Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazon Fail

Right now, there is a storm of anti-Amazon.com protests flooding Twitter and the blogosphere,called Amazon Fail. The uproar is due to Amazon.com's new policy that excludes "adult-subject matter" books from it's ranking and search system. The problem is that their criteria for what constitutes adult content is biased. While bodice rippers full of "heaving bosoms" and "throbbing members" are still ranked and promoted, anything related to gay and lesbian stories are now labeled "adult." That includes the book, Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military, an award winning expose on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy put into place during the Clinton administration. However, American Psycho, a novel about a serial killer which is extremely explicit in its depictions of violence and sex, is not ranked "adult content." (see the LA Times article for more information about both books.)

I can understand the need to control pornography on an Internet storefront that is frequented by children, but this goes beyond shielding kids from explicit book titles. This is censorship. If Amazon.com doesn't want to sell anything related to Gay and Lesbians, then they should be upfront and say it, rather than hiding behind a bogus, biased policy that considers a book with images of Playboy Centerfolds as "okay," but a memoir about a gay man to be pornographic. Stop playing games, Amazon.com!

And don't forget everyone, there is a viable alternative to Amazon.com. It's called Powells Books.

1 comment:

Désirée said...

Such silly idea.