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WTF, Amazon?

Happy Easter, GLBT folks and allies, from your friends at Amazon! Your books have been stripped of sales rankings!

markprobst, writer of the now de-ranked THE FILLY, and publisher, is one of the first to post about it here, got some kind of reply/statement from an Amazon official, for what it's worth. LJ community meta_writer is compiling a list of affected books. And the nice people at Dear Author give us some more information.

What does Amazon hope to gain by this? It's not, as one commenter said, to steer people to Kindle, where the GLBT content's rankings stand. Some of the titles aren't even on Kindle, like the socially radical and threatening HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES, or the racy, full color sexpurgasm AM I BLUE?, an anthology of short stories with GLBT themes for teens edited by Marion Dane Bauer. [edited to correct the editor's name!]

Maybe other writers are made of sterner stuff, but I live on my online sales rankings. My mood rises and falls on them. And even worse, what a way to further disenfranchise people, to tell them their sales aren't even worth tracking.

I expected this crap during the Bush years, not now.

edited to add:

Here's more information, including Amazon's so-called rationale, from the Denver Internet Examiner.

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( 80 comments — Leave a comment )
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padparadscha
Apr. 13th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
I just saw this, and yes, it does look like they're claiming "tee hee technical difficulties." Which isn't exactly an apology, but I'm pleased to see they got the message so fast.
lady_rilwen
Apr. 13th, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
Apparently it's not just LGBT books.
To quote from here books on disability and sexuality are also affected, apparently.
"I gather that some people have already started gathering information about GLBT-themed books that have been affected by the policy, and that's great. But apparently some disability-related books have been affected too (see Lisa Egan's post on the "wall" as one example).

People with disabilities are already frequently stereotyped as being necessarily, asexual, uninterested in sex, unable to have sex, etc. All of these mistaken assumptions can lead to fatal consequences. People who run HIV/AIDS prevention programs, for example, often systematically exclude people with disabilities from their outreach efforts because they assume that they "don't need" to know about condoms or whatever. Yet, research shows that people with disabilities are actually at higher risk for HIV/AIDS than the general population. (See http://cira.med.yale.edu/globalsurvey/ for details.)

If books on disability sexuality are being targeted in the same way as are GLBT books, then people with disabilities will find it more difficult than ever before to find factual information about their own bodies and sexuality and how to care for their health. Also people who NEED to know how to provide services to people with disabilities in relation to sexuality, including HIV/AIDS educators, medical personnel and others, will find it harder to locate accurate information to replace the misinformation and prejudiced attitudes they may be carrying.

Unfortunately I have zero time on my hands to do anything extensive, but I wanted to at least make this brief post to encourage others to consider researching, and pulling together, information on disability-themed books in relation to Amazon's censorship action. If this research does find that disability-related books are being disproportionately or unfairly affected, then I urge that protests should coordinate both the GLBT angle and also the disability angle, or any other angles that are appropriate. Both the GLBT community and the disability community (as well as those of us who intersect both) should be involved with this." -Andrea Shettle
isilwenn
Apr. 13th, 2009 10:27 am (UTC)
Its times like these that make me wish I had a scale model of a city in my living room for me to destroy a la Godzilla. It would be so cleansing...
dewline
Apr. 13th, 2009 12:24 pm (UTC)
Prescribed Therapeutic Scaled Cityscape Demolition
Only available through your officially certified and licensed psychiatrist.

Better that pharmaceutical therapy, though...and it would create new jobs for all those prop and scale model builders in the film business being otherwise starved for good work by CGI technology.
shadowspun
Apr. 15th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
Get your hands on the old game "Rampage" or Zoo Tycoon! You can fence in the people and let the dinos loose in Zoo Tycoon. It's so much fun watching them run around screaming. You can even name zoo guests so your "favorite" person can be eaten by a T-Rex.
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( 80 comments — Leave a comment )

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