Who but a cataloger could imagine that someday a “cataloging error” would make headlines?
That’s what Amazon is claiming as the cause of nearly 60,000 titles, many of them gay and lesbian-themed, being stripped of their sales rankings, rendering them difficult to find in searches and creating a PR nightmare.
The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports official responses, as well as one from a former Amazon employee saying that,
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.
Seattle PI business reporter Andrea James has been updating her Amazon & the Business of Online Retailing blog as the story develops.
The errors have now been fixed, but at least one author is not satisfied, feeling Amazon has not apologized sufficiently, nor have they promised to establish safeguards against this situation happening again:
Craig Seymour, “Craig’s Pop Life” blog, My Response to Amazon’s Statement