Author Topic: RESOLVED: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 7, #161)  (Read 12178 times)  

Offline J Bridger

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #125 on: September 05, 2017, 05:35:23 PM »
Wait I got confused. Is Playster related or owned by the LDS?

Offline Sam B

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #126 on: September 05, 2017, 05:52:52 PM »
Wait I got confused. Is Playster related or owned by the LDS?

I gave it a quick search and didn't find any information that indicated as such. I think it was an example that got out of hand.

Gotta say, though, just reading the complaint and Playster's response to the most cishet dude I know, and he said "Wait, did they just say that LGBT is the same as pedophilia?" If that was his first thought, other people can hardly be blamed for thinking that was the intent of the comments from the company.

I'm in KU, so this won't affect my current choices, but it's already affected any future changes I might make.

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Offline WHDean

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #127 on: September 05, 2017, 06:22:11 PM »
I bet publishing companies/publications with observant Jewish owners have published bacon recipes. Not everyone applies their religious practices/beliefs to their business decisions in a directly prohibitive sort of way; rather, they see themselves as serving a community that includes people who are like them and not like them. But yeah, so far as I know you're correct that a retailer would be legally permitted to exclude LGBT+ books if it wanted to so for religious reasons, at least here in the U.S. I'm sure there are already a number of specialty bookstores around the country that do just that. But I would like retailers who do it to be publicly clear about what they're doing. That way those of us who don't like it can spend our money elsewhere.

Really, Becca? Since when does a retailer in a free country need any kind of reason not to sell something? Did you ask Costco or, for that matter, Home Depot, to justify to you why they don't sell gay romance? By your reasoning, Toys R Us should publicly justify why it doesn't sell sex toys because sex toys are toys and the retailer "claims" to sell toys.
 
And if retailers have to justify themselves, why not suppliers? Would you please explain to us why you don't write gay romances? I'd like to know so I can buy someone else's books if I don't like your answer. Or maybe I'll follow your lead and wonder out loud on my blog why you don't, along with little insinuations about your motives. As you say, the best way to get a response is to cause a fuss.
 
Quote
See, this is where Playster's explanation strikes me as problematic. If the "erotica" tag is what they're using to filter out submissions in an abundance of caution over that small percentage of erotica with underage stuff, how did Brian's sci-fi adventures end up with an "erotica" tag and get filtered out? EITHER books like Brian's are being caught through some other mechanism than an "erotica" tag OR they're having the "erotica" tag placed on them ... by Playster? ... because they're tagged "gay" or "lesbian"?

If you'd bothered to search Playster for the terms "lesbian" and "gay," you'd know that a whole lot of stuff that goes a whole lot further than kissy romance is on sale there. How does that fit your conspiracy charge? They're selling lesbian porn, but not lesbian romance because they're...what, exactly? The firm obviously has a curation problem that they're trying to fix in the same hamfisted way Amazon does. Seems to me like you're throwing gas on the fire.

 
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 06:24:08 PM by WHDean »

Offline ivyquinn

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #128 on: September 05, 2017, 07:08:04 PM »
Quote
Really, Becca? Since when does a retailer in a free country need any kind of reason not to sell something? Did you ask Costco or, for that matter, Home Depot, to justify to you why they don't sell gay romance? By your reasoning, Toys R Us should publicly justify why it doesn't sell sex toys because sex toys are toys and the retailer "claims" to sell toys.

This seems a bit like a slippery slope. No one was talking about sex toys at Toys 'R Us. We were talking about stories that don't contain explicit erotica being rejected by that metric. We're also talking about a reasoning related to underaged erotica issues that don't seem relevant to submitted books that had no underage protagonists in them. Also Home Depot doesn't even sell books. Costco, it would be an interesting question to ask them, to be honest.

My feeling is this. If you as a business refuse to sell items that have lgbt characters or are friendly to lgbt people, then, yeah, that needs to be questioned. If we were asking why you excluded handicapped people, people of color, or people of uncommon faiths, it wouldn't even be about "pouring gas on a fire." People would be upset because of violations in the 14th amendment and equal protection clause and public decency. But when it's excluding LGBT or equating that in the excuses, perhaps inadvertantly, with child pornography. Yeah. That's a problem for me.

It's like the podcast, The Scathing Atheist says, if you can substitute in "person of color" for "Lgbt individual" and it would make you cringed and think back to segregation days, then it's probably wrong. Somehow, it seems to me, when gay or lesbian or other LGBT+ discrimination happens it can often be seen as an "agenda" or "making a fuss" or a "witch hunt," etc. But discrimination is wrong. I do hope that Playster is working really, really hard to fix this and never have this glitch again, but the reasons they've offered so far seem confusing and contradictory and it's very hurtful ot LGBT writers and those who write LGBT stories, and it makes us feel like rejected, second class citizens.

Offline veinglory

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #129 on: September 05, 2017, 07:52:12 PM »
There is stuff that "goes further" because these rules apply to new and revised material only.   So that material existing does not prove that the approval rules are unbiased.
 

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #130 on: September 05, 2017, 08:21:01 PM »
This is what I'm having trouble understanding, too. Somewhere along the line, LGBT books seem to be getting an erotica tag, whether they actually contain sexual content or not.

I'm sorry, X. I know exactly how frustrated you are!

There's long been a misunderstanding of the differences between romance, erotic romance, and erotica. I think your explanation sums it up perfectly:

I was already considering putting Any Other Love in KU after it'd been wide for a couple of weeks. This issue has made the decision for me. While I appreciate D2D and Playster's efforts to look into things and realize their exclusion may not be intentional, something is still amiss. I have a background in programming and, while I wouldn't call myself an expert, I do know that it is possible to filter out erotica without throwing out the baby (LGBT fiction) with the bathwater (LGBT and other erotica). I would really like for Playster's tagging process to be more transparent and for their content guidelines to be more clear.

If Playster's system is automatically tagging LGBT fiction as erotica, then I believe more finessed functions should be written. The way that BISAC is organized, erotica appears as its own category (http://bisg.org/page/Fiction).

FIC005000    FICTION / Erotica / General
FIC005010    FICTION / Erotica / BDSM
FIC005020    FICTION / Erotica / Collections & Anthologies
FIC005030    FICTION / Erotica / Gay
FIC005040    FICTION / Erotica / Lesbian

FIC005050    FICTION / Erotica / Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
FIC005060    FICTION / Erotica / Traditional Victorian

LGBT fiction is its own, very separate category:

FIC068000    FICTION / LGBT / General *
FIC011000    FICTION / LGBT / Gay
FIC018000    FICTION / LGBT / Lesbian

Romance has its own erotica and LGBT subcategories, but they are definitely not the same thing:

FIC027000    FICTION / Romance / General
FIC027260    FICTION / Romance / Action & Adventure
FIC049060    FICTION / Romance / African American
FIC027270    FICTION / Romance / Clean & Wholesome
FIC027080    FICTION / Romance / Collections & Anthologies
FIC027020    FICTION / Romance / Contemporary
FIC027010    FICTION / Romance / Erotica
FIC027030    FICTION / Romance / Fantasy
FIC027050    FICTION / Romance / Historical / General
FIC027140    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Ancient World
FIC027150    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Medieval
FIC027070    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Regency
FIC027160    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Scottish
FIC027280    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Tudor
FIC027200    FICTION / Romance / Historical / 20th Century
FIC027170    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Victorian
FIC027180    FICTION / Romance / Historical / Viking
FIC027290    FICTION / Romance / Holiday
FIC027300    FICTION / Romance / LGBT / General
FIC027190    FICTION / Romance / LGBT / Gay
FIC027210    FICTION / Romance / LGBT / Lesbian

FIC027220    FICTION / Romance / Military
FIC027230    FICTION / Romance / Multicultural & Interracial
FIC027240    FICTION / Romance / New Adult
FIC027120    FICTION / Romance / Paranormal / General
FIC027310    FICTION / Romance / Paranormal / Shifters
FIC027320    FICTION / Romance / Paranormal / Vampires
FIC027250    FICTION / Romance / Romantic Comedy
FIC027130    FICTION / Romance / Science Fiction
FIC027330    FICTION / Romance / Sports
FIC027110    FICTION / Romance / Suspense
FIC027090    FICTION / Romance / Time Travel
FIC027100    FICTION / Romance / Western

Now, BISAC's website notes that codes with asterisks were added in 2016. So this may be an issue of category confusion, because they're new. Still, it should be possible for Playster's team to parse erotica from LGBT general fiction and romance.

