Last night I wrote a post about Amazon.com's alleged snub of the LGBT community (of which I am a member). I suggested that calls of boycott against Amazon were premature as Amazon had up until now been a very gay-friendly company and perhaps this really was a glitch.
Well, tonight news is breaking of a blogger who is claiming responsibility for getting the LGBT books delisted from Amazon. Apparently the blogger (with possibly the help of his friends) registered hundreds of accounts on Amazon and then flagged LGBT books as "inappropriate" using Amazon's reporting tool. Since different accounts were reporting books as inappropriate rather that just one account, it didn't set off any alarms in Amazon's systems and allowed the hack attack to continue. If this is true, this makes Amazon's claim of a "glitch" causing the problem completely plausible.
While I feel that Amazon should have had a better review process in place before delisting the books, it goes to show that Amazon did not purposely slight the gay community.
Meanwhile, an Amazon employee is giving a behind-the-scenes account of what happened. It doesn't necessarily coincide with the blogger's claim, but it also makes the case for what happened being unintentional. Keep in mind that Amazon wouldn't necessarily want to admit a hack attack. It would shake their image of being a secure place online to shop. They would probably rather claim an internal process error than reveal a successful attack to the public.
Whatever the real reason, Amazon has assured the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation that they will fix the problem according to a statement issued by Neil Giuliano, President of GLADD.
I have updated my last post with the latest developments, but felt I should write this post since many people might not see the updates.
Furthermore I'm asking that if you were one of the people who spread the word about the Amazon story (regardless of whether you called for the boycott), I'm hoping you'll also spread the word about these latest developments as well. Many of you said in the comments of my last post that you have other reasons for disliking Amazon. Fair enough, but I think we owe it to Amazon to help get the truth out there about this situation.