Amazon.com gets tagged by activists
When Amazon.com added tags to its site a year ago, it was an innovative move to embrace a trend that, until then, had been relegated to cutting-edge sites like del.icio.us or Flickr. With arguably the largest collection of product reviews online, Amazon wanted to give their prolific reviewers a fresh new tool to organize their content. Plays by Shakespeare could be tagged "drama" and dishwashers could be tagged "appliance."
The company probably didn't anticipate that the tags would be coopted by activists, but that's what happened in recent days. The anti-DRM group, Defective By Design, has launched a campaign to tag "defectivebydesign" all of the items sold on Amazon.com that have anti-piracy protections it deems unacceptable. As Boing Boing notes, it's a small campaign: "So far a few dozen Amazon users have tagged over 150 products containing DRM (Blu-ray, HD DVD, FairPlay, and more)..." but it's easy to see how the strategy could catch on with other groups championing other causes like safety, decency, price....
Social media is always full of surprises, but The Browser wonders if this sort of co-opting is appropriate or not. What do you think? Will it help or hinder Amazon sales? A good argument can be made that the activist tags add information for the shopper, and a quick look at some of the tags on Amazon's page for the Microsoft Zune shows that customers aren't shy about using tags to express other opinions. Take a look at garbage, and overhyped, and beats apple.
Call us true believers, but The Browser concludes that this sort of unruly passion can only be good for Amazon.
CNNMoney.com Comment Policy: CNNMoney.com encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNNMoney.com makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNNMoney.com may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNNMoney.com the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNNMoney.com Privacy Statement.