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Google bombing for Fun and Social Justice

So apparently, Amazon.com has recently shot themselves in the foot.

Specifically, they've taken to removing sales rank from books that are deemed to have a gay or lesbian theme. This means, among other things, that books with a gay or lesbian theme won't come up in certain kinds of searches and don't appear in lists or pages of popular books regardless of their popularity.

Amazon's given a number of explanations for this behavior, each of which has been contradictory. Their explanations have been all over the map; at first they claimed that "adult" books aren't ranked or listed by popularity (which is, as any user of Amazon knows, manifestly untrue); more recently, theyre calling it an unintentional "software glitch". They've sent emails to some of the authors of the books that have had their rankings removed, which have likewise been all over the map.

Since the street finds its own uses for things, one of the ways that annoyed Net users have retaliated is with a good old-fashioned Google bomb. A Google bomb raises the Google keyword result for a specific keyword (in this case, "Amazon rank") by placing links using those keywords all over the place.

So, in the spirit of using Google as a blunt instrument for social change (as former Google engineer Christophe Bisciglia said of MapReduce, "When you have a really big hammer, everything becomes a nail"), I present to you:

Amazon Rank

Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): amazon ranked
1. To censor and exclude on the basis of adult content in literature (except for Playboy, Penthouse, dogfighting and graphic novels depicting incest orgies).
2. To make changes based on inconsistent applications of standards, logic and common sense.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 14th, 2009 11:22 pm (UTC)
you're a coupla days behind the times

Apr. 15th, 2009 12:35 pm (UTC)
I think maybe an hour - if that, behind the times. It looks like they fixed it yesterday around the time when tacit posted this. I google bombed after this definition had already reached the first entry on the first page, and did so knowing that amazon was scrambling to fix their "glitch".
I believe they need to be well and truly punished. Not so much for the programming glitch, but for the massive FAIL on the part of customer service, most of whom never stopped to think that perhaps this was a mistake. I'd like to see this new definition of "amazon rank" as the top hit forever so that they NEVER FORGET.
Apr. 15th, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
I even heard one explanation today where Amazon blamed France.

I'd say I wish I was kidding, but that's not true because it's effin' hilarious.
Apr. 15th, 2009 02:27 am (UTC)
Apr. 16th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
Go Amazon. Score one for normalcy.

Screw eBay, I know where I'm making my next purchase from.

(Just kickin' over the anthill.)

Speaking of which, I used to know this guy who was so against censorship. What a shame that now he's only against censorship when it comes to censoring people who disagree with him.
Apr. 16th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
*blink* What does any of this have to do with censorship?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )