#amazonFail: The 21st Century Lynch Mob

If ever there were a fascinating time for sociologists and modern day communication, this is it. Spreading as quickly as some of the most virulent computer worms, news broke that Amazon.com had apparently deranked any and all books associated with homosexual topics or authors. A lot of disinformation and speculation as to the cause of the incident only fueled the controversy, but the real story here is the wildfire response in the form of tweets.

Digital torches and pitchforks were instantly raised and paraded all over the world in protest of Amazon's obvious anti-gay and lesbian stance. Confusion set in when it was claimed that a hacker was in fact the perp. Some thought it was an elaborate hoax, but in the end it was reported by Amazon to be a simple internal 'glitch'.

It's interesting to see how quickly this righteous indignation flared into a mission of anti-Amazon sentiment, but even more than that it shows how little we have progressed from our nineteenth--or even twentieth--century forebears. The instruments may have changed from nooses to tweets, but the intent hasn't really changed--humanity was out for a 21st century lynching.

Posted on Apr 16
Written by Wayne Hartman