Seattle – Amazon.com (NASD: AMZN) said on Monday that a "ham-fisted cataloging error" caused thousands of gay-themed books to be classified as "adult" literature and de-ranked from its online store, the Seattle Times reports. "This is an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection," Drew Herdener, communications director at Amazon, told the Times.
"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 books from Amazon’s main product search."
The company had previously blamed the de-ranking of LGBT-related books on a "glitch," after the matter was first reported by author Mark Probst and publicized widely on Twitter under the hashtag #amazonfail.