It's worth noting, also, that romance has its own "Clean & Wholesome" category.
And let's remember that not all novels with LGBT characters are romances at all. All genres may have LGBT characters.

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #131 on: September 05, 2017, 08:25:02 PM »
We can assure you that Playster is in absolutely no way discriminating against LGBTQ+ content.  We've been receiving books with underage characters, and therefore put a temporary ban on all books labelled 'erotica' that are delivered from self-publishing platforms.  We acknowledge that this is a cautious approach, but we're working diligently towards a long-term resolution.  We're committed to providing authors with an alternative revenue stream but, as a small company, we don't yet have a QA team large enough to go through books at the rate we receive them.

We're taking all of your comments into consideration, and we're investigating the possibility that some books have been mislabeled. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this.

Nope. That has nothing to do with excluding novels in other genres such as SFF with LGBT characters. You would have to explain how those with no sexual content got into 'erotica'.

That is a huge FAIL as an excuse.

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #132 on: September 05, 2017, 08:32:08 PM »
Really, Becca? Since when does a retailer in a free country need any kind of reason not to sell something? Did you ask Costco or, for that matter, Home Depot, to justify to you why they don't sell gay romance? By your reasoning, Toys R Us should publicly justify why it doesn't sell sex toys because sex toys are toys and the retailer "claims" to sell toys.
 
-snip-
A retailed doesn't have to supply a reason. However, I can certainly choose not to do business with them and suggest others do the same (just as I do with certain other LBGT-hostile companies) and I certainly do not have to accept lame excuses.

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Offline J Bridger

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #133 on: September 05, 2017, 08:34:19 PM »
Exactly JR Tomlin = well said.

Offline elizabethbarone

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #134 on: September 06, 2017, 06:47:53 AM »
And let's remember that not all novels with LGBT characters are romances at all. All genres may have LGBT characters.

Absolutely, though I haven't heard from any authors whose books feature LGBT characters but aren't tagged as LGBT, yet have been rejected. It seems only books using LGBT BISAC codes were axed. I know of some authors whose m/f or LGBT erotica was rejected, too, but unfortunately Playster's written policy clearly states no erotica whatsoever, so I can understand that decision.

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Offline WHDean

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #135 on: September 06, 2017, 07:08:56 AM »
This seems a bit like a slippery slope. No one was talking about sex toys at Toys 'R Us. We were talking about stories that don't contain explicit erotica being rejected by that metric. We're also talking about a reasoning related to underaged erotica issues that don't seem relevant to submitted books that had no underage protagonists in them. Also Home Depot doesn't even sell books. Costco, it would be an interesting question to ask them, to be honest.

My feeling is this. If you as a business refuse to sell items that have lgbt characters or are friendly to lgbt people, then, yeah, that needs to be questioned. If we were asking why you excluded handicapped people, people of color, or people of uncommon faiths, it wouldn't even be about "pouring gas on a fire." People would be upset because of violations in the 14th amendment and equal protection clause and public decency. But when it's excluding LGBT or equating that in the excuses, perhaps inadvertantly, with child pornography. Yeah. That's a problem for me.

It's like the podcast, The Scathing Atheist says, if you can substitute in "person of color" for "Lgbt individual" and it would make you cringed and think back to segregation days, then it's probably wrong. Somehow, it seems to me, when gay or lesbian or other LGBT+ discrimination happens it can often be seen as an "agenda" or "making a fuss" or a "witch hunt," etc. But discrimination is wrong. I do hope that Playster is working really, really hard to fix this and never have this glitch again, but the reasons they've offered so far seem confusing and contradictory and it's very hurtful ot LGBT writers and those who write LGBT stories, and it makes us feel like rejected, second class citizens.

The OP informs us about a problem for anyone doing business with Playster. Even if you don't sell LGBT-themed books, you now know the retailer has a curation problem. Maybe they're solving the problem by getting rid of all such books. Maybe there's another more sinister motive. Either way, all we know is who's being targeted for now. I can't fault Elizabeth for raising this.

I can also understand the people affected being upset, and I can sympathize as a small business person trying to make a buck. But this thread has degenerated into a witch hunt. The only explanation accepted is that Playster is evil and must be denounced. Playster's explanations were rejected because everyone knows the "real reason" is they're evil. Everything they said was turned into an insult or treated as a transparent lie. You seem reflective to me, but even you've bought into the "Playster equated LGBT people with pedophiles!" interpretation.   

If Playster follows the usual PR script, they won't be back here. I don't blame them. Anyone can see that people here have made up their minds and nothing Playster says will be believed. All they can do is make things worse. And that's why public justifications don't work. Anyone whose mind is made up can twist the justification into an indictment, and there's no way to prove your innocence. That's the point of the Toys R Us example. Just think it through: There's no way the firm can justify not selling sex toys. The slippery slope comes from putting the onus on others to justify what they don't do.

(By the way, Home Depot does sell books.)




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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #136 on: September 06, 2017, 07:58:12 AM »
Absolutely, though I haven't heard from any authors whose books feature LGBT characters but aren't tagged as LGBT, yet have been rejected. It seems only books using LGBT BISAC codes were axed. I know of some authors whose m/f or LGBT erotica was rejected, too, but unfortunately Playster's written policy clearly states no erotica whatsoever, so I can understand that decision.

One of my books does have LGBT characters in it, but I didn't label it LGBT. That book was accepted by Playster. I've since removed my titles from Playster, so it's a moot point.

Offline veinglory

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #137 on: September 06, 2017, 08:09:47 AM »
I think people have made up their mind that Playster pushed a button that rejected gay content but not equivalent straight content, because that's what happened.  They need to fix it and be transparent about fixing it.  That is what counts as PR these days--not vague and inaccurate statements.
 

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #138 on: September 06, 2017, 08:15:04 AM »
*waves* Mormon Romance writer here, who has STEAM in her comtemp romance novels and also involves same sex couples in her books. While not focused on LGBT, I'm certainly not going to avoid that segment of society.  I like my books to be set in the real world (even if I make places up!) and have a real feel. Same reason I'm not going to ignore POC in my works; just because I'm a straight white Mormon woman, doesn't mean I'm going to write only straight white Mormon people! 

FFS, Steph Meyer can write about sparkly vampires, bonding babies with werewolves, and all that sorta stuff, as a mormon, I think we LDS can be a little open-minded every now and again :) 

The world is diverse, that's what makes it interesting!

ETA:  Is Playster owned by LDS?  Is that why this came up?

I don't know if Playster is owned by Mormons. I might have caused someone to believe it is, but I was just using Mormons off the top of my head without trying to connect them to the industry or even in being too straight to accept MM. It was just the first religion I picked. Insert any religion/denomination in their place.

I'm a Jesus freak and write all kinds of steamy erotica. While I have yet to dance into the MM or FF niches, I have written plenty of stories with bisexual elements in them; Making a Menage, for one.

I have some Mormon relatives; that's probably why they popped into my head first.  ;D
 

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #139 on: September 06, 2017, 08:16:17 AM »
Playster's explanations were rejected because everyone knows the "real reason" is they're evil.
I think Playster's explanation was rejected because it doesn't fit the facts. "We were having a problem with erotica, so we're rejecting all erotica while we clean house" doesn't really cover why they're also rejecting non-erotica with the LGBT tag.

