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Amazon Has a Gay Glitch

Amazon Has a Gay Glitch

The Twitterverse and blogsophere are abuzz about stripping hundreds of gay and lesbian books of their sales rankings because the books’ material has been deemed “adult.”

Titles like James Baldwin‘s “Giovanni’s Room” and Annie Proulx‘s “Brokeback Mountain” are among the book who have lost their ranking. Authors that have written about their own books losing their rankings include Mark R. Probst and Craig Seymour.

An Amazon spokesperson tells PublishersWeekly said that “a glitch had occurred in its sales ranking feature that [is] in the process of being fixed. The spokesperson added that there was no new adult policy.”

You can follow and contribute to the growing backlash about this controversy on Twitter with the hash tag #amazonfail.

Also up for debate: Entering homosexuality into Amazon will give you search results full of “healing” books including the first search result — a paperback called “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality.”

FYI: A full list of books that had their sales ranks removed can be found here.

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Photos: billt, examiner
Posted to: Newsies

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  • maichan

    Proud of you for covering this.

  • T

    So terrible of all the places to discriminate……. peoples works are many authors livelihoods

  • MariKurisato

    Good coverage wrap up, and nice artwork! ^_^

  • rii

    yah i read this somewhere too. they still have playboy on the rankings and works with explicit heterosexual romance but books on the history of the lgbt community or on gay romance, but no sex are being stripped of their ranking.

    stupid world we live in.

  • Megan fox rocks

    so …..

  • Amanda


  • Bunny

    This is just silly. Censorship sucks!

  • popeye

    Who cares; homos are always offended about some slight or another. They should all go back in the closet and shut up

  • nyx

    oh popeye go eat some spinach!

  • Razorback

    Oooooo. They have just pissed off the wrong community. I’m sure their is a HUGE percentage of Gay and Lesbian community that order books from Amazon. Bad move on their part. I can already see a HUGE percentage of lose of sales on that site. Discrimination of any sort should not be tolerated .

  • Jaye

    Sooooooo? Who ever uses the ranking to determine if they want to buy a book in the first place? I hope Gays aren’t becoming like PETA. PETA was respected years ago, but they complained about so much petty stuff that a lot o people stopped taking them seriously and thinks of them as a bunch of nuts.

    People need to learn to fight battles that matter.

  • rii

    yah cuz discrimination is totally something “slight.” how much of a ignorant bigot are you popeye? why is it that i am a 17 year old heterosexual girl and im offended by this then? some people in this world actually want and like equality…

  • john

    And we should care why? They have not pulled the books from the website. Stop bitching and go on.

  • Carrie
  • Yo Mama

    People who call other people bigots are bigots themselves.

  • Halli

    Amazon is just trying to cover their assess now that they’ve been caught.

    I hate your wight-loss ads Jared! That’s nasty!

  • Worried soul

    Amazon needs to know that stupidity like this will hurt them badly . moreover , who are they to decide what anybody wants ? To hell with them !!

    I am a heterosexual and am definitely not proud of discrimination like this anywhere by anyone !!

  • jt

    people need to lighten up. amazon can do whatever the *** it wants and in all likelihood what they want is to sell as much stuff as possible. I really doubt they were censoring – they even said there was a glitch.

  • gerard Vandenberg

    the word “LESBIAN” has indeed some magic in it.

  • geraldine

    1) about time someone reacts in this society – i find it repulsive the degree of liberty (and vulgarity) our societies have attained, you see both gay and straight couples making out in public and that’s simply disrespectual to pedestrians, 2) you’re not born homesexual, you breed homesexuality so yes it can be healed as kindly suggested by amazon. in most societies, parents wish to see their sons marry a woman so, hey, if they can prevent their sons from marrying somebody else’s son then WHY NOT? what’s the hitch (or glitch)?, 3) amazon is not forcing you to buy the book it’s just suggesting it, 4) like someone above said, amazon can do whatever it feels like doing as long as it doesn’t PHYSICALLY (or mentally as a matter of fact) harm society, amazon did NOT in any way hold the gay population responsible for the reduced number of books, 5) yes broke back mountain is rather inappropriate and should NOT be sold ever so publicly – i mean, kids shop at so it’s only normal amazon dubs it as “adult material”, 6) homosexuals are becoming a bit too sensitive for my taste, why do you always feel targeted? (and as a result, blow everYthing out of proportion…?)

    i honestly can go on forever…but the above are a few of my arguments

    enjoy :)

  • laFiga

    Great coverage! There’s word out thi smight be a) a giant troll; b)fundies tweaking the system Some of the books cenosred are getting tagged with amazonfail along with positive tags like “great book” and then there’s this

  • beck.

    geraldine, your first arguments are completely irrelevant. i am a twenty year old female heterosexual, and i find the discrimination that people such as yourself embody disgusting. the point of the amazon “glitch” is not that the books are not available (which, they are) but its a matter of principle. why should such books like playboy still have ratings when literary works that suggest homosexual relations be stripped of them? its completely discriminatory and wrong. as for saying homosexuals as being “a bit too sensitive”, i think you need to take into consideration what a generalization that is.

    thank you for covering this story, jared.

