Amazon Drops Gay Titles From Sales Rankings

Company blames glitch for shunting innocuous gay titles to adult list
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2009 6:56 AM CDT
Amazon Drops Gay Titles From Sales Rankings
Angry Amazon customers are threatening to get refunds on their Kindles.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Amazon is facing a backlash for yanking hundreds of gay and lesbian titles from its sales ranking system, CNET reports. The bookseller has a policy of excluding material deemed "adult" from the sales and bestseller lists, but critics say its exclusion of titles like The Well of Loneliness—a Victorian book on lesbians without a single sentence of sexual description—smacks of discrimination.

Other gay titles deemed adult include nonfiction books on gay history and romances with no sex, while the heterosexual books pulled from the rankings—often a factor in Amazon shoppers' buying decisions—tend to be much more explicit. A company spokeswoman blamed the discrepancy on "a glitch" but declined to elaborate.
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