• This blog post which interviews a purported Amazonn “insider” is probably as close as we’ll get to what really happened when over 50,000 books pegged as adult- or gay-themed were purged from Amazon’s rankings. The short version, as always, is “Blame France!”:
By this time, Amazon.com had upgraded the problem to Sev-1. (Amazon.com breaks down its operational issues in terms of severity levels. Sev-3 means a problem affects a single user. Sev-2 is a problem that affects a company, or a lot of people. Sev-1 is reserved for the most critical operational issues and often are sent up the management chain to the senior vice president level.)
“People got pulled away from their Easter thing when this whole thing broke,” the employee said. “It was just a screwup.”
Amazon.com employees are on call 24/7, and many began working on the problem from home. It didn’t take much digging to realize that there was a data error.
Amazon managers found that an employee who happened to work in France had filled out a field incorrectly and more than 50,000 items got flipped over to be flagged as “adult,” the source said. (Technically, the flag for adult content was flipped from ‘false’ to ‘true.’)
• Mike Kunkel is off DC’s little kid-themed BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM, and Art Baltazar and Franco are on.
• Steven Grant and Mat Santolouco’s comic, 2 GUNS, is in development by Blake Masters, creator of Showtime’s Brotherhood.