Amazon has changed its search algorit to prevent erotic books from surfacing Unless a user searches for erotic novels.
Amazon is trying to make its vast website a bit less NSFW. The internet giant made some sudden changes to the way that erotic
novels surface in its search results. As a result of the update, erotic novels have been filtered out of the results for main categories and many of their best-selling titles have been relegated into nowhere land.
The move has angered many erotica
authors who say it could lead to a massive dent in revenue.
When a book has been labeled a best-seller, eg Fifty Shades of Grey, it might make the title more likely to appear at the top of search results.
Amazon has yet to issue a statement
on the changes to its search results. However, one author said it received a notice from Amazon via email following inquiry. It said:
We've re-reviewed your book and confirmed that it contains erotic or sexually
We have found that when books are placed in the correct category it increases visibility to customers who are seeking that content.
In addition, we are working on improvements to our store
to further improve our search experience for customers.
It is not yet clear whether the search algorithms have been changed as part of US internet censorship requirements recently passed in the FOSTA that nominally required censorship
of content related to sex trafficking but in fact impacts a much wider range of adult content.
discussion thread on Amazon's Kindle Community forum notes that Amazon has begun removing some previously-published books or stories from its store, and from the Kindle archives.
Readers who have previously downloaded them to their Kindles can
keep them there, but cannot re-download them (and will be refunded the price of purchase assuming Amazon can still find the purchase record).
The story whose removal sparked the discussion was an erotica title called Wicked Lovely by author
Jess C. Scott. The tale dealt with incest, and involved a love scene between a 17 and an 18-year-old. However, Amazon would not tell Scott specifically what caused the removal of her novel. The only response she has received, after repeatedly trying to
contact Amazon for more information, is a form letter.
In addition to Jess Scott, Selena Kitt and Esmerelda Green have also had books with an incest theme recently banned from the site. All of them, incidentally, high in the rankings and in
Selena also reports a print book missing, a title which she published through Amazon-owned Createspace.
TechCrunch reported that Amazon is selling an eBbook titled The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure . The book itself is a disgrace – a how-to guide for pedophiles. It includes, among other things, tips on how to get away with it and how
to avoid sexually transmitted diseases by purchasing condom-like products for children too small to use actual condoms.
The story hit the internet and prompted Amazon.com to issue the statement:
Amazon believes it is censorship not to
sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.
the moment the eBook remains available for sale and download.
A man who wrote a how-to guide for paedophiles was arrested and will be extradited to Polk County, Florida to face obscenity charges, after police there
ordered a copy of the book that has generated online outrage.
Florida' obscenity law – a third-degree felony – prohibits the distribution of obscene material depicting minors engaged in conduct harmful to minors.
experts questioned whether Greaves' right to free speech would come into play if there's a trial. If prosecutors can charge Greaves for shipping his book, they ask, what would prevent booksellers from facing prosecution for selling Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita,
Phillip Greaves has been sentenced to two years' probation. He pleaded no contest to a charge of distributing obscene material depicting minors engaged in harmful
conduct. Greaves will serve the sentence in Colorado, his home state, and will not have to register as a sex offender.