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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Crooks and Liars - Walmart: Continuing to bring Cheap...

 
FireDogLake alerted me to this, "So Wrong": can anyone explain how listing biographies of Martin Luther King, Jack Johnson and Dorothy Dandridge under the "similar products" category with Planet of the Apes looks anything but awful?...read on
 
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1 Comments:

Blogger pseudolus said...

This is the contents of an email I received yesterday concerning this post. --pseudolus
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Good evening. I work for Edelman in Washington, DC on behalf of Wal-Mart. I noticed that you blogged about the Walmart.com incident earlier, I wanted to make sure you got WMT's statement as soon as possible and were aware that the problem is being fixed as we speak. And as John Aravosis just wrote on AmericaBlog, this is most definitely a mistake and nothing sinister. (http://americablog.blogspot.com/2006/01/about-that-wal-mart-story.html) If can answer any questions, please let me know.

I would only add one thing to the statement: with a site as big as Walmart.com, it has hundreds of servers that any changes that are made must be replicated across.

The statement is just below. If you would like to discuss anything, feel free to respond to this message or call my cell phone at [phone number removed].

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MEDIA STATEMENT
We are heartsick that this happened and are currently doing everything possible to correct the problem. The offensive combinations that have been identified will be removed from the site by 5:30 CT today. However, with thousands of movie items available, there is an almost endless number of possible combinations. Because of that, we will be shutting down our entire movie cross-selling system until the problem is resolved.
We are deeply sorry that this happened.
Our system, like those of most other on-line buying sites, refers buyers interested in a particular movie to other movies through a technical process known as "mapping."
Walmart.com's item mapping process does not work correctly and at this point is mapping seemingly random combinations of titles. We were horrified to discover that some hurtful and offensive combinations are being mapped together.
To further illustrate the bizarre nature of this technical issue, the site is also mapping movies such as Home Alone and Power Puff Girls to African American literature.


Marshall Manson
Edelman
[email address removed]

1/06/2006 7:35 PM  

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