UPDATE (LATER THAT DAY): Amazon claims it was a “glitch.” Dubiousness abounds. See the comments section of this post for more.
ORIGINAL POST: Twitter is aflame today, where it’s still Easter Day over in North America. For my part, I ran across the news on Tobias Buckell’s feed.
Right, Amazon, do you want to know why everyone is offended by what’s been done?
It’s because intelligent people — which are presumably a big part of your customer base, seeing as you’re selling books — can’t stand to be protected for their own good.1. They abhor it, they find it arrogant and stomach-turningly offensive. It reminds them of the way Communist governments have always presented propaganda “for the public good” while brutally suppressing different opinions.
If people have complained that they were offended by seeing a book on a topic that offends them, then you know what you should do?
(Well, really, if you weren’t out for their money, you would probably be best telling them to grow up and get lost. But since you are out for their money…)
You should offer them an opt-in filtration system. Don’t wanna see books on LGBT topics? Cool — click this button and we won’t show them on your computer while you’re logged in on your account. Don’t wanna see books on animal abuse? Hey, opt-in. Don’t wanna see true crime gore-fests? Hate SF? Can’t stand dating guides? Click, click, click.
The truth is, conservatives are intolerant, and the more liberal-minded are much more tolerant. All of the stereotypes to the contrary, it’s conservatives who bitched so much that Amazon de-ranked LGBT-related (or is it now going to be all sex-related, after a brief oops from Amazon HQ?) books — even books on the scientific study of the same — while all of the millions of liberal-minded people who could have complained to the point where Jerry Falwell and his kind would be delisted, haven’t done so.
Why? Because it is with liberal-minded people that free speech is valued. It is liberal-minded people who do not wish to live in a censorship-and-surveillance republic. So of course they’re not going to try and get involuntary filtration set up for everyone. They abhor it. But the conservatives? They don’t believe in freedom anyway.
Well, Amazon, we don’t share their slave mentality. And we know what you really care about. So until this is sorted, I will not be buying a single book from you.