So it started with this: http://booksquare.com/open-letter-to-amazon-regarding-recent-policy-changes/
My first comment was that I had a dollar that says someone at Amazon loses a job over this once it gets corrected. Amazon has always been reasonably market savvy - this is a fail of epic proportion. "Should be interesting to watch this play out over the next week." (Prediction Fail.)
A week, Mr. Big Ugly Man Doll? This is the INTERNET. Try less than 24 hours. Right now, watching the latest, a hacker is claiming credit: http://www.pcworld.com/article/163024/hacker_claims_credit_for_amazons_gaythemed_book_glitch.html
This puts Amazon in a real bind from the PR perspective - do we admit fault and look like buttheads for being bigoted pigs, or do we blame the hacker and look like buttheads because we got burned? Firing some sacrificial middle manager makes it go away faster and doesn't look as bad as "we can get hacked, you might not be able to trust that the site wasn't compromised." Bad scene all around. No one wins.
On the other hand, SOBUMD's first comment when I told her some hacker has claimed credit was "How much did they pay him?" Not really that farfetched....
The whole kerfuffle does raise questions similar to an arms race, though - who can respond faster?
- Amazon has a *legal* right to decide which books it carries.
- The government has a legal and moral obligation to both uphold the law and prevent discrimination.
- Big Media can bias any given story in whatever direction it feels will help continued sales.
- The mob market has a growing ability to inflict damage where it will as it feels justified.
Should be fun to watch this play out.