Amazon gets naughty!

In a incident that highlights the pitfalls of online recommendation systems, on Friday removed a link to a sex manual that appeared next to a listing for a spiritual guide by well-known Christian televangelist Pat Robertson.

The two titles were temporarily linked as a result of technology that tracks and displays lists of merchandise perused and purchased by Amazon visitors. Such promotions appear below the main description for products under the title, "Customers who shopped for this item also shopped for these items."

Amazon's automated results for Robertson's "Six Steps to Spiritual Revival" included a second title by Robertson as well as a book about anal sex for men.

"It seemed to us that this is a rather curious juxtaposition of the two titles," said Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith, explaining the company's decision to remove the link

"Amazon conducted an investigation and determined these results were not that of hundreds of customers going to the same items while they were shopping on the site," Smith said.

Amazon removed the link to the sex manual earlier Friday after being notified of the listing. A section that shows direct suggestions by other customers still contained links to the book as of late Friday

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News source: C|Net

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