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March 2017

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Oh, Amazon, no!

Boosting signal:

I don't know a lot about this, but on the surface, it looks pretty problematic:

http://markprobst.livejournal.com/15293.html

http://community.livejournal.com/meta_writer/11369.html

Comments

Grrrr.
That's skeevy.

I mean, I could understand it if all erotica was put in the same category*, but to find out that anything focusing on gay and lesbian romance is being shoved in there with the erotica, while het romance isn't... no, not good.

* Though I wonder where the line is between erotica and romance. Or any other kind of genre. It eventually involves someone making a call about the amount of sex in the book, and somehow I doubt Amazon has a crew of readers to go through each book, so it's going to be arbitrary. (Even if it didn't -- I mean, how can you compare, say, sex with violence without imposing some value based on which one would mess up The Children more.)
Oh, FFS, no!
My first reaction: Oh FFS, Amazon.

My second reacion: I shall write a sternly worded letter to them and make a post about their boneheadery.

My third reaction: And from now on my online bookbuying shall go through Powell's. Which, come to think on it I shall mention in my letter to Amazon.

Also? Kindle? Not for me with policies like this.
Powell's rocks! I live in pdx and go there every chance I get.


Especially now that Amazon is being so idiotic.
I don't care what excuse Amazon is using, that is NOT okay. And the idea put forth by a commenter that "it's not censorship, they're just taking it from public display" is also not okay -- it is censorship in the form of relegating those books to a literary ghetto, regardless of actual sexual content. EPIC FAIL, Amazon.
They don't seem to have caught me yet . . .
Problematic, indeed. Not that this is a genre I may be interested in - but what if mine is next?

I go to Amazon to search for those titles I just can't find at my local bookstore. And, occasionally, I do buy something based on a search. But what if what I am searching for no longer shows up?

Think I'll be keeping my eBook.




....oh FOR GOD'S SAKE.
ARGH.

I'm putting links to this everywhere I have space to put links up. This is disgusting.
The Canadian edition doesn't appear to be implementing the same policies. I've sent an email to ask whether they have any plans to do so. Still, I'm reconsidering future purchases.
Fast, canned response:

"I'm sorry, but we currently have no further details about our plans for removing sales ratings from books containing gay and/or lesbian content. Any updated information we have will be listed on the website as soon as it is available.

However, I have passed your message along to the appropriate people in our company so they are aware of your interest in this issue. We hope you enjoy our current offerings, and encourage you to check back frequently for any new or updated information about our products and services.

I'm sorry again for not being able to provide you further help."
Frack. Books are going to be more expensive for me here on out.
Aw no...and I thought the Canadian arm was holding out successfully, based on explorations earlier tonight...?

And apparently, the stats are still there as I type this.

Edited at 2009-04-13 12:46 am (UTC)

Censorship

I've just checked amazon.co.uk and the rankings appear to still be on over here. So it's an American thing, it appears.
oh FFS. I already had a stabbity hate for amazon, but this just tops it nicely. I can't wait until Monday when I can talk to the romance editors and see what the industry reaction is to this....
As convenient as Amazon are, this is just another structural member in my decision to buy my books in brick&mortar stores.
I called Amazon's customer service and (at teh customer service rep's suggestion, in fact) also left online feedback. Description of my interactions and text of my 'feedback' here.

The person at customer service told me that it generally takes Amazon about a week to make changes based on feedback because the review people have to read everything.

I do think that getting as many calls and feedback submissions with pertinent information and strong wording out there quickly is probably a good thing.
One wonders, is music by LGBT artists next?
Yet, Playboy's Wet & Wild DVDs are still completely searchable and ranked.
What makes it worse for me (a avid reader) is the founder of Banned Books Week,Judith Krug, died late last night. I can imagine her shaking her ghostly fist in rage at this.
I suspect coffeeem is right, and this is a crappy sorting algorithm fail rather than a massive outpouring of homophobic maliciousness. Because frankly, if it were somebody expunging books with queer content from the search function, I suspect mine would be affected too, and so far they are not.

But we shall see.
Well, the bigger issue is why do they even have that sorting algorithm in the first place? Why do they even have a category called "adult books that we won't list on the ranks"?
That's part of the problematic bit, isn't it?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's probably a response to customer complaints. Because that's generally why corporations that sell things do stuff.
This is super lame, and reminiscent of what K-Mart, Waldenbooks and Barnes & Nobles (among others) did to my dad several years ago. To be fair to B&N, they took what they did back and began selling my dad's books again (sort of), but it was too late and he was already bankrupt. This is super fucked and for some reason surprising. You'd think considering what happened in the past that I wouldn't be surprised, but for some reason, even with all of the crappy stuff Amazon has done, I honestly never thought they would do something like this.