No Whimsy, Sugar (taste_is_sweet) wrote,
No Whimsy, Sugar

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I Can't Fucking Believe Amazon.Com

Amazon.Com has removed sales rankings from books that have GLBT characters or discuss GLBT issues.

This is, supposedly, because such books are 'adult material', and therefore have had their sales ranks removed so that they won't show up on 'bestseller' or most popular lists.

Check out the link, then check out this one. Apparently books that deal with gays and the church, reasons not to kill yourself or how to deal with your husband revealing he's gay are all 'adult material'. So is Heather has Two Mommies. I have that book, and if it's 'adult' than so should be every single book about non-traditional families.

I am really, really pissed about this. I've written a letter and I'm thinking about calling on Monday. Addresses, e-mail and phone numbers are here.

According to lavvyan, who first brought this to my attention (thanks, Lavvyan!), the German branch of Amazon.Com has claimed this is a 'technical error'. Considering that Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds still has its sales rank, I'm finding that a little hard to believe. All the same, maybe there's already been enough protest that my letter will be irrelevant. I can only hope so.

Mr. Jeff Bezos
1200 12th Ave., Suite 1200
Seattle, WA 98144

April 12, 2009

Dear Mr. Bezos:

I am writing you to express my shock, disappointment and anger at hearing that your company has decided to remove the sales rankings, and in some cases even the ability to search for, almost all books that feature same-sex relationships.

According to your Member Services, this was because such books are 'Adult Material' and thus are excluded from appearing in 'some searches and bestseller lists'.

Leaving aside the utter hypocrisy of this when a book like Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds continues to have its sales rank while books that have gays or lesbians doing nothing more 'adult' than kissing do not, what has actually happened is that all books that even deal with issues related to being gay or lesbian--such as The Church and the Homosexual, or the self-help book When your Husband Comes Out, or the children's storybook Heather has Two Mommies--have lost their sales ranks as well.

In other words, Amazon.Com is removing sales ranks from books that have been categorized as GLBT, regardless of actual content. This is not 'protecting' your customers; this is discrimination.

Because I am sure this will be of interest to you, I'm going to say right now I am not a member of the GBLT minority getting fussy because these books are being removed. I'm a married heterosexual woman who bought Heather has Two Mommies for my son because I don't wish for him to grow up with the idea that discrimination of any sort is acceptable.

Discrimination is not acceptable, Mr. Bezos, and this discrimination your company is showing is of the worst, most prejudicial kind. Please know I am spreading word about your practices and will no longer buy anything from Amazon.Com until you have changed this policy.


Leah Silverman

ETA: I've also sent my post mail as an e-mail to, and signed this petition. I honestly don't think that online petitions make a difference, but it couldn't hurt, right?
Tags: awful things, fear and loathing, much anger, stuff i care about
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