Over Easter weekend the blogosphere erupted with the news that Amazon.com was categorizing gay-themed books as "adult" content, stripping them of their sales rankings and removing them from Amazon's general search engine. According to the Associated Press:
"There was a glitch in our systems and it's being fixed," Amazon's director of corporate communications, Patty Smith, said in an e-mail Sunday. As of Sunday night, books without rankings included James Baldwin's "Giovanni's Room," Gore Vidal's "The City and the Pillar" and Jeanette Winterson's "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit."
Jordan McAuley of Out Traveler: Atlanta sent me an email this morning pointing out that "our two Atlanta guidebooks, the Out Traveler: Atlanta and ATLANTAboy: An Insider's Guide to Gay Atlanta have both been removed."
Former Creative Loafing Atlanta music editor Craig Seymour has emerged as one of the bloggers on point for this issue. In his April 12 blog post "Is Amazon homophobic?," he says:
In the last couple of days, people have been blogging about how Amazon has been labeling gay and lesbian books as "adult" and removing the books from their search engine. I'm glad the issue is FINALLY getting attention, because I have been complaining about it since February.
Craig's blog includes an e-mail "paper trail" that indicates Amazon's so-called "glitch" has been in its system much longer than the Sunday statement would indicate, and is targeting gay-themed books but not comparable straight ones.
My Los Angeles-based friends Alonso Duralde (the Atlanta-born author of 101 Must-See Movies for Gay Men) and Dave White (author of the humorous memoir Exile in Guyville) both have been removed. Dave points out on his Livejournal blog that,
If you type in the word "homosexuality" in the general search here are the first two titles that pop up:
"A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality"
"You Don't Have to Be Gay: Hope and Freedom for Males Struggling With Homosexuality or For Those Who Know of Someone Who Is"
My book is way better than those two, I guarantee it. Except those two probably have more laughs. So maybe they ARE better.
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