>> Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Well, it seems that the de-ranking of "adult" material that I discussed yesterday finally caught the attention of Amazon personnel. Instead of fobbing off authors with "we don't rank adult material" they actually paid attention and looked into the problem. According to the company, the de-ranking was the result of a system glitch accidently implemented by a worker in France, but it was initiated by comments and tagging of titles with certain search terms. Amazon hasn't provided a full explanation of how this happened, but has "vowed" to correct the problem and minimize the possiblity of it reoccurring.
They did admit that over 57 THOUSAND book titles were de-ranked according to this glitch, and they were restoring the rankings as soon as possible. I don't really trust the explanation, but it does make more sense than the company being infiltrated by right-wing culture police. Someone, or some group (more likely) outside of Amazon has taken advantage of the ranking/tagging loophole to impose their own set of values.
Me, I believe in two things: freedom of expression and free choice. Say what you like, write what you want. That doesn't mean I have to listen to your or I have to read what you wrote.
Amazon clearly has some holes in its search feature, and I do think they need some form of parental controls (like iTunes, maybe). I've searched for juvenalia and have gotten some pretty NSFW results (including one with pictures of jumbo-sized battery operated marital aids). But I don't think that any safety net that results in censorship is acceptable.
But that's just me.