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Amazon: Our Error Caused Gay Books Row


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Amazon has blamed a "ham-fisted" error for the disappearance of gay authors from its best-seller lists.

Famous books including Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx were removed from best-seller lists and became near-impossible to search for.

Speculation has been rife online that texts about sexuality or by gay authors were censored by the web giant.

One blogger claimed responsibility for the glitch, saying he was angry with the gay community.

But Amazon has insisted it was an internal mistake.


An "embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error," was responsible, spokesman Andrew Herdener said.

He said 57,310 books had been affected, ranging from gay and lesbian literature to health and erotica.

Amazon initially said the rankings disappeared because the books were classified as "adult".

They then blamed a temporary "glitch" and now say it was their own "error".

Author Gore Vidal found his writings were removed from best-seller lists.

"Why don't they just burn the books? They'd be better off and it's very visual on television," he said.

Amazon's statement has failed to extinguish much of the online chatter, with some speculating that the e-shop wanted to become more "family-friendly".

Twitter users posted on the row in their thousands, using the tag #Amazonfail.

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