Amazon explanation fails to actually explain

Online retail giant issues an explanation for delisting of books — many of which had gay and lesbian topic matter:

amazon-sucks "This is an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error," Drew Herdener, spokesman for the online retailer, wrote in a statement. "It has been misreported that the issue was limited to gay- and lesbian-themed titles," he said. "In fact, it impacted 57,310 books in a number of broad categories such as health, mind and body, reproductive and sexual medicine, and erotica."

As David Sarno reports at the LATimes this explanation has more than a few holes in it. Among the books effected (not impacted!) were:

“Ellen DeGeneres: A Biography," "Milk: A Pictorial History of Harvey Milk" and "Greek Homosexuality"…  Herdener did not respond to requests to clarify the cause of the error, nor about why works such as the "Milk" pictorial — which did not appear to be listed in any of the categories mentioned by Amazon — may have been removed from the search listings.

I am told that “Heather Has Two Mommies” was delisted. Would it fall under health, mind and body, reproductive and sexual medicine, or erotica?

Well, this certainly means those book orders not filled by my two favorite local dealers – Pandemonium Books & Games and Brookline Booksmith – will be going to Powell’s and, as a last resort, Barnes & Nobles. If you’ve ever seen my house you know this is no small revenue stream.

UPDATE: Turns out Amazon has a history of dropping LGBT books from its lists. Friend Erik Sherman reports the full story & gets more wishy wash from Amazon.

FURTHER UPDATE: Amazon now tries to blame this on the French (I wish I could make this stuff up)

Amazon managers found that an employee who happened to work in France had filled out a field incorrectly and more than 50,000 items got flipped over to be flagged as "adult," the source said. (Technically, the flag for adult content was flipped from ‘false’ to ‘true.’)

2 thoughts on “Amazon explanation fails to actually explain

  1. Pingback: Fiction Writers Review » Blog Archive » Amazon calls FAIL “ham-fisted” - but questions linger

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