UPDATED at bottom
Apparently since February, Amazon.com has been de-ranking books that are gay-themed in some way, thus basically making them unsearchable as titles on the site, and taking them out of the view of potential readers. I don’t have the “facts” on this, but it does seem to be true. There are many titles on their site that have no ranking and they are all oriented to homosexuality in some way. Some of these books that have been de-ranked are classics and modern classics. It’s one of the most absurd and “no way” inducing occurrences I’ve witnessed, and it’s causing quite an outrage, at least in the blogosphere, which I hope forces this company to make a statement about this not so easily swept under the rug “glitch,” which I’m sure they will attempt to call it once enough backlash reaches their doors.
Yes, this is America, home of the free.
This is 1950s censorship rising up in an internet age guise. Recognize this stuff when you see it, and don’t just shake your head and say, wow, that’s terrible. It’s a silencing that is occurring right before our eyes, and without enough voices to rail against it, the offenders get away with it.
Last month it was Race Fail. This is being called Amazon fail, on the Twitter boards. Why not Gay Fail, like Race Fail? I don’t know. But there you have it. Failure, failure, failure, any way you look at it. Unless enough people push back to turn a failure into a success.
You can sign an online petition against this by clicking here.
Or simply go to Amazon’s contact page and write them a letter denouncing this sort of behavior.
You can read a better article about it here, which includes a sample list of books that have been deranked, as well as a list of books that haven’t been deranked. Apparently this deranking is being done under the premise that these books are “adult”. Well, then. Why hasn’t Playboy been deranked? And a lot more hot and bothered hetero-oriented materials?
Let’s hope it’s rectified. But I don’t think anything they’ll say will really explain this in a satisfying, completely believable manner.
CNET news has a good lowdown on the event here.
All that said, my logical faculties still can’t believe that this would be purposeful. It just seems so stupid.
I read this post when we got back from our Easter holiday and 20 minutes later, saw it on the news here in England! Can’t believe it! Am definitely adding my name to the petition. Gambatte with everything, Chris. xx