Monday, April 13, 2009

All Hail the Brou-ha-ha!

Has anyone seen my pitchfork? I seem to have misplaced it.

In case you've been busy this weekend, there's a new storm brewing, and it's got me all fired up.

Here's a list of links to get you caught up on what's going on.

LA Times

Dear Author

Mark Probst

The Smart Bitches are also on board. I tried to round up their link, but they're having some capacity problems at the moment. I guess their Google bomb is working.

So here's the deal. It looks like Amazon in an effort to protect it's customers from "adult content," decided to de-rank any books tagged with search parameters that included anything having to do with homosexuality, or erotic content.

Needless to say, I'm disturbed. As an author of science fiction romance, I'm always interested in group dynamics, and I've noticed one trend that seems universal. If you want to control people, control what information they have access to.

Once you open that can of worms, all sorts of things come crawling out. What's next? Violence? Political dissension? How about religious information? Our history? Control information and you control the minds of the population.

Maybe we should all read Orwell's 1984 again, that is, if it still appears on Amazon. We're already dangerously close to Newspeak with the advent of texting. How far will we limit our ideas? How much will it limit our minds?

Who gets to decide what we can think and what we can't?

I believe in the power of the people. I believe together we have strength, and I also believe we're not as dumb as some people think we are. I think we can all agree that something that perpetuates a crime against another, or exploits children is wrong.

But a book addressing any aspect of homosexuality or sex is verboten, while books about violence, drugs, murder, animal abuse, and genocide are just peachy. I don't need Amazon to be my Mommy. I need it to provide me with accurate information so I can decide what I want to buy.

I'll express my moral judgments with my wallet, thanks. You don't need to decide what I can or cannot handle.

I'm all for businesses having the right to run their businesses in any way they see fit, but if Amazon sees this as a good business model, they're going to lose a lot of customers.

We don't need someone else to smack Amazon for us. We can do it ourselves. All we have to do is work as one.



MarnieColette said...

I couldn't have said it any better. I already have 2 parents - I don't need a third. I think that we are smart enough to decide what we want to read.

Jess Granger said...

I contemplated talking about something else this morning since Amazon is now claiming this was a "glitch" and everyone seems to be talking about it. Then I thought, no. I can't let this one pass. I have to talk about it. Anytime anyone tries to limit our access to information to "protect" us, everyone has to say something.

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin said...

I found one part where Amazon apparently admitted to "a ham-handed cataloging mistake." Now that I can believe. {AMUSED SMILE}

I hope they've learned. {SMILE}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin