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Amazon blames ‘glitch’ for delisted gay and lesbian themed books

Fun Home

Fun Home

Earlier today several folks on blogs and on Twitter began noting that books with gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual themes were removed from Amazon.com searches, sales-rank feature and bestseller lists, including the award-winning graphic novel Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

According to a story on Publishers Weekly, this occurred due to a glitch in its sales ranking feature “that was in the process of being fixed.” Fun Home‘s sales rank has returned, but many other books are still missing it.

Amazon also told PW that they didn’t have an adult policy that led to the de-listings, which is contrary to the responses people have received from Amazon’s customer-service department. Novelist Mark Probst first noted the removal on his blog, as he had contacted Amazon.com earlier this week when his books lost their sales ranks. A reply from Amazon read: “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.”

Comics retailer Chris Butcher notes several books that are still being included in Amazon’s rankings and searches, including Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds and the sexually explicit graphic novel Lost Girls. Meanwhile, non-explicit books with gay themes and historical non-fiction about homophobia lost their sales rankings. An online petition in protest of Amazon’s adult policy has also been started.

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Comments

6 Comments

Well, I am not surprised Amazon apologized for their shortsighted policy. After all, they realized that they can make more money from catering to the educated urban classes and gays than from pandering to the cause of subsidized fundamentalists like “Son of Liberty.” It is truly sad to read from people like “Son of Liberty”, who become a sad justification for all the negative American stereotypes out there.

In any case, the true irony is that “Son of Liberty” would be considered a terrible addition to the gene pool in most industrialized societies: ignorant, fundamentalist, and paranoid.

I don’t really care about the gay rights movement one way or another (I don’t really care if they can marry or not), but I do hate hypocrites, liars, censorship, and hatred (the kind that Son of “Liberty” has just shown).

Looks like Son of Liberty enjoys ignoring the parts of the constitution that give them the heebie jeebies. I always saw America’s core values as including freedom of speech and all men being born equal. Even the ‘Christian viewpoint’ argument doesn’t stand up, seeing as the Bible (the “word of God” if I’m not mistaken) states we are ALL sinners, and that judgement is for God alone, not for online retailers.

Jeremy Horsley

April 13, 2009 at 2:54 am

I’m 100% sure Sons of Liberty forgot to tag on an “[/end sarcastic rant].”

On topic, this whole delisting business is pretty awful and the “glitch” sounds like a lame duck excuse to me.

I’ve had to delete a couple of comments, including the one by “Sons of Liberty.” Let’s keep the conversation civil, please.

Kevin!!

You’ve taken all the fun out of this thread now, I knew if I clicked onto it there’d be some ignorant bigeted homophobe carrying on about god! and that we’re going to hell ;) – just ask my crazy sister and her mental husband! haha…

Anyway, it doesn’t surprise me that the straight adult material is still there but the gay stuff is gone. We arn’t treated equal in any way, but I just keep thinking to myself, there was a time when women and blacks wearn’t equal, so maybe it will change ;). I’ve never heard of that ‘fun Home’ GN, but I might see what its about – like me some good reading!! (sorry for the spelling!!).

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