This NYT story is getting some pickup across the mainstream mediasphere, it demonstrates how search and clickstream habits can create sticky political wickets. From the piece:
Amazon.com last week modified its search engine after an abortion rights organization complained that search results appeared skewed toward anti-abortion books.
Until a few days ago, a search of Amazon’s catalog of books using the word “abortion” turned up pages with the question, “Did you mean adoption?” at the top, followed by a list of books related to abortion.
Amazon removed that question from the search results page after it received a complaint from a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, a national organization based in Washington.
In short, it seemed to the pro-choice group that Amazon had an editorial opinion. I am quite sure this is not true (Amazon denies it), but it’s yet another example of how we see ourselves reflected – at least how we wish to see ourselves reflected – in the cultural mirror that is search. Amazon decided to disable the search suggestion, which, to be honest, *is* an editorial decision.