Offline veinglory

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #140 on: September 06, 2017, 09:10:50 AM »
I think the suggestion that they coded GLBT as erotica fits the information that we have--and is a common error.  That puts it under someone's implicit bias rather than top level explicit discrimination.
 

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #141 on: September 06, 2017, 09:12:53 AM »
Isn't this the same outfit that was using misleading ads that claimed they had books available that they didn't, leading people to think they were a pirate crew?

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #142 on: September 06, 2017, 10:33:45 AM »
I think Playster's explanation was rejected because it doesn't fit the facts. "We were having a problem with erotica, so we're rejecting all erotica while we clean house" doesn't really cover why they're also rejecting non-erotica with the LGBT tag.

People took some facts and jumped to an anti-LGBT motive. Once they assumed bad faith on Playster's behalf, they dismissed all facts inconsistent with this conclusion as lies. Even the fact that Playster didn't instantly dispatch someone to explain to everyone what was going on was cited as evidence of malfeasance, instead of simple incompetence or limitations. I can understand why, but it doesn't change the fact that it's jumping to conclusions.

As I pointed out above, a search for "gay" and "lesbian" a few days ago turned up a bunch of romance and erotica. Judging by the titles, some of the latter crosses legal lines in some U.S. states and Canada (can't say for sure, though, and I don't know whether it's still there). Second, your conclusion that Playster's explanation "doesn't really cover why they're also rejecting non-erotica with the LGBT tag" assumes all those books were categorized properly, that Playster's spokesperson got the facts right and complete, and that Playster has a handle on what they're doing. How often do any of these things happen in something as convoluted as this? Unless you assume bad faith and interpret this as more lies, everything is still up in the air.

By the way, I'm not defending--let alone endorsing--Playster. I have no business with them and only heard of the outfit recently. I'm only arguing against the witch-hunt mentality because it's not helping anyone.


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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #143 on: September 06, 2017, 10:35:00 AM »
Isn't this the same outfit that was using misleading ads that claimed they had books available that they didn't, leading people to think they were a pirate crew?
Yes, they had truckloads of fly-by-night apparently largely Russian affiliate sites trying to funnel subscribers by pretending Playster had whatever books you were searching for, that they didn't in fact have.

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #144 on: September 06, 2017, 11:03:18 AM »
Really, Becca? Since when does a retailer in a free country need any kind of reason not to sell something? Did you ask Costco or, for that matter, Home Depot, to justify to you why they don't sell gay romance? By your reasoning, Toys R Us should publicly justify why it doesn't sell sex toys because sex toys are toys and the retailer "claims" to sell toys.

If you present yourself as a specialist retailer within a category, then you're letting shoppers know that you only carry a limited subset of that category. For instance, if you call your business a "feminist bookstore" or a "Christian bookstore," then you're publicly owning the fact that you only sell certain types of books and exclude other types. That seems fine to me. If there's a consumer out there who thinks feminism is evil, they can direct their dollars elsewhere, even if they have to buy The Beauty Myth or Backlash for a class they're taking. But if you present yourself as a general bookstore with an unlimited catalog while excluding a subset of books someone might reasonably expect to find in a general bookstore, given the time and culture in which your store is operating, that's more problematic. A helpful analogy would not be Toys-R-Us refusing to sell sex toys -- because despite the word "toys" appearing in both labels, the average person would not put children's toys and sex toys in the same retail category -- but rather Toys-R-Us refusing to sell a potentially controversial subcategory of children's toys. Barbies, for instance, or baby dolls with dark skin.

And if retailers have to justify themselves, why not suppliers? Would you please explain to us why you don't write gay romances? I'd like to know so I can buy someone else's books if I don't like your answer. Or maybe I'll follow your lead and wonder out loud on my blog why you don't, along with little insinuations about your motives. As you say, the best way to get a response is to cause a fuss.

I don't write romance because I'd totally stink at it.

