Thursday, April 16, 2009

Amazon Gone Wrong

I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with Amazon.com. It made it waaay too easy to buy books. Because it runs on computer programs and deals with tens of thousands of vendors, things can go wrong. Their recent "de-ranking" fiasco concerning books about homosexuality (Ellen Degenres: A Biography, for one) and subsequent ineffectual response has prompted me to rethink my use of Amazon for any purchases. If you are in business, and use a sales ranking feature in response to customer searches, you'd better get it right.

In the words of one anonymous commenter:

...this emphatically was NOT a one shot flip. Every author I know on line on queer studies and anthropology and other social science e-lists and bulletin boards agree that it's been going on for weeks. Who Cares? So What? Normal humans who respect literature, the arts, science, education, history, and other humans and anyone interested in basic human dignity, truth, justice, in families, care when arbitrarily a whole swath of human life and thought and work is censored, erased, demeaned and denied. That is who cares. If you don't care there is something really wrong with you: it's part of you which has been censored, your heritage, your life, your humanity. If we are human, we all have the responsibility to protect humanity wherever it is or isn't.


Interestingly, there once was a GLBT bookstore named Amazon in Minneapolis. They tried for years to retain their duly registered name, only to be crushed by The BIG Amazon.

Money is the only thing Amazon understands. Until this situation is rectified, I'll spend mine elsewhere.

By Professor Batty



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