!! OMG, they’re censoring gay books: Amazon.com !!

UPDATE 9: Finally, an official explanation… sort of.
UPDATE 8: Don’t believe Amazon has an anti-gay agenda? Check out this comparison of a search for “homosexuality” on five of the most popular online book retailers.
UPDATE 7: Are the French to blame?
UPDATE 6: The hacker attempts to debunk the debunker.
UPDATE 5: It appears Amazon has restored some of the gay fiction books it had stripped of their ranking.
UPDATE 4: An Amazon rep claims that the de-listing was not caused by a glitch.
UPDATE 3: The hacker story has been debunked. Still no word from Amazon PR at 3:10pm EST.
UPDATE 2: A hacker is claiming responsibility for the whole mess. Still waiting on a statement from Amazon today.
UPDATE: A PR from Amazon has cited a “glitch” as the reason that these books have been stripped of their sales rank. However, there are several reasons why this doesn’t wash, the most important being that this behavior started in February and the company has been citing “policy” until last night.
Amazon.com has recently stripped all books in the “Gay & Lesbian” category of their sales ranking and also removed them from site searches, effectively making these books impossible to find on the site.
This is a dangerous precedent for Amazon to set considering their huge share of the book retail market. If Amazon makes it hard to sell gay books, there might not be any gay books published in the future.
The L.A. Times published an article earlier today about Amazon’s discriminatory de-listing, and if the frantic Twittering of the #amazonfail hashtag is any indication, people are pissed.
For a running list of titles de-listed so far, check this LiveJournal post:
And here is an interesting theory of how it might have happened:
If you want to tell Amazon what you think of this new development, you can take the following actions:
Sign the protest petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/in-protest-at-amazons-new-adult-policy
Call Amazon customer service: 1-866-216-1072.
Call Amazon executive customer service: 1-800-201-7575.
Complain via an email form: http://bit.ly/amazoncomplain
Complain via email to Amazon’s “executive customer service”: [email protected]
Twitter using the #amazonfail hashtag.
If you belong to a group that cares about books or rights, encourage your organization to make a public statement.

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10 Comments on "OMG, they’re censoring gay books: Amazon.com"

  1. Gay themed books are available for purchase on Amazon. However, update # 8 is right on the money.
    When you type in “homosexuality” in the search bar on Amazon, the majority of the books are all about “curing” and “preventing” homosexuality. Most of the books are DEFINATELY right-wing homophobic books. Perhaps this PR debacle is all the result of a computer glitch, but the laundry list of biggoted, anti-gay books that comes up when you search “homosexuality” or”gay” is VERY DISTURBING!

  2. meh – you can still buy the books right?
    At first i was a little turned on with the image posted. Then I looked again and thought it looked like Robert Mitchum. I need some brain bleach, and pics of Anderson Pooper kitteh.

  3. It is time to update the post!!

    Amazon either reversed there policy or it was truely a glitch and fixed it. I have searched (on Amazon.com) for many popular G&L titles and they all came up.

    So everyone needs to calm down and actually breathe.

  4. Umm, yeah, perhaps you could hurry up and update this story before more people get upset? The listings are working just fine.

  5. before it became a glitch that someone only affected g&l titles, it was an approved decision. amazon approved this, so i’m glad it received due attention. great post.

  6. As both and author and a publisher I can tell you for fact that Amazon has removed sales rankings for books that are initially cataloged by publishers as gay/lesbian. This means that I could sell a million of my books and it would never hit their best seller lists, effectively shutting me down so to speak. And there are confirmed examples of GLBT books that have been recategorized as “adult” or “erotica” which clearly are not. Hetero porn seems to be ok with sales rankings and not always get the “erotica” label.

  7. boy you jumped on this one quick.. Amazon is calling it a “glitch”, so keep your panties on!!!

  8. Don’t be a stooge — it’s obviously a massive troll, launched over a holiday weekend so Amazon couldn’t investigate and issue an official response until Monday, when much of the damage will have already been done.
    Do you REALLY believe that the world’s largest bookstore would do something like that? C’mon…

  9. Jonathan Horn van Beek | April 13, 2009 at 1:23 am | Reply

    Im disgusted with Amazon – i’ve just checked Amazon.co.uk , the United Kingdom site …. there they still have all the Gay & Lesbian listings – so easy to find. Strange then that its on the .com site but not the .co.uk site. Maybe we all ought to search 10 times a day there on gay & lesbian, i am sure they check their search figures !

  10. Tim - Drumheller | April 13, 2009 at 12:45 am | Reply

    Hi I checked the Canadian version of Amazon doesnt appear to apply as you type in gay and a lot comes up even “Joy of Gay Sex”

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