Jess McCabe // 13 April 2009
UPDATE 2: Well, we finally did receive a reply – the same statement admitting culpability that has been circulating around the blogs and media. In light of this, we’ve restored links to The F-Word shop.
UPDATE: We’ve still received no reply, but Amazon has officially apologised and said it is fixing the issue. There’s all sorts of speculation flying around about what really caused the problem, but it does look like this is being tackled at least! We will update you as and when.
Super-alert readers might have noticed we took down links to our Amazon shop late last night.
The reason is Amazonfail.
Amazon has stripped the sales rankings from a vast number of LGBT and feminist books it now considers “adult”. Some books are not turning up in search results either.
Mark Probst asked what was going on and was told:
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.
As Heather Corinna notes on her blog, this affects her own book, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College, and others such as:
Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape,
Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters by Jessica Valenti
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein
Meanwhile, actual porn (including Girls Gone Wild and Playboy stuff) retains its sales rankings…!
The Angry Black Woman puts it like this:
The criteria for “adult” appears to be: anything that portrays homosexuality as a positive or talks about homophobia as a negative. For example: Homophobia: A History by Bryan Fone — that would be a non-fiction history book about homophobia. What’s not adult? Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds by Chronicle Books (with pictures of over 600 naked women).
So, we’ve also written to Amazon to protest this. We will let you know when we get a response!