After several well-publicized cases involving writers buying or manipulating their reviews, Amazon is cracking down. Writers say thousands of reviews have been deleted from the shopping site in recent months.
Amazon has not said how many reviews it has killed, nor has it offered any public explanation. So its sweeping but hazy purge has generated an uproar about what it means to review in an era when everyone is an author and everyone is a reviewer.
Amazon's policy of removing questionable reviews probably came as a result of the negative publicity from August of this year. You may recall the flurry of blog posts about the paid reviews which some authors and publishers used to boost their ranking.
You've probably seen any number of blogs posts which have picked up today's story. That's fine for them, but since I know the story was more than adequately covered a couple months back I don't feel the need to cover it again. Instead I'll just link to the older coverage. That has more value that writing one more generic blog post, I think.
- Amazon Responds to the John Locke Paid Reviews Scandal.. by Axing Legitimate Reviews (Failure Ahoy!)
- Authors cannot review authors on Amazon (Salon.com)
- Has Amazon gone way overboard with its new review policy? (Indie BookSpot)
image by seantoyer