  • anon

    WHY do you post this here???? I thought this site was about celebrities. Geez…..

  • gay is OK!

    “WHY do you post this here????”
    Jared is gay and uses his own site to promote gay issues – like it should be!

  • Katie

    I’m sure Borders will be glad of the increased business from the large disposable income of the LGBT community. Amazon is fail.

  • Frida

    Are you kidding me? That’s sick! And #11 Jaye, discrimination is ‘petty stuff’ now?! I’m sure if you had been gay then this would’ve mattered to you. Don’t be so narrowminded.

  • jrfan

    Dude why complain about the search results? Homosexuality is in the title. What do you want Amazon to do about it? Just search smarter.

  • Prescilla

    They said they were fixing it! why is this such a big deal? Will you please READ what is going on! They said there was no NEW policy! They had a problem with the system, they are FIXING IT, they don’t deserve to be branded anti-homosexual and bigots like this because of a single problem they are addressing! Find a real problem and fight it! What in the world is that petition about?

    Couldn’t be that the situation is being used for a publicity stunt could it? Good point #11 about PETA. This is just as ridiculous as the stunts they pull.

  • lINDZ

    Oh this is so ridiculous! Wow if you type in homosexuality a book about preventing homosexuality comes up, so what! You have to be kidding me if you are offended by that! You have the right to sell books about homosexuality, but someone else doesn’t have a right to sell a book about preventing it? Up for debate you are so ridiculous if it offends you it’s “up for debate” but if it offends others you act all incredulous when someone mentions it! You can not expect everyone to accept you, get over it and move on! This is why I’ve stopped supporting gay rights, you make it way to hard to support you and be taken seriously anymore.

  • lo

    I agree, Jared… this is very discriminatory (and I’m not gay, so back off, people like IINDZ). The fact that if you search for “homosexuality”, you only get anti-gay books is pathetic.
    * And Prescilla… this has been going on since February and was just caught recently. So I’m thinking it’s not a bug. Plus the spokesman said it was because books about homosexuality are “adult” books (yet you can still search and find heterosexual erotica… what the f***?)

  • liz k

    Much ado about nothing

  • mARKR

    Well, the reason there’s such a big furor is unfairness: Deranking of relatively gay books (some aren’t even adult themed) would be okay if de-ranking of adult-themed straight books are done.

    But there are lots of Playboy-related books and explicit romance novels that still have rankings, while less-adult-oriented gay books are de-ranked!

    I say — and be fair to and de-rank equally, or don’t derank either…

  • john doe

    Gays suck and should die.

  • lakers fan in boston

    lol ive heard that they r blocking them because of content but that they let a playboy book get reviewed =p
    honestly i dont really care, not something that impacts me

  • jaye

    Frida @ 04/13/2009 at 9:37 am

    Are you kidding me? That’s sick! And #11 Jaye, discrimination is ‘petty stuff’ now?! I’m sure if you had been gay then this would’ve mattered to you. Don’t be so narrowminded.
    I didn’t say discrimination was petty, but you have a narrow view of life if you think that a computer glitch that is being FIXED is discrimination. What part of it was a ‘glitch’ didn’t you understand? Perhaps you need to be a little less uptight and not see everything as a slight against Gay people. Last I heard, they’re not the ONLY people inhabiting this world, nor are their rights the only ones to be considered.

    The issue of ranking is not one that involved the SALE of the book. No one buys a book or any Gay works because of it’s ranking and they did not BAN the works. If I were Gay I’d hope I’d have more things to concern me than how or IF some website ranks a GAY book.

    With regard to your view that I’m narrow minded; if you think having an opposing view is narrow minded, then so be it. I’ve never denied anyone their right to have a different opinion; nor will I let anyone prevent me from expressing mine. You might want to rethink which one of us is really narrow minded.

  • zzz

    ahahhaaha I love Amazon now, fags don’t deserve any human rights.

  • w

    Why are all gays illiterate, judging by their comments on this page?

  • Gina

    Thanks for the coverage Jared! Yeah, this is pure discrimination, I hope Amazon looses customers over this.

    Oh and besides, I’m afflicted, sad, shocked by the comments on this news… Still so many intolerant people in 2009, that’s just scary… :’-(

  • MMA

    This is ridiculous. Who cares if people are gay or not, they’re still people so let them read what they want!