Monday, 13 April 2009

Amazon Fail

For anyone who missed this over the weekend, rather disturbing stuff coming from Amazon.

6 comments:

Wordtryst - Liane Spicer said...

I read about the furor over the weekend. Apparently Amazon is responding to the wave of outrage from readers and writers alike and are going to reverse this.

From last night's Publisher's Weekly:
Publishers Weekly:

A groundswell of outrage, concern and confusion sprang up over the weekend, largely via Twitter, in response to what authors and others believed was a decision by Amazon to remove adult titles from its sales ranking. On Sunday evening, however, an Amazon spokesperson said that a glitch had occurred in its sales ranking feature that was in the process of being fixed. The spokesperson added that there was no new adult policy.

The LA Times:

Responding to our initial post, Amazon Director of Corporate Communications Patty Smith e-mailed Jacket Copy. "There was a glitch with our sales rank feature that is in the process of being fixed," she wrote. "We're working to correct the problem as quickly as possible."

We wanted to know more. We asked for further explanation of the glitch . . .

The reply: Unfortunately, I'm not able to comment further. We're working to resolve the issue, but I don't have any further information.

Wordtryst - Liane Spicer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wordtryst - Liane Spicer said...

A "glitch"? Hm. This is an excerpt from Mark R. Probst's post Amazon Follies. He contacted Amazon after hundreds of gay and lesbian books, including his, simultaneously lost their sales rankings. Amazon's response to him:

In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.

Best regards,

Ashlyn D
Member Services
Amazon.com Advantage


His full post is here.

KeVin K. said...

My theory is the "glitch" was a hack, or perhaps the vulnerability to a hack. Amazon -- whose office staff and IT are a 9-5 Monday-Friday even though they sell on the internet 24/7 -- is moving now to address the issue. This "glitch" -- which never appeared before -- hit on a 4-day weekend that includes major holidays in two religions. Office closed and support staff at minimum. Obviously, if there's a hole in Amazon's web security they do not want to advertize that fact. My thinking is Amzon willing to take the heat for a socially unacceptable blunder rather than the potential fallout of their customers -- 90% of whom do not care about the issue -- panicking over the possibility their transactions and personal financial data are not secure with Amazon and refusing to do business on the site.

KeVin K. said...

http://tehdely.livejournal.com/88823.html

Rowan Coleman said...

also just read that all gay and lesbian titles were removed from amazon's site over the weekend - they are putting it down to another 'glitch.' Hmmm I think Kevin is right....x