and used to show up when unsuspecting moms searched for Johnson & Johnson or people shopping for plush rabbits would see The Rabbit in search results) – I’m sure you can imagine the various combinations here. This episode really was just a glitch in trying to handle this type of adult-themed product and had nothing to do w/ targeting gay/lesbian lit. Trust me, it’s just a flag that was too broadly applied by some poor dev guy by mistake.”
Based on the fact that I have known this person for over twenty years, I’m going to have to say to Amazon, “Hurry up and fix it! Then apologize and move on.”
The #AmazonFAIL hashtag has been part one of the top ten twitter searches for the past 36 hours. According to my compete toolbar, Twitter had over 14 million visitors in March of 2009, so yes, perception is everything.