Anyone with their fingers on the pulse of the blogosphere will already know about the event that has become known as the ‘Amazon-Fail’. For those of us who have spent the Easter Bank Holiday camping/sleeping/gardening/or otherwise not plugged into the internet, here’s what happened. Amazon has accidentally re-classified all gay and lesbian as ‘adult’. This means it no longer shows up in certain searches. It also means that any books falling into this category no longer receive sales rankings, and so no longer appear in the site’s best sellers lists – one way that books sold by Amazon are advertised. In case you’re wondering, this affects ALL books containing gay and lesbian material – discussions of queer politics, romance, and everything else. Hetero literature appears to be unaffected. The Playboy Complete Centrefolds, e.g., has not been classified as ‘adult’ and still has a sales ranking. As do Jackie Collins’ racy, romantic novels. This author has more on the story here.
Edited to add: apparently, it’s not just queer material that has been stripped of its sales rankings. Amazon has also re-classified some feminist books, and saucy old literary classics like Lady Chatterley’s Lover as ‘adult’. Jezebel has more info, including a list of books affected so far.
Edited again to add: Amazon is in the process of fixing this. They’re blaming it on an employee inputting the wrong data in a form. Here’s an article.