April 13, 2009

Amazon Strips Sales Ranks of Gay Books

Amazon.com has apparently been pulling the Sales Rankings of books with gay content. The books have been labeled to have "Adult" content and removed from searches too. Though some Young Adult novels, like Alex Sanchez's "Rainbow Boys", have been involved, others like David Levithan's "Boy Meets Boy" have not. I just checked my books on Amazon and I have not been part of the purge....yet.

The #amazonfail came to light this weekend but has been going on for months apparently. This whole relabeling of gay books as "Adult" seems not only crazy but is apparently pretty half-assed as well. Jezebel.com has a current listing of titles that have had their rankings purged (like "Ellen Degeneres: A Biography") and some that have not ("A Parents Guide To Preventing Homosexuality"?!). So far the response from Amazon has been pretty BS boilerplate-y:

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
Sorry Amazon...but that is lame. I do have some further questions. I have even been invited to join two "Boycott Amazon" groups on Facebook. So if Jeff Bezos doesn't get on The Rachel Maddow Show to explain this whole mess soon, they are going to have a serious problem with their customers....namely me!