Amazon removing "adult" material from sales ranking

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escritora

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this smacks of bullshit in light of the response mark received.

Right.

Amazon should own up, apologize, and fix the "glitch."
 

veinglory

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This issue goes back months--but only when the spit hit the fan today did it become a "glitch". Looks like the usual "blame the intern" backpedal to me. They were happy to give authors the run about for weeks and call it a policy.
 
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Medievalist

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Henry James sucks, William. He's an overrated hack who doesn't hold a candle to other writers of his time and place, and he inspired a whole lot of very trite fictions.

Now, if he only added zombies...

What about his female characters. Aren't they zombies?
 

Medievalist

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According to Publisher's Weekly, Amazon says it's a glich in the sales ranking feature that's being fixed.

Bullshit.

I've looked at the metadata of over a hundred books with sales ranking and without.

This was someone at Amazon writing a very complicated sql query. It was not a "glitch." It's not the kind of thing you do by clicking a radio button.

The books that are affected, and the ones that weren't affected have different metadata tags.

Moreover, I think they began testing the process last year, or very early this year. And they choose Easter weekend for the big roll out on purpose.

It's particularly interesting, as well, that this story "broke" on LiveJournal, and moved, within hours, from LJ to Twitter.

We are living in Neil Stephenson's future.
 

BenPanced

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Heather Has Two Mommies is about just that: Heather, her biological mother, and her mother's female lover. Therefore, it's adult material. Even though it's a children's book explaining how Heather's family is really no different from "regular" families.

To paraphrase comedienne Julie Goldman, this whole thing has enflamed my lesbian rage. And I'm not even lesbian.
 

Kryianna

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Likewise tagged are auto-biographies by Quentin Crisp and Ellen Degeneres. Hardly hardcore.

Yeah, great idea. Let's de-list someone with a talk show. Seriously? What are they thinking?
 

badducky

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Why are they pandering to the right wing conservatives? Didn't they realize Obama won the election, and gay marriage is steadily creeping up on more and more states in the union, and goodness and rightness demand equality of voices and a removal of the term "alternative" from the lifestyles of the normal?

What have they possibly got to gain from this bad, bad, noxious choice?
 

rugcat

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Bullshit.

I've looked at the metadata of over a hundred books with sales ranking and without.

This was someone at Amazon writing a very complicated sql query. It was not a "glitch." It's not the kind of thing you do by clicking a radio button.
Here's an interesting take on the situation.

Plausible or conspiracy theory?

http://tehdely.livejournal.com/88823.html
 

Zoombie

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This has made Zoombie so angry, he is unable to post anything other than the F-word and he will now calm down by reading some non-amazon books.
 

blueobsidian

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This has made Zoombie so angry, he is unable to post anything other than the F-word and he will now calm down by reading some non-amazon books.

I am having the same problem. I sent them an email with my thoughts on the situation and had to go through and edit out profanity from every sentence. I don't have any other words as to how pissed off I am.
 

Phoenix Fury

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Totally agreed that this is absolutely ridiculous (my favorite part is the "creeping glitch o' doom," which apparently takes two months for people with the glitch to notice, and which also infects E-mail boxes with a form response indicating that this is actually a policy...:Huh:)--but I do wonder how broad the backlash actually is. Are the people who voted for Obama AND Prop. 8 (there were a lot of them), for example, going to be overly upset at Amazon's decision? There's no doubt that society as a whole is growing more tolerant, but there's still an awful lot of bigotry out there in book-buying land. If this "glitch" isn't fixed, the best bet may be to get major authors and publishers calling BS on Amazon--imagine what would happen if, say, Dan Brown, Nora Roberts, Grisham and Rowling demanded (if they could) that their publishers pull their books from Amazon (or refused to let their future work go through Amazon)? Rainbow flags flying over Amazon HQ tomorrow, I'd bet.
 

Medievalist

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It's very very odd; they're removing sales ranking on books about sexuality and the disabled, too. These are not porn; they're things like books talking about people with spinal injuries who still feel sexual and how to deal with some of the problems and issues about sex when it's not as easy as it once was.

The patterns for the books that are denuded of sales rank, and those that aren't are just weird.
 

