Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Amazon Fail, concluded...not entirely satisfactorily

Was really angry and disappointed when I found out that sales ranking had been stripped from several gay and lesbian books on Amazon over the weekend, making them harder to search for and keeping them from the list of recommendations. Most of the gay literature I own I bought from Amazon, after seeing reviews on the net. (Well, I did before I worked at the lovely store with the 30 per cent discount and the geniuses at customer orders, natürlich.)

The most current news is that it was all a terrible mistake, a matter of human error caused by someone in one of the international branches filling out the wrong field and causing the software to rate even children's books and sociological studies on homosexuality as "adult".

It has been been pointed out that it's possible the whole thing was an elaborate prank cooked up by some people who just wanted to see the Internets Fight. Some guy is even claiming responsibility for the whole thing, although these claims are easily debunked.

What still worries me is the ease with which everything snowballed, and a couple of unanswered questions, like why exactly did the Playboy porn shots collection get to keep its ranking when by ANY human- or computer-governed system of censorship it is clearly as "adult" as a book can get? Is there anything people can do (aside from keeping our temper, which I seem to have failed miserably at btw, although I don't feel I've done anything to apologise for) to keep it from happening again? And, as Richard Eoin Nash points out (in bold letters), why is it always the GLBTQ books, the queer books, the non-normative books that get caught in the glitches, the ham-fisted errors"?

We the minorities suspect why, and we don't like it at ALL. And the more frequently people fail to give us a concrete, and a complete, explanation, the more we will continue to suspect.

No comments: