Amazon Automatons

I have to admit that I waffled about, wondering if I should write this. If it was important. And, maybe it was just a rant and should I post it because my blog is pretty much a rant-free zone. But then, I wondered. If I can’t post my reviews to Amazon, it does affect more than me. It affects the authors and the publishers and the would-be readers who will wonder if that book is what they want to read.

So. Yup. That was a very poor lead in to this post.

This past week, for the second time in a month, a review of mine was rejected by Amazon. After inquiring as to why they responded:

Hello,

We are unable to post your Customer Review for The Shadow Box to the Amazon website because our data shows elements of your Amazon account match elements of other Amazon accounts reviewing the same product. In these cases, we remove the reviews to maintain trust in our customer reviews and avoid any perception of bias.

Customer Reviews are meant to give customers unbiased product feedback from fellow shoppers. It is our goal to provide Customer Reviews that help customers make informed purchase decisions. Therefore, any reviews that could be viewed as advertising, promotional, or biased will not be posted. This includes reviews by more than one customer in the same household.

To learn more about this policy, please see our Customer Review Creation Guidelines (http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines).

Best regards,
Amazon.com

My first impression is that they are saying that I am, in some way, cheating their system. So, no I did not take that lightly and wrote back. And, have received no reply. And, no, after two or three days as it is, I expect no reply. They are entirely relying on an automated system to tell them what is right and what is wrong.

The amazing thing to me, however, is that they quite specifically mention bias. Yet, numerous reviews for this book, very low reviews, show a political bias. It’s noticeable. Unavoidably noticeable. A reviewer who denigrated the novel as being “woke” received over 800 likes from conservative cohorts. But did she speak about the storyline? Nope. Yet, they did not publish my review which showed no bias whatsoever yet spoke about the novel, the story itself. The novel speaks about climate change peripherally and while I support anyone who speaks out about climate change, I did not mention this in my review. But those who are against mentioned it in their PUBLISHED reviews. Is this not bias?

Funnily enough, I’ve been a staunch supporter of Amazon. I was around when they birthed. Now, I’m wondering if they’ve gotten too big for their britches.

Tell me what you think. Is my opinion skewed? Thanks. ๐Ÿงก

2 replies »

  1. It sounds like, in reading their reply, that they think you have multiple accounts and are writing multiple reviews for the same book. But you’re right, they are relying on some kind of software that’s picking up similar language. But in 26,000 reviews, it would be impossible not to find similarities. I’d be angry, too. ๐Ÿ™

    • Yep. She isn’t hurting for reviews on this book, most reflect mine. But I am seriously bemused that they call bias on mine and not the ones that are obviously politically motivated. Also, well, geez, I’m slightly offended that I, being the upright, always by the book person that I am, am being accused of cheating. Me! Mortification! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.