Medievalist

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Now this is smart commentary:

amazon_fail.jpg
 
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mlhernandez

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Here's an interesting take on the situation.

Plausible or conspiracy theory?

http://tehdely.livejournal.com/88823.html

Oi! Why, oh, why must people refer to romance novels as "trashy!" I'm so effing sick of that. I work just as hard on my "trashy" romance novels as other writers do on their genre of choice.

And I don't buy this theory at all. If it was *just* GLBT works, I'd consider the idea that maybe some group of nutters went through and systematically complained about those *dirty* books, but it wasn't just GLBT. Entire erotic romance catalogues of publishers like Kensington and even HQ Spice were gone, baby, gone. Some of those books featured m/m interaction but the bulk were straight up hetero pairings.
 

BenPanced

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Here's an interesting take on the situation.

Plausible or conspiracy theory?

http://tehdely.livejournal.com/88823.html
It's very very odd; they're removing sales ranking on books about sexuality and the disabled, too. These are not porn; they're things like books talking about people with spinal injuries who still feel sexual and how to deal with some of the problems and issues about sex when it's not as easy as it once was.

The patterns for the books that are denuded of sales rank, and those that aren't are just weird.
I have to question the plausibility of the theory; as mentioned, the de-ranking is so uneven. If a "warriors for innocence" type of group were involved in a troll bombing of the site, they'd probably attack everything related to sex and sexuality. As it is, attacking GLBT books adds credence to the possibility this is "retaliation" for Obama, Vermont, and Iowa but you'd think they'd spread it about for some CYA insurance. Then, there are the reports this has been happening since February.

So I'm really not too sure what to make of it. I'm trying to back up my stance but all I'm doing is making my head all asplodey.
 
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mlhernandez

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Also, for that theory to be plausible, there would have to be some easily findable "omg, this is utter filth" button for people to click or some way for them to quickly mass their complaints on objectionable books. And, of course, there's the fact that sales ranks and such started to disappear in February...
 

Medievalist

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I have to question the plausibility of the theory; as mentioned, the de-ranking is so uneven. If a "warriors for innocence" type of group were involved in a troll bombing of the site, they'd attack everything related to sex and sexuality.

I'm in that thread, actually, and no, I don't buy it either.

This was done deliberately over time. This was not a glitch. This weekends changes were made by someone using sql queries, not by someone clicking a button.

This was done by a query that used metadata. And as I look at the metadata for books that have sales ranking and those that don't I'm noticing odd inconsistencies. This was not done by clicking the wrong button.
 

maestrowork

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I'm not buying from Amazon until this is resolved, even though, I'm extremely bothered and sad about this. Their "explanation" is bullshit and irresponsible. They are being hypocrites.

I think this demands more than just boycotts. I think authors and publishers should do something including pulling their books out of Amazon, etc. and everyone with a blog or twitter or Facebook or whatever should write about this. This is beyond bullshit.
 

Medievalist

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It's getting a lot of traffic. If I don't see a resolution, I'm removing all Amazon links from my sites.

MacAllister has told me if this isn't resolved to her satisfaction, she'll want me to remove all Amazon links from the Absolutewrite Web site too.
 
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Cranky

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What a bunch of horse crap. I *just* bought a book through them last week. No more until this is fixed, and right smart, too.

There are other places we can buy books. I guess Amazon forgot about that, since they're so huge.
 

Chumplet

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John Elder Robison's brother Augusten should note that Running With Scissors has been stripped of ranking, too.

Plus, I looked for my friend Amber Green's books from LooseID and they don't show up in a search.

My erotic chick lit The Toast Bitches shows up in Kindle, but it likely doesn't have a ranking because it's too new.
 

rugcat

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I'm in that thread, actually, and no, I don't buy it either.
I found that blog post a bit conspiracy/speculativish myself, but he does make one good point. Amazon is not a right wing, anti gay, or particularly religiously oriented company. They, and Jeff Bezos, do not seem the type of company that would be taking a "moral stand" on the issue. So if this wasn't a mistake, they must have had what they considered a sound business reason for doing it. And I can't think of, nor have I heard, any scenario that makes sense in that context.
 
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Elizabeth George's book Write Away