Just in case you haven't heard about the current Amazon flub-up, here is the skinny. Amazon just removed rankings from books that are now considered to contain "adult content." Rankings are what allow books to show up in searches and lists and so forth. The books are still for sale on Amazon, but it looks like searching for them without the title and/or author is... difficult. From what I've read, it looks like those who were hardest hit by this unranking move are authors that deal with gay, lesbian, trans, and even some sexy heterosexual topics (think Lady Chatterley's Lover).
But, as usual, my recap of this event is awkward at best. So here are a couple of links you should check out.
1. "Why the Amazon de-ranking of GLBT books matters" on Jenny Boylan's Blog - You might remember my still starstruck post about her visit to our campus last week. Her bestselling book, She's Not There, is now unranked. There is such a lack of "adult content" in that book.
2. "'Gay writing' falls foul of Amazon sales ranking system" from The Guardian This article explains a bit more about what is going on and what Amazon has to say about it so far.
I've always been interested in issues of censorship. I mostly feel that it shouldn't happen. We live in a world that doesn't censor much of anything that it should. We see sex and violence and drugs and hatred and high-fat foods and ignorance on a daily basis. Before we reach the age of 2!
Yet great books are banned every day because they might bring up topics that we aren't comfortable explaining to our children. And, I have come to expect this. But this is too far. To automatically consider LGBTQ texts "adult content" is homophobic and wrong. Hiding LGBTQ texts by pulling them from topic searches is such an horrific step back that I can't even really believe this is happening.
Like Jenny Boylan said in her blog, hopefully this will be old and over by the time you read this. I sure hope so.
But just know that Amanda's pissed.