An awkward and blundering “cataloging error” by Amazon. com Inc resulted in the deletion of over 57,000 titles from online retailer’s main search function on Sunday. Initially terming it as a ‘glitch,’ Amazon said that the affected titles will soon be restored; but that did not happen even till Monday afternoon.
As such, Amazon. com users have raised a hue and cry saying that the books that had been marginalized mostly included well-known works that dealt with sexual orientation – like “Ellen DeGeneres: A Biography;” “Milk: A Pictorial History of Harvey Milk;” and “Greek Homosexuality” – as well as recent works like “My Horizontal Life;” and classics such as “The City and the Pillar” and “Giovanni’s Room.”
Clarifying that the company has not specifically marginalized any particular category of books, Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener, said: “It has been misreported that the issue was limited to gay- and lesbian-themed titles. In fact, it impacted 57,310 books in a number of broad categories such as health, mind and body, reproductive and sexual medicine, and erotica.”
Calling the Amazon strategy of censoring books as “unfair,” several authors have raised questions against the unsatisfactory explanations by the site, forcefully stating in their e-mails that though their books had been placed in an unranked “adult” category, still they have been excluded from some searches and best-seller lists!