I Am Boycotting Amazon

Those who know me know that I am a serious bibliophile, and when I say I am cutting off one of my major book suppliers it means I am seriously irked at their behaviour.

I buy almost as many books from Amazon as I do from Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble together. The latter two are my major bricks-and-mortar dealers, Amazon my online dealer. I buy more from Amazon largely because of the ability to search for books.

Amazon have just changed their search policy to exclude books which aare deemed “offensive” — not deemed offensive by me, mind, or even by some weighted algorithm based on my buying habits. No, some blue-nosed prude will be prejudging what results I’m allowed to see before I make a buying decision.

(I say blue-nosed because apparently Lady Chatterly’s Lover and Tropic of Capricorn are not suitable for my eyes, whereas Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are. I don’t want these people deciding for me what is offensive.)

I don’t find it acceptable that Amazon should pre-judge what I want to see in my searches for books. It’s their right as a vendor to change their presentation of results, of course, but it’s also my prerogative to refuse them my custom, and that’s what I’m doing.

If you’re interested in supporting this protest, please sign the petition at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/in-protest-at-amazons-new-adult-policy to let Amazon know you don’t approve of them making prejudgements of literary acceptability for you.

I’d also encourage you to do your online book shopping elsewhere until Amazon reverses this policy.


~ by B.T. Murtagh on April 13, 2009.

3 Responses to “I Am Boycotting Amazon”

  1. I’ve been hearing about this on twitter. Seems a strange policy to implement. I mean, most ppl search by title, or by author, or click on the related books links. The actual possibility of getting a search result that is relevant to you, but also offensive to you seems highly unlikely.

  2. It’s the related books links which are most relevant. The new policy artificially excludes the “offensive” books from the list. Again, they don’t seem concerned about what books are offensive to me; they are restricting me from even seeing books which are offensive to somebody else. I don’t much care for that. As I said, it’s their right to restrict the wares they offer, but it’s mine to respond by denying them my custom altogether.

  3. […] 21, 2009 I heard about Amazon’s new adult content policy via QuarkScrew. When I learned that B.T. was boycotting Amazon, I knew something was seriously […]

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