Amazon “Gay Glitch”

Here in Atlanta,  a nasty storm swept by yesterday causing many trees to fall and a massive power outage all over the metropolitan area, but apparently, there was an even greater storm that roared through the twitterverse and blogosphere.  By now I think most people have heard about the online giant Amazon.com’s apparent “glitch” that removed some 57,000 books from its sales rankings and main search page, mainly those books focusing on gay themes and issues.  For those few that have not heard the news yet, google it and you’ll see a plethora of news articles that came out since Sunday when the news broke.

I’m very perplexed as to how something like this could’ve happened and I”m cautious to jump to any conclusions at the moment and be quick to join in on condemning Amazon.  For one, a big company like Amazon is too smart to ignore public relations and sabotage it’s own image in this manner; secondly, they have been more than happy to sell LGBT related books and media in the past; and lastly, the company has a respectable score of 80 out of 100 on a recent 2008 Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.  And if I may add my own selfish reason to the list, I just love shopping at Amazon!

Within the short period since Easter Sunday, the explanation for the glitch went through an evolution of it’s own.  First it was the implementation of adult material policy gone wrong…to a technical glitch…to a job of hackers…and now, it’s an error in their internal cataloging system.  Something definitely stinks here, but no matter what the true answer may be, Amazon has made a public statement acknowledging their mistake and have promised that it’ll be fixed, so I guess now we’ll just have to wait and see.

On a quick side note, for anyone still doubting the power of Twitter, let this be the definitive case in point.  A Twitter hashtag, #Amazonfail, is now the top trending topic and the site is flooded with tweets from people everywhere…not just gays and lesbians, but ordinary people enraged by the injustice and speaking up against it…very cool!

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