Amazon De-Ranks GLBT & "Adult Books"
Kate Evans raised the alarm for me tonight about an article in today's LA Times about Amazon.com de-ranking books with GLBT and "adult content." The implementation seems arbitrary and random, but Kate's books have been stripped of their rankings, as have a number of bestsellers and award-winners. There's also some instances where books they've deemed "adult" are not showing up in searches.
Amazon's business practices have raised flags before, but this is beyond the pale. Conquering Venus isn't even out yet, but sounds like it will be lost on Amazon if this kind of censorship and bigotry is allowed to stand. Some of the books already de-ranked include Augusten Burrough's Running With the Scissors, Maurice by E.M. Forster, Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown, Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison, For the May Queen by Kate Evans and countless others.
What you can do:
UPDATE 1: After a massive protest on Twitter, Amazon has responded that the de-ranking is a "glitch." Read the article here. Funny how the "glitch" is affecting mostly GLBT books.
UPDATE 2: The Guardian newspaper in London has update on Amazon issue, noting that books by Gore Vidal and Jeanette Winters have lost their rankings. The "glitch" just isn't in America, but on Amazon sites around the globe. Twitter continues to blaze over this with the hash tag #amazonfail still the top trending topic.
UPDATE 3: Amazon has finally responded about the de-ranking of GLBT books, saying it was an internal error. Their PR department can't seem to put out a coherent explanation (or apology) but says books (more than 50,000) that lost their sales ranking are being fixed. Something in the milk still ain't clean about this.