According to Amazon, a “glitch” in their system has caused the mass banning of several gay and lesbian oriented products on the basis that they are “adult oriented” even though they are not. In many cases, the products are still available, but their search ranking has been totally removed so that when people search for them on Google, they do not come up.
As you can see via this link, the products themselves are still there, it’s just that people will now have a much harder time finding them.
Amazon initially defended the move by sending out the following e-mail:
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.
Amazon later denied the ban, saying instead that the removal of gay and lesbian material was a “glitch”, albeit a homophobic one.
Too late. The damage already seems to be done and is worsening at an exponential rate.
The #AmazonFail movement was born yesterday and has now gone viral across the internet.
Just look at the amount of social media groups and campaigns dedicated to squashing Amazon. The speed with which this thing has taken off is truly staggering…
You can now follow #AmazonFail on Twitter here. Also, be sure to add #AmazonFail to any tweets you post regarding the “glitch” (some people are using #glitchmyass as a way to mock Amazon’s explanation).
This petition site seems to be the largest one out there at the moment with over 8,000 people on board.
There is apparently even a plan in the works to hijack the term “Amazon Rank” on Google.
Finally, you can view the complete list of banned Amazon books here.
This is one serious PR nightmare for Amazon. I don’t see them waking up from it ay time soon.