This started popping up on my FaceBook and LJ a few hours ago and I had intended to write a thoughtful post about it. But really, do I need to? Not just because others have done so, but because you really don’t need long and thoughtful to grasp this.
Amazon is (and apprently has been for a few weeks) stripping “adult” titles of their sales rank so that they don’t show up on bestseller lists and also don’t show up in many searches. The criteria for “adult” appears to be: anything that portrays homosexuality as a positive or talks about homophobia as a negative. For example: Homophobia: A History by Bryan Fone — that would be a non-fiction history book about homophobia. What’s not adult? Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds by Chronicle Books (with pictures of over 600 naked women). Want more examples? A huge list is growing here.
ETA: It’s been pointed out that there are other “adult” book categories being deranked, including books about/for rape survivors, feminist titles, female sexuality books, and books on disability and sexuality. Sensing a trend here? I am!
Oh Amazon, when you fail you fail so very, very hard.
And then you fail harder by lying. Or, if not lying, covering your ass without checking whether someone in your organization has already said that you’re doing exactly what you just said you’re not doing and haven’t been doing since February.
This is a form of censorship. And while it may be that Amazon has the legal right to censorship on their website, that doesn’t mean anyone has to stand for it. That means you can take your business elsewhere.
You can go to your local bookstores, be they big box or independent. You can order books online from Barnes & Noble, or Borders, or even your local independent bookstore. I am a fan of Powells, myself.
Buy books. Always buy books. But don’t buy books from assholes who attempt to censor out books about homosexuals (unless they are books wherein it shows one how to be cured of it — yes, those got to keep their ranking. Surprise!).
Also, if you’re the kind of person who is in to petitions, sign the petition.