Monday, 13 April 2009

BEDA the Actual Thirteenth:
Doing the No-Pants Dance

As the more observant of you will have noticed, I got the date wrong on my last blog. So yeah, it probably deserves the 'Fail' tag that one mean person gave it. So I guess this is take two.

I'm a bit late in blogging about this issue as it really surfaced early this morning, but I needed sleep. As anyone who follows Maureen Johnson on Twitter, or indeed anyone that has at least half an eye on the Twitter 'Trends' will know, Amazon.com have recently shown themselves to be a bunch of bigoted twats.

A few days ago now, the sales rankings of hundreds of gay, lesbian, and transgender romance books disappeared. No one really knew why. Theories abounded: it could have been a glitch like the YouTube view count glitch, or the system could have temporarily been down. Then publisher and author, Mark Probst contacted Amazon through his Advantage account, and received the following response:

In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.

Best regards,

Ashlyn D
Member Services
Amazon.com Advantage


Needless to say, the internet world went mad.

Investigation by others then showed that Amazon had, pretty neatly, effectively set up a category 'gay and lesbian', which it deemed inappropriate. Even then, there was little method to their madness, with some gay autobiographies getting stripped, whilst others aren't. A lot of books have been deemed 'too adult', but yet a lot of straight erotica hasn't (more on this in a superbly written blog here). Even worse, if you type 'homosexuality' into Amazon, you get this.

The end result of this outrage is that the internet community has pretty quickly whipped up a boycott, which has been, in part, headed by our own dear Maureen, who is encouraging you to take off your pants to protest. Light-hearted, and typically brilliant though this is, it's also raising much needed awareness of the Amazon boycott, in protest to this disgusting revelations.
Join in.

Anyway, in other news. The same Maureen will be doing a show on BlogTv tonight, at 11PM for us in the UK, and 6PM EST for our friends over the pond. I know some people have been camped out in the BlogTv chat until tonight, so you know it's going to be good.

I have also gotten myself an account on Blip.fm. Blip is hard to explain really, it's like Twitter, but with music. If you don't have one, you should definately get one, and if you do, you should add me!

Thanks for the fantastic response to my last post guys. Two comments and three ratings is the most I've gotten so far and it felt pretty great! Keep it up!


Hope you're all okay! See you in BlogTv!

xo
gb

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