Amazon.com oops: Prejudice is tough in the Twitter age

Over the weekend, Twitter exploded with some incendiary accusations: that Amazon.com had stripped most books with gay and lesbian authors and content of their sales rank status. The effect was to effectively eliminate many titles from searches and lists of bestsellers. "Gay" books were made virtually invisible.

Although reports of the prejudicial databasing have been circulating since February, few were paying attention until blogger Mark Probst wrote a post about the phenomenon. He managed to reach a live person at Amazon to ask what the heck was going on, and he posted her official response:

"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."