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April 14th, 2009

11:05 AM

Trying to make sense of AmazonFail


It's nice to know that I'm not the only one puzzled by why a money-grubby monopolistic business like Amazon will suddenly develop an allergy to some of its biggest selling items. Currently there are many theories floating around.

One, it's a concerted act of mischief by folks with too much time on their hands, exploiting the tagging system to humiliate Amazon for the lulz.

Two, Amazon wanted to create some kind of search algorithm, probably the same one that keeps sex toys from search results unless you are specifically looking for such things, maybe to quietly placate some right-wing investors of Amazon. But some programmer got lazy and screwed up by coming up with a most ineffective program that blows up on Amazon's face spectacularly.

Three, this is the act of a bunch of militant right-wing folks within Amazon's staff who don't care if they get fired as long as they get to pull off what they did.

Four, Jeff Bezos joined a fundamentalist church. Okay, that's my theory.

But honestly, I'm puzzled as to why a big business like Amazon will suddenly pull of a stunt like this. We are talking about a company who voluntarily stocked up on sex toys and adult films without anyone (as far as I know) asking for them to do so. For them to do this is just odd.

2 comment(s).

Posted by RfP:

That's why I find the "coding error in France" news story totally believable. Amazon isn't stupid, and to de-list sexual material would be stupid. To de-list erotic romance but not sex toys would be well beyond stupid.
April 14th, 2009 @ 12:24 PM

Posted by B:

One thing about Amazon: The ass usually doesn't know what the elbow is doing, so to speak.

I wouldn't actually be surprised if one segment of Amazon did this without another segment knowing. Past experience has show me that their various departments barely seemed to know each other exist, let alone what's going on in each. Or what's going on period, as is often the case with customer service.

But whether they know what's going on or not, the one thing you can always count on them to do is lie. The trick here is figuring out which answer is the lie.
April 14th, 2009 @ 2:57 PM