Amazon's explanation about their reclassifying gay literature

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 16, 2009 7:38 PM GMT
    It wasn't limited to gay material, and it wasn't done by the hacker who claimed credit. Amazon accepts all the blame. Do you believe its explanation here?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30215820/
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    Apr 16, 2009 8:04 PM GMT
    I dont understand the explanation! .... icon_confused.gif

    What actually happened to all those book rankings?
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    Apr 16, 2009 8:18 PM GMT
    The MSM is upset it took Amazon two days to report that.

    But I read the same shit online the evening of.

    We should be upset the MSM took a day and a half to report old news.
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    Apr 16, 2009 8:45 PM GMT
    Here's a better explanation..

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/amazon/archives/166329.asp

    "A guy from Amazon France got confused on how he was editing the site, and mixed up 'adult,' which is the term they use for porn, with stuff like 'erotic' and 'sexuality.' That browse node editor is universal, so by doing that there he affected ALL of Amazon."
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    Apr 16, 2009 8:54 PM GMT
    xrichx saidHere's a better explanation..

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/amazon/archives/166329.asp

    "A guy from Amazon France got confused on how he was editing the site, and mixed up 'adult,' which is the term they use for porn, with stuff like 'erotic' and 'sexuality.' That browse node editor is universal, so by doing that there he affected ALL of Amazon."

    I still would expect Amazon to make some sort of official announcement, not just some news report in Seattlepi.
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    Apr 16, 2009 9:07 PM GMT
    Caslon10000 saidI dont understand the explanation! .... icon_confused.gif

    What actually happened to all those book rankings?

    I also found the explanation to be a confusing non-explanation. I still don't understand the actual mechanism by which this happened.

    My own sense is that Amazon is covering its ass. Whether they were hacked, or made a corporate anti-gay decision, or let some rogue employee(s) impose their own personal values on the system, doesn't really concern me.

    Amazon failed, period. They will continue to portray themselves in the best light, and nothing they say can be believed. So it is with all corporations.
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    Apr 16, 2009 9:38 PM GMT
    I think it's standard operating procedure for corporations to just say it was a glitch and that it was fixed, and then move forward. If they offer any more explanations, it only raises more questions.

    Trust Us

    And I don't believe it was intentional. From the things I've heard about their technical operations, it's very believable that it was human error/stupidity.
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    Apr 17, 2009 7:40 AM GMT
    Both the hacker and the human error explanations are certainly plausible.

    I'd go with the hacker thing. It's certainly not unreasonable to envision a rabid right wing extremist sweating over his keyboard as he laboriously bring down rankings on pro-gay lit and brought up the rankings of the anti-gay ones.

    The glitch explanation on the other hand is simply highly unlikely. That coming from a sometime programmer. It's just not possible that a glitch can cause something that specifically targets a literary genre (unless Amazon owns some really amazing AI or unless each book is tagged 'pro-gay' and 'anti-gay').
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Apr 17, 2009 9:01 AM GMT
    I think the French confusion explanation provided by Mike Daisey (conveyed by Andrea James) is the culprit. It's an easy error supported by a lack of oversight.

    His comments on the Amazon PR section are also amusing.