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Today’s Amazon controversy & is it censorship?

Mark R. Probst, author of The Filly, has shared information about Amazon’s new policy of stripping sales rankings from "some" books they consider adult. This includes erotica, but also many GLBT titles – even if they are intended for the young adult audience and are clearly not adult books. Does simply including GLBT characters make a book erotica or adult? Heterosexual romance novels are not being stripped of their rankings.  Given the power of Amazon’s sales rankings, is this economic retaliation and sexual discrimination? Is this a new form of censorship? Since is a private organization do they have the right to separate their titles into arbitrary categories even if it gives some books unfair advantages over others? The conversation on the internet is using terms like separate and unequal.

You’ll have to go to Mark’s blog and stay tuned to what’s happening. The child_lit group is discussing this and I hope to hear a quick explanation from Amazon that shows they are NOT intending to apply a different set of morales to book selling. Meta_Writer is keeping an updated list of titles affected. Another of the big questions is why only print books were affected and not the Amazon’s Kindle versions?

What do you think? Does making it more difficult to locate these books constitute discrimination? Want to take action? Go read the article by Mari Kurisato that includes phone numbers, email accounts and more.