Amazon.com has been removing books containing LGBT content from their search function. That means that Oranges are not the only fruit
is not showing up. Ostensibly, this is because they don't allow their search function to list 'adult' content. Really? Justine
and 120 Days of Sodom
both show up, as does The Story of O
and Lost Girls
, not to mention all Past Venus
and Silver Moon
titles. Those books are not showing up, and they are denied a sales rank (which helps drive the search engine), lest this indicate that people are genuinely interested in Halberstam's Female Masculinity
. You let people buy critical theory books and who knows where that madness might lead?( Outraged? Too fucking right. )
Yeah, it was ranty. I don't care. Who the fuck dares to ban Halberstam
?? Although I am vaguely amused that a search for 'female masculinity' brings up Butler's 'Undoing Gender' and 'Gender Trouble'. D'you suppose they're next for the ban-bin?
- A list of the books affected
- A petition on the subject
- Amazon.com's official stance
- A good write-up of the whole thing.
There appears to be several different levels of this. 'Oranges' and 'Female Masculinity', along with a few others, are not showing up in the search pages at all, and have no sales rank. 'The Story of O' is showing up in searches, but also has no sales rank. This means that none of the books above can be seen on the best-sellers list. Some, like Oranges, can't be found without a direct link to the page from an external source (such as Google).
I'm not quite why there are two lists - maybe it's based on the search word? My thoughts are:
- there should be NO books excluded from the search engine: that's censorship by proxy, limiting the choice available by lying about its existence.
- regarding the books without a sales rank (if this is how they are excluded from the best-seller lists): I understand if a company does not wish to have adult content prominent on its best-sellers list. I disagree, but I understand. However, 'gay', lesbian' 'trans-gendered' or any other related search term is not
a synonym for 'adult content'. You don't get to exclude Winterson, you bastards. You want to exclude erotica, fine. Think of a non-bigoted way to do that.
So, Tipping the Velvet
and all other Sarah Waters novels? Restore their goddamn sales ranks.
is one of the books not featuring a sales rank. Fingersmith
, as many of you will know, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and Orange Prize
. Winterson's Oranges are not the only fruit
won the Whitbread prize, and is on the curriculum of most English Lit students. )
Do you suppose they'd also remove the sales rank of The Inheritance of Loss
(#12,248 in the best-seller list - 2006 Booker winner, when Night Watch
by Waters was shortlisted) or The Life of Pi
(#1,120 in the best-seller list - 2002 Booker winner, when Fingersmith
was shortlisted)? No? I didn't think so.ETA2:The Night Watch
paperback edition is not showing up in the search results, but it does have a sales rank. Interesting. So - three lists? Four? How the hell are they filtering things, so only some are getting through?ETA3
- Amazon claims it's all a glitch
- Article in the LA Times - Amazon deranks National Book Award Winner
for Amazon Rank
- Commentary on the supposed glitch
- Background on this, going back to Feb
. Hat-tip: queenspanky
- Was it a hacker? Maybe not.
- Guardian article
. Hat-tip: raedbard
- Conversations with an Amazon rep: This is not a glitch
. via metafandom