Monday, April 13, 2009


makes me sad; doesn't really matter if it was an accident or not. There's a problem when too much of our media availability is controlled by one source.

(I know, I should talk, right? You kettles are all black, all of you!! But maybe this will be what breaks me.)


Alexandra Green said...

It is the American way. I don't even know why I'm surprised by such blatant actions anymore. For trying to be so cutting edge, we sure do supress a lot.

Silicon Valley Diva said...

You hit the nail on the head. Accidental or not, scary indeed!

Sarah Laurenson said...

You know what a computer glitch is, don't you? A PR nightmare coverup.

Heather may have 2 mommies, but she didn't have a sales ranking when I checked this morning. But lo and behold, she has one now. Glitch fixed?

Jo said...

Outrageous but not so surprising. A lot of big corporations are controlled by people who have a political agenda and often come down on the side of the fence with the narrower views.
There are alternatives to where we spend our dollars fortunately.

Katherine said...

It's been said elsewhere, but there's no freaking way a ranking application could have "accidentally" suppressed all those titles. For one thing, it means that they must have done at least a configuration change, if not a full upgrade. And that means someone decided to change how books were ranked, and how books with GLBT tags explicitly were ranked. The only "accident" is that they got caught so quickly and were denounced so loudly.

Computers don't go homophobic on their own. I don't know enough to do an analysis of what this tells us about Amazon's ranking system, but I have my fingers crossed someone with the software acumen will tell us.

Anonymous said...

As a computer programmer, I love reading all this analysis being written by non-programmers about what is possible and not possible in computer software. There are as many different ways that 57K database entries can be affected by a single wayward key press as there are grains of sand on the beach. Every programmer worth his or her salt has made a mistake like this at some point, and had to work all weekend cleaning up the mess. I realize it may sound incredible to a non-technical person, but you can screw up a few hundred thousand entries in less than a second with no ill intent. The ability to rollback a system from this sort of error is why DBAs get paid the big bucks. I really feel for whoever it was in Amazon IT who hit F5 and then thought "wait, was that the production DB"?