Friday, March 9, 2012

PayPal's Censorship Issue: Where are the Letters to eBay & Amazon?

PayPal missed out on a great press opportunity by neglecting to send eBay (its parent), Amazon, and Books-A-Million the same letter of demands it sent to Smashwords. I'm guessing PayPal doesn't have the cajones and deep-enough pockets. Besides, Amazon could crush PayPal like a grape. So, instead of getting beaten to pulp, PayPal bullies the smaller players?

I targeted eBay, Amazon, and Books-A-Million because it appeared they aren't downstream recipients of book and ebook metadata from other sources. I'm certain there are others, but these provide a good enough sample of the marketplace for titles containing legal fiction that PayPal finds objectionable.

Here's the scoop (as of 08 March 2012):

Amazon had 17,240 titles that had objectionable / forbidden text in their listing. Of these, 9,325 were works of fiction.

eBay had 1,621 titles with objectionable text in their listings. Of these, 276 are listed as fiction.

Books-A-Million had 1,393, with 164 were fiction.

Smashwords' numbers were minor, and BookStrand and eXcessica had already caved to PayPal's demands, as they didn't have any listings containing the objectionable words.

It's all in the data below. I'd be glad to provide the Excel spreadsheet to warranted parties. Just let me know.

  Books, as Percent   Books, as Percent   Books, as Percent   Books, as Percent   Books, as Percent   Books, as Percent  
ObjectionableTotal Booksof ListingsFiction Total Booksof ListingsFiction Total Booksof ListingsFiction Total Booksof ListingsFiction Total Booksof ListingsFiction Total Booksof ListingsFiction 
or BannedListed UsingContainingand Listed UsingContainingand Listed UsingContainingand Listed UsingContainingand Listed UsingContainingand Listed UsingContainingand 

1 comment:

  1. very enlightening! You know, I never thought of ebay for books, but you're right, they do sell a bunch of them, and their main payment processor IS paypal... makes one wonder, doesn't it?


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