“brutal_honesty” links to someone who was “the only person to figure it out,” someone called “dely,” writing at another livejournal blog (why does anyone use livejournal? God I hate that format).
Basically, #amazonfail is the name for a brewing Internet shitstorm that started some time on Easter Sunday regarding Amazon.com’s sudden decision to blacklist any books with LGBT(QQI) content from appearing in best-seller lists or search results. The blacklist also apparently extends to books with feminist themes, books about dealing with rape, etc. Initial complaints to Amazon resulted in the following stock response, which just angered people more: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.
He describes some previous examples of this tactic by ultra-trolls, including one against Six Apart, who dely worked for (they do Movable Type/Typepad , the blogging software/community). He then goes on (bold mine):
Amazon will spend weeks cleaning up this PR mess. Trust will be destroyed for many, and may not ever be repaired for some. People have already mentioned canceling orders and canceling accounts, and by this time the controversy has found its way to MSM blogs and newspapers. […]
This whole event also brings to mind an ongoing debate I’ve had about the merits of trolling, which I define in its simplest form as “exploiting and demonstrating the weaknesses of online trust relationships“. In this case, it is Amazon’s trust relationship with its users, upon whom they rely to flag objectionable content.
In other words, on the internet, where no one knows you’re a dog, trust is built up by using such things as repeating names/nicknames, by the strength of your argument, but also, by tools that various platforms use to allow feedback, ratings and other user-generated content and data. But online trust is fragile and prone to quick breakdown.
To my mind, this really isn’t that far from actual in person human relationships, but it is an interesting discussion none the less.