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Amazon Quietly Censoring Bookcovers

Nom du Keyboard (633989) writes | more than 3 years ago


Nom du Keyboard (633989) writes "It seems that Amazon has embarked on a new policy of quiet bookcover censorship. It's possible that they were spooked by this hit piece in Slate, or there may be some other reason, but bookcovers featuring even tasteful nudity have been removed from the "All Departments" general search. Of course they never made this a public announcement; books just started disappearing from their general search without notice. Authors and publishers are being left with two choices: 1) Redo the cover to remove the nudity. 2) Have your title relegated to only Erotica searches for now. Their alleged excuse is that some minor might accidentally stumble upon an offending cover, but this seems to overlook the obvious fact that even with the cover changed Amazon is still selling the same unaltered content to that, or any other, purchaser. And is this only the first step for them? So far this hasn't apparently spread to other eTailers such as Fictionwise, making it possible to compare erotic titles on the two sites and see the Amazon required censorship in the changed cover art. So how do you feel about Amazon setting these rules for everyone?"

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Safesearch (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33847486)

My first thought is that this is like Google's safesearch. By default, Google turns safesearch on in moderate mode and does its best to filter pictures of boobies when someone does an image search for "milk", for example. However, users can turn it off and get unfiltered results or crank it up to use strict filtering... and even password protect the settings [] if they choose. If Amazon implemented a similar mechanism and alerted people directly within the search results page that their searches may be filtered, I would have no problem with it. Adults can make their own decisions and turn the filtering off. However, if there's no notification of the filtering and no means to change the filter's behavior then it would appear to be little more than Amazon forcing its morality on all users.

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