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14 April 2009 @ 05:41 pm
Do you know what bothers me?

That everyone jumps on the boycott-Amazon bandwagon, but when an explanation is proffered, it is viewed with disbelief and scorned, even if it might actually be true.

And especially now that there is an explanation, no one is saying anything else about it.

Is it embarrassment, hypocrisy, or is everyone just bored with it?

Why is it so hard to believe that it might just have been a stupid but honest mistake?

And, by the by, I'm not saying this to make trouble, you know. I just feel that if you're going to criticize something, you need to look at all sides of the situation. And maybe, sometimes, give the benefit of a second chance and a moment of consideration. Consider this me being the devil's advocate for awhile.

Because damn, no one else seems willing to take on the role.
babsbybend: sunshinebabsbybend on April 14th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
I missed the whole thing. I saw something about it at "The New Adventures of Queen Victoria", and then a brief news report on a news web page (can't remember if it was Yahoo or msnbc).

Mistakes happen. In a book by Sarah Boyton (The Compleat Book of Turkeys), she pointed out that all it takes is one turkey to really mess stuff up. And there seems to be a flock of them living in my monitor.
Gelseygelsey on April 14th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
I wish I'd missed the whole thing. Bah humbug.

Mistakes happen--but NO ONE seems to be admitting it right now. Amazon has always been rather trustworthy in the past--I don't see why they can't be given a second chance.

Lol. One turkey! *pets your monitor*
(no subject) - babsbybend on April 14th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - gelsey on April 14th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Geek Mama: Jack - Do Not Go Gentle - By Abayuungeekmama on April 14th, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
everyone jumps on the boycott-Amazon bandwagon, but when an explanation is proffered, it is viewed with disbelief and scorned

I find I have to agree with you. It's rather disturbing, but that seems to be par for the course, and the internet, for all it's wonders (and they are many) facilitates that kind of response.

On a related note, I've been reading Salon this morning, and specifically the comments posted to each article, and they seem almost invariably to degenerate into nasty personal attacks. That "post comment" key is awfully easy to push, whether the content is a thoughtful argument or the spewing of trolls.

I just feel that if you're going to criticize something, you need to look at all sides of the situation.

Very true, although some issues produce a quicker, more visceral sense of outrage than others. And who knows? Maybe this glitch would have gone unchecked far longer if it hadn't been for the outcry.
Gelseygelsey on April 14th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
I just hate the unfairness that shows when people aren't willing to wait and find if there is an explanation. I've done it before--and had egg on my face, so to speak. I've learned to wait.

Ugh. I hate how it always becomes a personal dirt war. It's why I'm on so few message groups.

I didn't like what happened at all, and I would have taken up the flag if a reasonable explanation hadn't been proffered. Taking note is one thing, becoming a mob with torches and pitchforks is another thing entirely.
Shivshiv5468 on April 14th, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC)
Well I think the idea is that we already live in a world of straight privilege where being straight means you get the benefit of the doubt all the time. And the gay/queer/transgendered communities don't and have a very hard time finding acceptance. It it was just a tag about porn, then I'd be happy that they backed down / found the glitch. The fact that it was disproportionately aimed at a community that already suffers, is more than Unfortunatem and takes a bit more than oops, sorry, to sort it out.

If they'd done the same thing to authors of colour, I don't see that we'd be sitting round the day afterwards saying that they deserved a second chance. We'd be keeping an eye on them to make sure there were no other glitches. This is waht's going on - we're watching, waiting, seeing that the glitch is mended, and then and only then will they see the colour of my money again. Because I think the issue of discrimination and access to information is so important I'm not prepared to give second chances to organisations lightly.
Gelseygelsey on April 14th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
I know that, yes. I live in one of the more restrictive places in the USA--right in the middle of the Bible belt where I can't even ask the library to order any of these books because of their content, despite it being my right.

I'm not saying to make the second chance easy, but to give it consideration once the mistake has been corrected--there are genuine mistakes, and even if it wasn't, keep an eye on things and continue onward to police it for the future.

According to many of the articles I read today, it wasn't just those books that were affected, though there were a lot of them that were--there were also other innocent things that were part of this glitch.

