{ thinking out loud about the things i care about }

Amazon and Homophobia: Day One

Day One | Day Two | Day Three (Final Stats)

Amazon is suppressing sales rank information, affecting the searchability of LGTB books, calling them "adult". For a list of books that have been affected (includes quite a few young adult books and biographies as well as some critically acclaimed fiction) go here. For a growing list of twitters on the subject, peppered with links throughout, try #amazonfail. Here’s a thoughtful link explaining why this matters. Someone has made an AmazonFails logo. And a petition, if you sign those. It’s always better to take the time and mail a letter direct, though:

If you want to protest to Amazon direct, this is their email addy: connect-help@amazon.com
Other ways to get in touch with them: http://clicheideas.com/amazon.htm

Also try ecr@amazon.com and the customer service phone number is 1-800-201-7575.

Or write to their CEO:
Jeffrey Bezos. (total annual compensation $81k – irrelevant but interesting). The address is 1200 12th Avenue South, Seattle, Washington 98144-2734, United States Phone: 206-266-1000 Fax: 206-622-2405

ETA: Google Bomb FTW! New definition of Amazon Rank. I believe there is a movement underway to get this definition into the Urban Dictionary. Also also: Here’s a good base letter to start you off.

ETA2: Apparently Amazon Customer Support is being completely overwhelmed by this. Happy Easter Sunday, Amazon! People scoff at the power of social media. At some point in the next 12 hours as this hits the mainstream, the second half of the story will be how this broke on Twitter and no one else was there for hours.

ETA3: Apparently even children’s books like Heather Has Two Mommies have been stripped of their rank. Amazon, meet PR disaster.

ETA4: Starting to break into mainstream media. LA Times Blogger has picked up the story. Also, it’s appearing in Amazon’s own forum threads.

ETA5: As of 4:30pm MST, the amazonfail hashtag Twitter search is updating way too fast to keep track of. Someone at Amazon is going to have a really, REALLY bad day tomorrow.

ETA6: Amazon cries glitch. (Traffic has killed the site; for screencap, go here.) But other people say this has been happening since February. Who knows at this point. Elsewhere, has a possible theory that is not entirely out of the realm of possibility, but we’ll see what Amazon’s PR department comes out with. In the meantime, the amazonfail hashtag is updating at the rate of about 75 tweets per minute or so (estimated by me as I watch the number slide up in the tab as I make this edit). Also, popular site After Ellen has caught the scent.

ETA7: Amazon continues to be cagey about the "glitch", even with the LA Times. They really need to get out an actual statement about this, sooner rather than later. Likely that will get picked apart, too, but at some point soon they need to start playing defense instead of this incessant no-commenting. This is the kind of thing that really needs a comment. Users are now tagging as many of the affected books on Amazon with the tag amazonfail.

In addition, for anyone who’s interested, I started tracking amazonfail at around 11:00am MST Sunday morning. At that time, a wthashtag.com search showed around 1500 tweets with the hashtag #amazonfail. It’s now 10:30pm MST Sunday night, and that same search shows over 80,000 tweets. When I checked the petition at around noon it was at just over 50 signatures. The same petition just passed the 7,600 signature mark.

ETA8: The Associated Press has also picked it up. So has The National Post. And CNet News. Now we’ve really got us a party!

ETA9: Interesting post about the real dangers of this recent set of events combined with an entirely digital world via the Kindle.

Jezebel has a really great write-up with a good time line tracking the events. And with that, it’s bed time for me.

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