While people around the world ate chocolate bunnies and hunted down eggs this weekend, books with gay, lesbian and feminist themes were quietly losing their sales ratings on Amazon.com, causing these books to disappear from search results and related books listings.
Many of the discussions are collected under #amazonfail on Twitter. Some bloggers are suggesting that Amazon’s rationale that this was just a “glitch” appears to hold up. Others wonder if instead Amazon is just trying to backpedal on this new policy – and perhaps failing at that, too.
For many angry authors, readers and activists, however, the mechanism behind the fail – glitch, code error, policy, other – is less important than the larger message here. Once again, gay and lesbian thoughts and words are being censored. Playboy is ok but lesbian erotica is not. Rape porn is ok but feminist theories on rape are not. Once again, the LGBT community is a target.
But here’s why I love the internet. Because when anti-LGBT attacks like this happen, people around the world can take to their keyboards and fight back. There was no large organization mobilizing the netroots – angry folks took to twitter, the blogosphere and ThePetitionSite themselves. And whether or not Amazon had any active role in this censorship debacle – who knows, maybe it was either a technical issue or the result of anti-gay trolls usurping Amazon’s community tools for their hateful agenda – the fact remains that Amazon needs to fix it.
Read more: civil rights
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