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Author Zoe Margolis Replies to Amazon's alleged censorship

By Lisa Devaney     Apr 13, 2009 in Internet
Within 24 hours, authors of erotic books that found themselves de-ranked on Amazon.com speak out online and in mainstream media, with Zoe Margolis becoming the issue's spokesperson in the UK.
Amazon.com found itself at the centre of a storm of consumer outrage over the Easter holiday weekend, when authors of gay, lesbian and erotic literature took to Twitter to instantly raise awareness that the online bookseller had dropped their titles from the website’s best selling lists.
Angry that books with adult content became de-ranked from Amazon.com search lists, with classics like The Well of Loneliness, Tipping the Velvet, Brokeback Mountain and Lady Chatterly’s Lover disappearing from the website’s listings, popular writers took charge of the issue by alerting thousands of their Twitter followers of the situation. A campaign to start a Googlebomb was also launched, along with an online petition gaining more than 10,000 signatures, and bloggers took up the issue quickly raising attention even further.
Zoe Margolis (@girlonetrack) the author of “Girl With a One-Track Mind” began broadcasting her views about Amazon.com on Sunday using Twitter, saying that:
“This is a serious f**** issue and anyone that cares about censorship and sexual repression should be boycotting Amazon.”
Within 24 hours the issue had reached mainstream news headlines including CNET,and Amazon.com responded to the media calling the situation a “glitch in our system.” The well-connected Margolis attracted her followers attention, including media and celebrities such as Jonathan Ross, and she quickly became a spokesperson for the topic, appearing on Channel 4 news and elsewhere.
“You know what's great? A few hashtags and tweets result in something far better than a boycott: bad publicity - it always works,” she Twittered.
While Amazon.com offered a short statement to mainstream media, they have not responded directly to the thousands of people who expressed views, with many saying they will boycott the bookseller, through Twitter. The online retailer has several Twitter identities, including @amazon, but has not used this presence to address the general public.
“I think the ‘glitch’ was in human judgement and the right thing to do would be step up and apologize.,” commented the Twitter user @yuricon. “What we want: Acknowledge a mistake in policy and in judgement, apologize, then allow us to make our own decisions.”
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