If you’ve been asleep for the last two days, there’s a very handy #amazonfail flowchart over at the National Coalition Against Censorship to help you catch up.
But it’s over now, right? Amazon have said it was an error, they’re fixing it, it’s dropped from the top 10 trending topics on Twitter – get over it already. Right?
Wrong. Dear Author give a very good analysis of why Amazon’s explanation is none at all. Pandagon also explain why it doesn’t add up. And Patrick at Vroman’s Bookstore writes about the dangers of an Amazon monopoly on bookselling this highlights.
Given the media blackout at Amazon Towers, there are still a lot of unanswered, troubling questions. (For future reference, Amazon, here is some useful advice from Colin Roswell on dealing with a social media crisis.)
So, Team Amazon, here are your starters for ten, no conferring:
- What happened? Was this a) Policy b) Glitch or c) Error?
- Why were some titles de-ranked back in February?
- If this rogue ‘adult’ ranking affected “books in a number of broad categories“, why were LGBT ones very specifically stripped of their rankings while we could still find Playboy Centrefolds etc?
- Do you now realize that ‘Gay & Lesbian’ does not equal ‘adult material’? Some of these books are very tedious, and not at all sexy.
- Since sales are restricted to over-18s anyway, who are you protecting?
- Why did Lady Chatterley go MIA? Has she now safely returned to the potting shed?
- Why is our only news source a drip-feed of anonymous insiders? Do you have a PR department?
- Do you remember when Margaret Atwood and others boycotted The Dubai Festival in February, because one gay book was banned? Does this make the UAE more liberal than Amazon?
- How could you be so beastly to our very own Stephen Fry? Do you not like QI?
- Why do you need a secret cloaking device anyway? Are you Romulan?
I’m sure there are other questions I’ve overlooked. If you have more questions to put to Amazon, please do add them in the comments below. Meanwhile – stay vigilant!