Amazon Rep: This was not a “glitch”

Pic via Deanna.
Last night, after finding out about the Amazon craziness, I immediately called my editor, Brooke Warner, over at Seal Press. (Especially because Full Frontal Feminism and Yes Means Yes were two of the books affected.)
She spoke to their Amazon rep today, and he told her it was definitely not a glitch. From Brooke’s email to me:

Basically he said that amazon has been experimenting with the way they dole out content specifically so that people who are searching Harry Potter or whatever won’t run into links to products that might be offensive.
…It’s super fucked up, but apparently he’s saying that Amazon is a bully when it comes to stuff like this and it’s all about sales for them and it’s not about censorship. [He said t]hat they love you, love Seal, but that this is mandated from their bosses, who essentially want to be Walmart.
…He also said no human is responsible for the decisions per se, and that it’s all about tagging and feeds which are constantly being tweaked. He does think that amazon will retweak the tags based on the uproar that happened over the weekend.

It’s also worth noting that some folks, like the fabulous Deanna Zandt, believe that the reps may not know what they’re talking about. “I’m almost positive at this point that it was a scripted (automated) thing someone figured out how to exploit,” Deanna told me via email.
So that’s what I know so far. Will update this post again if I hear anything different…

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