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[For background on #AmazonFAIL, see my article at the Women's Media Center, and this post from yesterday.] Amazon is blaming their PR nightmare on their French brethren. While this still sounds sort of suspicious to me -- it reeks of, "I totally have a girlfriend; you just haven't met her because she lives in FRANCE" -- I'll run with it for the sake of the teaching moment that we have. Let me sooth my own inner conspirist, though, by saying that I find it extremely bizarre that this swath of books were all taken down together, at the same time. So, you're a global corporate giant, and you've got a PR nightmare on your hands. You learn quickly that the storming of your castle is happening on social networks and media like Twitter and Facebook. If you're looking to make the situation exponentially worse, here's what you should do:

[For background on what AmazonFAIL is, see my article at the Women's Media Center.] As the day has worn on, more parts of the story are unfolding, and all these little tidbits at the intersection of tech, culture, media and commerce are more than fascinating. This is the kind of story that sends me down the rabbit hole of musing for days. Let's start with the tech side of things According to Jessica Valenti (and her publisher, Seal Press), Amazon reps are claiming that this is a purely internal issue caused by the mysteriously "glitch" spoken of last night. I don't think the reps know what they're talking about, frankly. What I think is going on: there is a severe vulnerability in the Amazon flagging-for-inappropriate system, and it's been found and exploited by one or more nerds with too much time on their hands. Amazon's mistake, vis a vis the brave new world of social media, is two-fold:

iranian_protest_election_results_26There's a ton of great material out there on the nuances of the Iranian election and protests, and I just want to quickly throw some thoughts into the ring. First, from an American media perspective, here was another great moment for folks to demand what they wanted to see covered on national news media. What a moment of media dissonance: As protests erupted -- and in some cases, turned violent -- in the streets of Tehran and elsewhere in Iran, major broadcast media in the US had little to no news on the events at all. By using the hashtag1 #CNNfail to collect all of the dissatisfaction on Twitter, Americans were able to shift the focus of the conversation and eventually influence CNN's decision makers to start covering stories by Sunday.
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