UPDATE 9: Finally, an official explanation… sort of.
UPDATE 8: Don’t believe Amazon has an anti-gay agenda? Check out this comparison of a search for “homosexuality” on five of the most popular online book retailers.
UPDATE 7: Are the French to blame?
UPDATE 6: The hacker attempts to debunk the debunker.
UPDATE 5: It appears Amazon has restored some of the gay fiction books it had stripped of their ranking.
UPDATE 4: An Amazon rep claims that the de-listing was not caused by a glitch.
UPDATE 3: The hacker story has been debunked. Still no word from Amazon PR at 3:10pm EST.
UPDATE 2: A hacker is claiming responsibility for the whole mess. Still waiting on a statement from Amazon today.
UPDATE: A PR from Amazon has cited a “glitch” as the reason that these books have been stripped of their sales rank. However, there are several reasons why this doesn’t wash, the most important being that this behavior started in February and the company has been citing “policy” until last night.
Amazon.com has recently stripped all books in the “Gay & Lesbian” category of their sales ranking and also removed them from site searches, effectively making these books impossible to find on the site.
This is a dangerous precedent for Amazon to set considering their huge share of the book retail market. If Amazon makes it hard to sell gay books, there might not be any gay books published in the future.
The L.A. Times published an article earlier today about Amazon’s discriminatory de-listing, and if the frantic Twittering of the #amazonfail hashtag is any indication, people are pissed.
For a running list of titles de-listed so far, check this LiveJournal post:
And here is an interesting theory of how it might have happened:
If you want to tell Amazon what you think of this new development, you can take the following actions:
Sign the protest petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/in-protest-at-amazons-new-adult-policy
Call Amazon customer service: 1-866-216-1072.
Call Amazon executive customer service: 1-800-201-7575.
Complain via an email form: http://bit.ly/amazoncomplain
Complain via email to Amazon’s “executive customer service”: [email protected]
Twitter using the #amazonfail hashtag.
If you belong to a group that cares about books or rights, encourage your organization to make a public statement.