Amazon faced a barrage of criticism after dropping thousands – around 57,000 – book titles from their sales rankings. The books had adult or gay and lesbian themes.
The company has said, however, that it was due to a glitch, and the books are being returned to their sales listings. However, according to others, that might not be the case. One independent publisher claimed to have received an e-mail from Amazon stating:
“In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude “adult” material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.”
To confuse things further, a hacker named Weez also claims to be responsible, as a prank to highlight failings in Amazon’s coding:
“I guess my game is up! Here’s a nice piece I like to call “how to cause moral outrage from the entire Internet in ten lines of code,” he wrote in a blog. Whether this is true, though, is up in the air.