Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gay is OK again

Amazon.com has backtracked after what it described as an "embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error" that led to tens of thousands of books being removed from the popular online retailer's sales rankings. At first, it was thought that gay-themed books such as Annie Proulx’s "Brokeback Mountain" were the main targets, but Amazon says the "error" involved more than 57,000 books "in a number of broad categories such as health; mind and body; reproductive and sexual medicine; and erotica." According to Agence France Presse, Mark Probst, author of a gay romance novel, said on his blog that he questioned Amazon about the deletion of his work and was told that the company was cutting "adult" materials from its Web searches and sales lists "in consideration of our entire customer base." It's a good thing that Amazon is rectifying the situation, but I'm not buying the explanation that this was an error. An error is dropping the cap from the toothpaste tube down the drain in the bathroom sink. This seems more likely to have been a deliberate act by someone trying to impose his or her own value judgments on literature. That worked in Hitler's Germany. It won't fly here. I hope.

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Blogger PRIguy said...

Accident? It takes considerable effort and lots of time to remove that many items from a database.

April 14, 2009 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Hold on, lemme find the "solution" here... some guy has taken credit for exploiting a coding quirk by enlisting thousands of people, via social networking sites, to give a certain rating to books with gay themes, thus causing the books to be de-listed... whether this is legit or not, I don't know... hold on, I will find a link in a minute.

April 14, 2009 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

Last time I checked, a retailer can choose to sell whatever product - in this case books - it likes, so long as the product is legal.
This is a far cry different than government entities banning books.
Amazon could have chosen not to sell adult-themed books. Of course that would have left it selling things such as Winnie the Pooh - though that might be a little too riske'.
It should have had the guts to admit what it was doing and stick to its guns if it thought it was a good idea. Obviously somebody thought it was a good idea or the company wouldn't have done it.
That said, it doesn't seem like a good idea if you're in the business of selling books to limit what books you sell - particularly if you're an on-line store that boasts of being able to get anything.

April 14, 2009 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Ok... here's the scoop:


The link to "Weev's" blog about the hacking is about 1/3 of the way down... but here is a link to his blog post anyway:


April 14, 2009 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger {cher} said...

well, that's a relief, because if it was true about just adult sexual content, i'd be bummed if i couldn't look up my favorite BDSM and how to be a good slave manuals on amazon anymore :)

April 14, 2009 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger Brant said...


April 14, 2009 at 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quote: author of a gay romance novel


April 14, 2009 at 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winne the Pooh, benign? All those animals, living together? What do you think Winnie really kept in the "hunny" jar? And Tigger? Gay as the day is long.

April 14, 2009 at 9:07 PM  
Blogger Dale Lolley said...

I'm pretty sure Piglet was a submissive and Eyor a masochist. He liked getting that tail pinned on his behind.

April 14, 2009 at 11:44 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

And let's not even talk about Christopher Robin. BTW, I don't get the previous comment about an oxymoron.

April 15, 2009 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I think that's his handle... he's 400 lbs and dumb as a stump... and hispanic... therefore, he is an Ox and a moron... or, in espanol... ox y moron :-)

LoL :-)

Rabbit strikes me as the guy who likes to pop some ecstacy and then get jiggy at a techno club with emo chicks

April 15, 2009 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger grog_moorehead said...

It could a marketing ploy by Amazon.com to generate more hits on their web site?

Speaking of gay, what about Spongebob?

April 15, 2009 at 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spongebob is OK. Squidward, I wonder about.

April 15, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, to think that all this time, I thought it was only the right-wing people who were looking for conspiracies. How wrong could I have been in this perception? At least I know the playing field is level, and those of all persuasions are looking under rocks.

Thanks for the enlightenment.

April 17, 2009 at 6:42 AM  

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