The #amazonfail tweet-a-thon is still going strong. Amazon is calling the whole thing a glitch and there are several conspiracy theories floating around. I think they are trying to cover their assets because they really did not expect to get such a backlash. The thing is several authors have been reporting these issues going on for months and there are reports that Amazon employees stated that certain books deemed too adult would be kept from the searchable rankings. But now it is a glitch. Right…I am no techie, but the glitch theory is bunk [“why it’s not a glitch” is explained quite technically HERE]
The only theory I am partial to is that a puritan hacker/Amazon employee created the term-specific-glitch, which still makes it censorship (even if it is not authorized). But that’s still pretty weak because it does not explain why people were being told in February that their books would not be listed in the sales rankings. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has been covering the story well and DailyKos has a good round-up of info and posts. Meanwhile, this hilarious chart from the National Coalition Against Censorship illustrates the recent buzz:
This is not over, even if they think they can whitewash it and move on. A boycott of Amazon has begun and several petitions are available upon request. I personally don’t use Amazon, and recommend independent stores and sites like BetterWorldBooks [link on sidebar!]. One of the things that turned me off of Amazon in the first place was that they seemed to be taking so much biz from the stores. I had to create an account at some point when I received a gift certificate [which I still haven't used!] but now I can’t figure out how to delete it…Let’s hope we see a surge in bookstore sales now. BTW: Powell’s Books, a very established indy store also has a discount going on…on tweets its being called the #amazonfail discount, but the folks at Powell’s are a bit kinder than that. Here’s how they put it:
At Powell’s, all books are created equal. We hold this truth to be self-evident. Whether any given title is deserving of a wide readership, we leave that decision to you, our customers. In the spirit of such freedoms that perhaps we too often take for granted, today we’re offering friends a special, winning deal.
Coupon valid online only, not in our stores. This discount cannot be combined with other offers. Offer not valid on eGift Cards. Limit one coupon per customer.
So, go buy a book! Anywhere but Amazon…