Monday, April 13, 2009

AmazonFail: Outraged Consumers Get Creative With Their "Customer Images"

Oh, boy. This one has me hooked. If you haven't been following the spectacular AmazonFail debacle, you can read Jezebel's thorough overview of the situation to catch up. Basically, Amazon has just admitted to stripping the sales rankings from more than 57,000 book titles, rendering them invisible in many searches. A good number of those titles happen to have gay/lesbian themes, though the company's official statement released Monday evening assures consumers that books in many other categories were also de-ranked--including "health, mind and body, reproductive and sexual medicine, and erotica." Gee, thanks. That makes me feel much better.

While Amazon first claimed that this was a "glitch" and now a "catologing error," I think their language remains vague enough to leave room for the possibility that there were major loopholes in their tagging system that were neglected and possibly exploited. The result? A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality is now (as of writing this post) the first result returned when you search "homosexuality."

In a taste-of-your-own-medicine uprising, outraged Amazon users have come up with all kinds of awesomely creative tags for the new #1 gay and lesbian title, as well as some fun customer images! We got a few screen grabs:

While Twitter users were creating a coordinated firestorm, complete with calls to tag the hell out and Google bomb a new definition of Amazon Rank, Amazon was busy working on a lame statement they would (eventually) release to the Associated Press. I am sure they are still trying to get a handle on what happened, but their PR response was laughably behind the times--especially for an internet company. About as laughable as a load of dingo's kidneys.

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