While the much of the country spent Easter Sunday gorging on marshmallow peeps and pictures of the president's new dog, your trusty local blogosphere fired up a four-alarm scandal over goings-on at Amazon, which had mysteriously stripped the sales rankings of hundreds (thousands?) of books, many of them with LGBT subjects, and reclassified them as "adult" content. The move prevents those books from showing up on the site's Best Seller list and can seriously screw up search results, pretty much rendering some titles invisible.Some glitch. Amazon better fix this...and fast.
So what constitutes "adult" material? What were these terrifying, racy tomes from which the public needed to be protected? Well, as the LA Times blog reported, they include Augusten Burroughs' "Running With Scissors," Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain" and the National Book Award winner, "Becoming a Man" by Paul Monette. Oh, and Ellen Degeneres' autobiography. Of course. So many books had been wiped out of the search terms that, on Sunday night, a book search for the term "homosexuality" turned up this: "A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality."
ETA: More news on the glitch from Feministing's Jessica Valenti whose books Full Frontal Feminism and Yes Means Yes were both affected.
ETA #2: Kate Harding over at Salon reports on Amazon's official statement (though not really an apology), in which their spokesperson calls the whole debacle a "an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error."