What is Amazon Doing to LGBT, Sexuality Titles and Search?
Apparently Amazon.com has been pulling the sales rank data and removing from search results a number of gay and lesbian and sexuality/sex ed books, seemingly claiming that:
“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.”
Y’all know I’m not for anything that gets between people and their books. This seems to deliberately try to get between people and discovering books on LGBT and sex topics. Heather Corinna notes the disparities in how books have been deranked (emphasis added):
“The trouble with that reply is that there is PLENTY of very explicilty “adult” material which has NOT been deranked, and we don’t need to guess much about if it is or isn’t adult when we simply look at some of the titles: Girls Gone Wild: Girls on Girls, Surrender the Booty 3: The Search for More Arse, Jenna Jameson: Ultimate Collection, Girls Kissing: Volume One, Ron Jeremy: The Hardest Working Man in Showbiz, Candy Girl: A Year In The Life Of An Unlikely Stripper, Hot Babes…
My book is intended for young adults, and is GLBT-inclusive, and penned by me, a queer author. It is not salacious, it is not pornography: it is a sexuality, sexual health and relationships reference book. Heather Has Two Mommies is a supportive and classic children’s book about gay families. Hello, Cruel World is a suicide prevention book (which just happens to be written by a transgender author). That’s a short list, but the point is, many of the books that have been deranked are not adult books at all, nor adult or salacious material, but what nearly all of them, so far, do seem to be are tagged or labeled in some way as GLBT, or as books addressing sexuality in a non-heteronormative or gendernormative way.”
-Twitter search #amazonfail
-Heather Corinna: Is this book (or its author) too gay for an Amazon?
-Kassia Krozser at Booksquare: Open Letter to Amazon Regarding Recent Policy Changes
-Hortense at Jezebel: Why Is Amazon Removing The Sales Rankings From Gay, Lesbian Books?
-Mark R Probst: Amazon Follies
-Meta Writer: Amazon Censorship – Who is affected?
-Smart Bitches, Trashy Books: Amazon Rank
-Craig’s Pop Life: Is Amazon.com Homophobic?
Update: Amazon says it’s a “glitch” that they’re in the process of fixing, although I wonder how that squares with what Mark Probst was told. One misinformed customer service rep? Or something else entirely? Another author writes of why she doesn’t buy the “glitch” response.