Amazon fail

It’s Easter Sunday in Canada (and Monday here in New Zealand). As Raul Pacheco, aka Hummingbird604, noticed #amazonfail is more popular higher than #jesus on twitter. Why? What’s going on?

I love the clever definition of Amazon rank that Smart Bitches Trashy Books offers:

amazon rank
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): amazon ranked

1. To censor and exclude on the basis of adult content in literature (except for Playboy, Penthouse, dogfighting and graphic novels depicting incest orgies).
2. To make changes based on inconsistent applications of standards, logic and common sense.

Etymology: from 12 April 2009 removal of sales rank figures from books on containing sexual, erotic, romantic, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or queer content, rendering them impossible to find through basic search functions at the top of Amazon.comà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢s website. Titles stripped of their sales rankings include à ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã…”Bastard Out of Carolina,à ¢Ã¢”š ¬  à ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã…”Lady Chatterlyà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢s Lover,à ¢Ã¢”š ¬  several romance novels, GLBTQ fiction novels, YA books, and narratives about gay people.

It really makes me mad when technological barriers are used to impede access.A   This is like a library not cataloguing the racier bits of their collection.A   Librarians can say “oh yes, we have that book/DVD/magazine/whatever” but if it’s not in the catalogue most patrons will never find it.A   This is very similar to Amazon removing the Amazon Rank of an item, so that it becomes buried in the search results.

Edit: Actually more accurately it’s like a library cataloging an item but not assigning any subject headings to it, or a library plucking LGBT books out of the new book displays. If you have the title of the item you’re looking for, it’s possible to find it on Amazon, but items without Amazon Rank don’t show up in bestseller lists.

A list of books that have had their Amazon Rank stripped is being updated on Meta Writer.

What can we do? Sign this petition.A   Help Google bomb the phrase Amazon Rank by linking toA with à ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã…”Amazon Rankà ¢Ã¢”š ¬  as the anchor text.A   If youà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢re an Amazon customer, or purchase for your library through Amazon, send them an email of protest.

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