Amazon update

One of the negative features of kerfuffles is that the outrage tends to spread a lot farther than the eventual explanation does. Not that this explanation doesn’t have its own problems, but it’s better than the “lobotomy + homophobia = FAIL” equation people at first assumed.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the thing was a consequence of what strikes me as an extraordinarily dumb programming decision. Somebody made an erroneous category-edit in France, and it propagated from Amazon.fr through to all the rest of them. This has more discussion of Amazon’s internal operations, and how errors like this end up happening.

What’s the line about never attributing to malevolence what can be explained by mere stupidity? I suspect Amazon’s site architecture could use some work.

0 Responses to “Amazon update”

  1. d_c_m

    Howdy! Ya’ know, I’ve kinda thought the same thing.

  2. tooth_and_claw

    That french story, though picked up by the paper here, is only one of many explinations (included it being ‘an experiment’.) It does appear that this has been some sort of glitch, and not malicious– but the fact that not a one of the employess can give the same answer, and that it’s been happening since february, is quite annoying. Thank goodness the company is backpeddling, however it happened.

    Jezebel has a nice write up of the situation here: http://jezebel.com/5210647/amazon-is-embarrassed-by-ham+fisted-cataloging-error

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