Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Amazon Censorship or Evil Hacker?

Jeff Bezos, suddenly a censor?

The social networks have been atwitter over the temporary de-ranking and de-listing of some gay authored books on Amazon.

Of course, rumors and snarky comments immediately began circulating that Amazon was anti-gay and Jeff Bezos was removing gay content from www.Amazon.com - I won't bore you with all the evidence that exists to prove that this is pure poppycock.

But that didn't stop the weeping, wailing and canceling of Amazon accounts from the shoot-from-the-hip crowd who immediately took this as a personal affront. Not too long ago, Jeff Bezos and I spoke about marketing gay materials in some depth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and believe me, he sees the gay market as vital to Amazon's success.
Thelma and Louise suddenly a no-no?

Ennis and Jack, no longer allowed to love?

In the cold light of a new day it is becoming clear that this was most likely the work of a hacker and the story behind that is fascinating. Read Valley Wag's summary of the happenings and decide for yourself. Now, this does not excuse the clueless customer service rep who made matters worse by improvising answers, nor the lack of directness and clarity that Amazon is still exhibiting.

The most obvious reason that this is not some new Amazon policy or plot is that it only affected some books, not others, and did not affect DVD's CD's and other gay related items on Amazon.

But there is always tomrrow, I guess, for the hackers to try again.

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