On Sunday afternoon . . . Amazon.com had upgraded the problem to Sev-1. (Amazon.com breaks down its operational issues in terms of severity levels. Sev-3 means a problem affects a single user. Sev-2 is a problem that affects a company, or a lot of people. Sev-1 is reserved for the most critical operational issues and often are sent up the management chain to the senior vice president
level.). . .
Amazon.com employees are on call 24/7, and many began working on the problem from home. It didn't take much digging to realize that there was a data error.
Amazon managers found that an employee who happened to work in France had filled out a field incorrectly and more than 50,000 items got flipped over to be flagged as "adult," the source said. (Technically, the flag for adult content was flipped from 'false' to 'true.')
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
An Amazon Source Talks
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer had several articles over the past two days on the Amazon glitch that resulted in more than 50,000 books losing their ranking on the retail site. Here's an excerpt from one: