Amazon.com Censors LGBT Content

This is outrageous. In the name of adult content, Amazon.com is removing Amazon rankings from LGBT themed novels and non-fiction books. Those books are then also gone from Amazon's best-seller list. The number of LGBT books included in the censored list has exploded in the past couple of days. Matt Writer is keeping track of the censored material. If you know of other books whose rankings have been pulled by Amazon, please contact Matt.

There is obviously no way Amazon can hire staff to go through all material on Amazon.com and figure out for sure which books have adult contents and which do not. What's funny is that obviously adult books like Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds retain their rankings! Here's another funny thing: the hardcover version of Dr. Nathaniel Frank’s Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America and The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students had its rankings pulled, but the Kindle version (Kindle is an Amazon exclusive digital book reader) of the exact same book retains its ranking! Dr. Frank's book is about the US military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, not erotica.

This is censorship, pure and simple. Here are the ways you can contact Amazon.com and tell them that as a customer and as a citizen, you want to put a stop to this nonsense (please read to the third bullet point if you are an investor or have Amazon stocks in your portfolio):
  • Use web form. I would recommend signing in if you have an Amazon.com account. If you do not or would like to send them an email without signing into your account, click on the small "Skip sign in" button.
  • Email and other contact info (courtesy of Linda in Ohio's diary on Daily Kos):
    connect-help@amazon.com
    Jeffrey Bezos, CEO
    1200 12th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98144-2734
    Phone: 206-266-1000; Fax: 206-622-240
  • For Investors: If you own Amazon stock (whether individually or via your 401K or another retirement), please consider contacting their Investor Relations:
    Investor Relations
    E-mail: ir@amazon.com
    P.O. Box 81226
    Seattle, WA 98108-1226
    Phone: (206) 266-2171
    Fax: (206) 266-1355
    Perhaps if they hear from their stockholders in good enough numbers (instead of just pesky bloggers and customers), they will consider things twice.
I don't own Amazon stock. So I wrote them an email via their web form. Here's the content of it. Feel free to use it as a template.
SUB: Remove Censorship of LGBT Themed Books

To Whom It May Concern:

I have just discovered that Amazon has been removing rankings from LGBT themed books under the guise of "adult" content. Many of these books, such as Dr. Nathaniel Frank’s _Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America and The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students_ have no adult content in them whatsoever. There also other books such as Playboy: The Complete Centerfolds, which are of adult nature but still have their rankings preserved.

This, on its face, reeks of homophobic censorship. Unless you can review all content for truly adult material and remove all such books from your rankings without regard to whether those material are straight oriented or LGBT oriented, you must restore all rankings.

I have been an amazon customer for a long time, and appreciate the service Amazon provides. As an American who stands firmly against censorship, and as a customer, I urge Amazon.com to restore the rankings for all books.

Thank you.
Contact Amazon right now and stop the homophobic, transphobic censorship.

Update: Now Amazon says it's a "glitch and they are "fixing" it. Uh huh.
However, an Amazon representative characterized the move as a mistake but declined to elaborate.

"Essentially, there's a glitch in our system and it's being fixed," Amazon spokesperson Patty Smith told CNET News.
We shall see. Don't stop writing/calling them until they have fully reversed course.


Like what you read? Chip in, keep us going.