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Some Boys-Love, Yuri Manga Removed from Amazon.com Searches (Update 4)

posted on 2009-04-13 14:39 EDT
Most manga have been restored as of Monday; Amazon issues new statement

A number of bloggers have discovered over the past weekend that gay/lesbian-themed books have been removed from the search results of the Amazon.com online retailer, including some boys-love, yaoi, and yuri titles. As of Monday, a search for "Poison Cherry Drive" returns Modoru Motoni's yaoi manga title on Amazon.ca in Canada, but not on Amazon.com in the United States. The book is still in Amazon.com's catalog, but is accessible only via a direct link. On the other hand, a search for the author Kazuma Kodaka still returns Kizuna, Kiss Me, Teacher, and other boys-love/yaoi titles.

The Comics212 blog and other blogs report that Amazon.com's customer service responded to inquiries on the missing search results with the following message over the weekend:


In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude “adult” material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.


However, Amazon Director of Corporate Communications Patty Smith gave the following response to the Los Angeles Times newspaper's Jacket Copy blog, the Associated Press wire service, and the Publishers Weekly trade magazine on Sunday: "There was a glitch with our sales rank feature that is in the process of being fixed. We're working to correct the problem as quickly as possible." When Jacket Copy noted that the "glitch" affected gay/lesbian-themed books more than others, Smith replied, "Unfortunately, I'm not able to comment further. We're working to resolve the issue, but I don't have any further information." The Okazu blog reports that some authors were informed about this change in sales ranks more than two months ago.

The Jezebel blog has been updating a list of titles that have been affected. The following manga and novel titles no longer appear in search results of all departments in Amazon.com, but do appear on Amazon.ca:



These titles still appear in searches within just the Books department.

Sources: Comics212, Okazu, Icarus Publishing, Kuriousity

Update: Partial list of affected titles, including yuri titles, and a link to a February report on sales rank changes added. Thanks, KZK and poisondusk.

Updae 2: The above titles now appear correctly in search results, although they still do not have sales rank information in their listings.

Update 3: Other titles that now appear in search results, but do not have their sales rank information in their listings, include the following:



Update 4: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper's blog reports on Amazon's latest response from spokesperson Drew Herdener:


This is an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection.

It has been misreported that the issue was limited to Gay & Lesbian themed titles – in fact, it impacted 57,310 books in a number of broad categories such as Health, Mind & Body, Reproductive & Sexual Medicine, and Erotica. This problem impacted books not just in the United States but globally. It affected not just sales rank but also had the effect of removing the books from Amazon's main product search.

Many books have now been fixed and we're in the process of fixing the remainder as quickly as possible, and we intend to implement new measures to make this kind of accident less likely to occur in the future.


Thanks, Tiamats Reviews.

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