My books do include LGBT characters. If they didn't include LGBT characters in settings where one might reasonably expect to find LGBT people (i.e., any sizable gathering of people and a reasonable percentage of small gatherings), it'd be perfectly fair to ask why. If you were to read my books and decide there's not enough representation of LGBT people, and you'd rather support authors who do a better job in that area and/or tell me I've done a bad job, fair enough. You could do it in a blog post. Again, fair enough. I'd read it and think about it.

If you'd bothered to search Playster for the terms "lesbian" and "gay," you'd know that a whole lot of stuff that goes a whole lot further than kissy romance is on sale there. How does that fit your conspiracy charge? They're selling lesbian porn, but not lesbian romance because they're...what, exactly? The firm obviously has a curation problem that they're trying to fix in the same hamfisted way Amazon does. Seems to me like you're throwing gas on the fire.

I don't recall saying there was a conspiracy. I think you're probably right that Playster "has a curation problem that they're trying to fix in the same hamfisted way Amazon does," and I think they would've kept right on doing it the way they've been doing it -- by excluding newly submitted/updated books with LGBT tags -- if we and D2D hadn't focused their attention on the problem. Making dumb decisions and having those decisions called to their attention, sometimes angrily, is how companies -- and the other companies that watch them -- learn to make smarter decisions.

Given what both D2D and Playster have said here, my *guess* would be that Playster noticed some underage erotica in its catalog, freaked the heck out about it, and decided to stamp out the problem quickly by banning everything tagged as erotica or LGBT, based on the incorrect but unfortunately not uncommon belief that gay people are more likely be pedophiles than straight people. It's a quick jump from that belief to the idea that pedophilia must be disproportionately common in books tagged LGBT.

But I agree that we don't yet know the "why" and "how" of what happened here. Guesses are just that.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 12:36:12 PM by Becca Mills »

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #145 on: September 06, 2017, 11:11:09 AM »
One person's "witch hunt" is another person's "publicity campaign," so we'll probably have to agree to disagree on that. But just out of curiosity ...

because it's not helping anyone.

Evidence?

We have both D2D's and Playster's attention on the problem now. Before, we didn't.

Offline veinglory

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #146 on: September 06, 2017, 12:18:36 PM »
People took some facts and jumped to an anti-LGBT motive. Once they assumed bad faith on Playster's behalf, they dismissed all facts inconsistent with this conclusion as lies. Even the fact that Playster didn't instantly dispatch someone to explain to everyone what was going on was cited as evidence of malfeasance, instead of simple incompetence or limitations. I can understand why, but it doesn't change the fact that it's jumping to conclusions.

As I pointed out above, a search for "gay" and "lesbian" a few days ago turned up a bunch of romance and erotica. Judging by the titles, some of the latter crosses legal lines in some U.S. states and Canada (can't say for sure, though, and I don't know whether it's still there). Second, your conclusion that Playster's explanation "doesn't really cover why they're also rejecting non-erotica with the LGBT tag" assumes all those books were categorized properly, that Playster's spokesperson got the facts right and complete, and that Playster has a handle on what they're doing. How often do any of these things happen in something as convoluted as this? Unless you assume bad faith and interpret this as more lies, everything is still up in the air.

By the way, I'm not defending--let alone endorsing--Playster. I have no business with them and only heard of the outfit recently. I'm only arguing against the witch-hunt mentality because it's not helping anyone.



People in this thread directly reported these outcomes and the categories they had the books under--no assumptions required.  I think the blocking of gay material but not equivalent straight material can be treated as fact, because they only other explanation would be a conspiracy of 5-6 well know authors in this forum lying their heads off.
 

Offline notjohn

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction
« Reply #147 on: September 06, 2017, 12:34:08 PM »
I've never had anything like this happen to me. It's not a nice feeling. I wrote this book because there isn't a lot of f/f romance. I also wrote it because there are no books -- that I know of -- with LGBT+ characters who have chronic illnesses. I'm somewhere between angry and sad on this one.

Don't be! Playster did that to me the other day, maybe the same day. I laughed so hard that now I don't even remember what book it was. Erotic? Perhaps, the way the Bible is erotic.

