Amazon’s Secret Adult Filter

If you’ve noticed that your Amazon search results have become rather sparse in your search for erotic offerings, it’s not just you.  During the past few weeks, Amazon has greatly expanded the reach of their adult filter, filtering all sorts of erotic stories that were never subjected to the filter before.

So what’s bad about Amazon’s adult filter if it’s filtering content that’s clearly adult?

It certainly makes sense to keep what’s obviously adult content away from minors and those not interested in seeing it, and I support that.  However, the way Amazon goes about filtering is opaque and inconsistent, which causes problems for erotica authors, and for readers who aren’t finding content they want as easily as before.  I’m really not sure why they don’t auto-filter everything submitted to Erotica (and deal appropriately with unscrupulous folks who try to put erotic content in other categories).  Or give customers the option to turn on or off the mature content filter for their own searches.  But I guess that would make too much sense.

So what does this filter do to erotic books, exactly?

If a book is adult-filtered, it will be excluded from general front page ‘All Departments’ search results.

How do I find my erotica now?

Luckily, it’s very easy!  The stories are all still up for sale.  All you have to do is run your search from within the Books or Kindle Store department, and you’ll see adult-filtered content in your search results.  A thing to note is that the search algorithm still treats filtered books a bit differently and will put them beneath non-filtered content in the Relevance search, so you might have to do a bit more scrolling, or switch to New and Popular sorting.  Better yet, just search within the Erotica category.

So what happens now?

I’m pretty sure things will eventually sort themselves out as authors and readers alike learn how to navigate the new status quo on Amazon.  I figured I’d just post a friendly public service announcement to reassure readers that their steamy erotica is all still available.

However, I do wish that Amazon finds a better solution that accomplishes their apparent goal of keeping adult content away from the eyes of kids and anyone who finds it offensive (too many people, unfortunately, thanks to all the weird, residual stigma about sex in this country), but to also allow readers who do want to purchase and read it to access it without being hindered by unexplained, behind-the-curtain maneuvers.

Happy reading!

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