Update: The story changes again! Slog has a story, apparently from an inside source, that claims it was a technical error when a coder mixed up the terms for 'adult', 'sexuality', and 'erotica', which then propagated to the entire system and screwed up rankings for things that shouldn't have been labeled 'adult'. So the hacker claim is likely bull, but Amazon still loses points for bad customer support.
Any bets on when the story changes again?
Alright folks we've got some more info. It looks like a hacker named 'Weev' is taking credit for the delisting of gay and feminist content on Amazon, as we posted earlier. He's posted this on his LiveJournal apparently.
There's no confirmation, but Weev claims he found a way to abuse the 'Report as Inappropriate' feature Amazon uses by setting a small network of fake accounts on each of the books in question. Or rather, by forwarding these fake accounts the url of the 'complaint registered' page. We may never know if that is actually what happened, but Amazon HAS removed that feature from their site for the time being, which points to at least some part of this being true.
Weev's motivation? Something about not being able to post on Craigslist to find people to do Heroin with. (Seriously) That and an apparent general dislike of gays (and feminists, etc...) led to him doing all this as a prank.
Amazon for their part still hasn't really commented, but seems to be getting things back in order. Many of the delisted books are now back where they belong. However, while more and more evidence piles up that this was not an intentional move, Amazon needs to work with their support reps on handling situations like this. The authors who first started bringing up this issue when they noticed it received rather evasive responses from reps who didn't know what was going on, that seemingly didn't investigate the complaints at all.
If anything more comes up with this story we'll let you guys know.