Amazon has denied banning gay and lesbian books from its searches and best-seller lists. The on-line retailer has issued a statement saying that the removal of these books, along with thousands of others designated as 'Adult' by Amazon, was a mistake.
The problem was caused because of the way Amazon adapts its search results based on a profile that it builds up about the person accessing the site. If you regularly search for books about Gardening, for example, Amazon will adapt the information it gives you taking this into account. The popularity rankings for books then reflect the information from searches and purchasing.
The problems surfaced on Saturday after Amazon stopped including information collected from searches by British MPs and their spouses. The sudden reduction in searches for 'Adult' books resulted in many highly-ranked books plummeting out of the popularity lists.
This coincided with the effect of Amazon removing a recommendation list called 'Top-ten Dodgy Favourite Books of Tory Politicians' by Damian McBride.