It's not as if Playster is going to make you or me rich. They don't even register on my July sales by distributor. Tolino is streets ahead. So is Overdrive!
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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #148 on: September 06, 2017, 02:27:52 PM »
I really, really don't want this thread to get locked...

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Offline WHDean

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Re: Playster Rejecting LGBT+ Fiction (Update Pg 5, #100)
« Reply #149 on: September 06, 2017, 02:40:51 PM »

If you present yourself as a specialist retailer within a category, then you're letting shoppers know that you only carry a limited subset of that category. For instance, if you call your business a "feminist bookstore" or a "Christian bookstore," then you're publicly owning the fact that you only sell certain types of books and exclude other types. That seems fine to me. If there's a consumer out there who thinks feminism is evil, they can direct their dollars elsewhere, even if they have to buy The Beauty Myth or Backlash for a class they're taking. But if you present yourself as a general bookstore with an unlimited catalog while excluding a subset of books someone might reasonably expect to find in a general bookstore, given the time and culture in which your store is operating, that's more problematic. A helpful analogy would not be Toys-R-Us refusing to sell sex toys -- because despite the word "toys" appearing in both labels, the average person would not put children's toys and sex toys in the same retail category -- but rather Toys-R-Us refusing to sell a potentially controversial subcategory of children's toys. Barbies, for instance, or baby dolls with dark skin.

If the CEO of Toys R Us states that the company won't sell brown Babies because he doesn't like brown people, you'd be right to get out the pitchforks. But the problem is the motive, not the action. You can't jump from the action alone to one and only one motive. Toys R Us might stop selling brown Barbies because no one is buying them, because an asteroid hit the brown Barbie factory--any number of a bazillion reasons. The Playster case is even weaker than the Barbie one because, as I have pointed out, Playster is still selling LGBT books.
 
As for your claim that a retailer billing itself as a general bookseller should carry LGBT romance, well, that's a matter of customer expectations, not morals. Your choice of words,"problematic," glosses this fact. If someone sets up a retailer that claims to sell "all the best books ever written," but doesn't sell Saul Bellow or Philip Roth, this might be called "problematic" in some sense of that vague word. But can we infer the owner is anti-Semitic?

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I don't write romance because I'd totally stink at it.

So you say. But how can we be sure there's not a darker motivation? That's what's "problematic" with imputing motives. You can't prove you don't have the ones I dream up for you.

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if we and D2D hadn't focused their attention on the problem. Making dumb decisions and having those decisions called to their attention, sometimes angrily, is how companies -- and the other companies that watch them -- learn to make smarter decisions.

Given what both D2D and Playster have said here, my *guess* would be that Playster noticed some underage erotica in its catalog, freaked the heck out about it, and decided to stamp out the problem quickly by banning everything tagged as erotica or LGBT, based on the incorrect but unfortunately not uncommon belief that gay people are more likely be pedophiles than straight people. It's a quick jump from that belief to the idea that pedophilia must be disproportionately common in books tagged LGBT.

But I agree that we don't yet know the "why" and "how" of what happened here. Guesses are just that.

Bullying people with an anti-LGBT smear in order to get them to fix a technical problem is still bullying.
 
Second, you don't know their motives, and it's completely unfair to attribute that thinking to them, even if you're just "guessing." If the books appeared in that category, then it makes sense (at least from a hamfisted standpoint) to clear out that category.

One person's "witch hunt" is another person's "publicity campaign," so we'll probably have to agree to disagree on that. But just out of curiosity ...

Evidence?

We have both D2D's and Playster's attention on the problem now. Before, we didn't.

Maybe I'm wrong, but this is the second time you sound as though you're invoking an ends-justify-the-means defence--that threatening Playster with the anti-LGBT smear was justified because it got their attention. That would be unethical. As for it working, well, if you think small fish whipping out guns in business negotiations works, you're as mixed up as this metaphor. You've created an adversarial relationship where you might have had a cooperative one. You've also drained part of the well of sympathy from outsiders because now it looks like you've used a real problem that people sympathize with as leverage in a business negotiation. So, yeah, working great.