So, I'm keeping an eye on it, and we'll all see how it goes in the future.
(no subject) - shiv5468 on April 14th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - gelsey on April 15th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
Goddess of Potholes and Puddles: Buggersmeddley on April 15th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
Hrm, I wish I could remember the quote I read one place, but it basically says: don't attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.

...because I can guarantee it's the later that's more prevalent.
Gelseygelsey on April 15th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
Amen to that.

Stupidity is so much more effective.

God save us from malicious stupidity...
(no subject) - smeddley on April 15th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - gelsey on April 15th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
writersblock76 on April 15th, 2009 12:51 am (UTC)
Yeah, stuff like this is exactly why I almost never jump onto any sort of boycott. There are always more sides to a story than we'll probably ever hear, and there's no way of being sure what actually is true or not. *shrug* I just go about my business. If I want a book, I buy a book. I usually just buy the used ones anyway.... ;-)
Gelseygelsey on April 15th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
Yeah. I'm once-burned, twice-shy, so to speak. Safest to watch for awhile and figure otu what's really going on to the best of our ability.

Yes, books. Books books books... and other things. Trying to find the next book in a series now...

I should be writing. See me, not writing.
Lin Thornhilllinthornhill on April 15th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)
I haven't actually commented about the Amazon explanation because, until now, I didn't know there was one.

Now I have to think about it, because I'm not sure I believe them ... but maybe I do. Programming glitches can do many strange things.

Gelseygelsey on April 15th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
Well, we can't be sure... but really, they have a past history of being reliable and not demonstrably prejudiced that I've seen--I've never had any more than normal trouble finding anything I wanted, and I've read some things that might qualify a bit the last year or so.

From what my bro has told me about what little programming he's done, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

And, to be honest... out here in the boonies, there's not too many other places to buy random and specific things. If they hadn't corrected it, I'd find somewhere else to go, but as it is, they're coming off the long weekend and making a big effort ot be sorry and fix it.
firefly_124firefly124 on April 15th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
I didn't jump on the bandwagon until I ran a few searches for myself to see that what everybody and their third cousin said was happening, was, in fact, happening. I also made it clear in my open email to them that I had a problem with the practice of de-ranking books by content, period, though it was definitely the bizarre implementation and the effect it had on not-remotely-"adult" GLBT books that was my last straw.

So even if they are returning the rankings to those books, and even if it was all some colossal stupidity, they've still shaken my trust in what they tell me about their own merchandise. Because what they haven't said is anything about ditching the de-ranking thing itself. Just that some books were inappropriately tagged. And that is still a concern. If they're telling me, "These are the top sellers in this category," I want to be able to believe that doesn't mean, "except the ones we decided to exclude." So, yeah. Trust not all that regained yet.

And I think that's the bottom line in the reactions you're seeing and not seeing: it is very, very easy to lose someone's trust. It's a lot harder to get it back.
Gelseygelsey on April 15th, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
I'm not saying everyone just jumped on it--you, for one, did research. I've seen a lot of other people making a big deal on pure hearsay, and that bothers me.

I agree it should be taken with caution--but giving them a chance to earn back the trust is something I guess I endorse. Perhaps it's my life experiences being on the "wrong" side of things, I don't know.

I do agree that it is harder to get back, though.
(no subject) - firefly124 on April 15th, 2009 11:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - smeddley on April 15th, 2009 03:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - babsbybend on April 15th, 2009 03:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - firefly124 on April 15th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - smeddley on April 15th, 2009 12:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - firefly124 on April 15th, 2009 12:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - smeddley on April 15th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lilian_cho on April 16th, 2009 08:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
lyonzalyonza on April 15th, 2009 07:01 am (UTC)
I missed the wank about Amazon... I was too busy on the weekend to read my flist and it was over by the time I got around to reading about this whole thing.

I've never had trouble with Amazon - its one of the international places I CAN order from. Some refuse to ship over here because of postal theft. (yes, it happens and its not treated as a Federal crime)
Gelseygelsey on April 15th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
Be thankful because I got really tired of it really fast.

I've never had trouble either. They were even exceptionally nice when I had issues with a gift certificate.
dickgloucesterdickgloucester on April 15th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
I'm with you.

And so is akemi42.
Gelseygelsey on April 15th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)