Monday, April 13, 2009

You may say "Glitch", but I say Great Big Boo-Boo.

This was a fascinating weekend for the online corporate giant, and for free thinking readers around the nation. At some point over the past couple days, Amazon moved to "de-rank" a smattering of titles due to "adult content", meaning that a cursory search of a title/author would no longer automatically bring a particular "de-ranked" book to the forefront of the search.

Read a great article about the glitch, here.

Interestingly enough, these "adult content" themed books included a high percentage of gay/lesbian/transgender titles. Even Annie Proulx's recently film adapted short story Brokeback Mountain, and D. H. Lawrence's classic Lady Chatterley's Lover got hit by this de-ranking "glitch".

I mean, really? Does anyone smell a wee bit of censorship in this so called "glitch"? Or is this only a LGBT specific kind of glitch? Don't know about you, but I don't want anyone deciding for me what "adult content" is and what it isn't (i.e. if I am over 18 - don't worry parents!)

It's all a little too Big Brother for my taste.


Kathy said...

Well..that's just a little bit scary!! Did they fix the problem? That reminds me of something that happened on one of my Yahoo Art Groups. They had to ask anyone who had artwork with nudes in them to remove them from their albums otherwise Yahoo would remove the group from "normal" status and put them under adult content. What's up with the "baby" constantly getting thrown out with the "bathwater"??? And who the heck is deciding which is which anyway???

The Book Gobbler said...

Precisely! I have no idea who made the initial decision on the de-ranking, but as soon as the news hit the internet, it took off like a So Cal brush fire and suddenly, Amazon backpedaled like crazy and hollared, "Glitch! Glitch!" Sounds very similar to what happened with your Yahoo Art Group...scary!