Author Topic: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?  (Read 9068 times)  

Offline H.M. Ward

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1679
  • Gender: Female
  • US
    • View Profile
    • H.M. Ward
Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
« on: February 25, 2016, 09:16:14 am »
Within the past few days I started hearing from dozens of reviewers who are having their reviews removed. It started with a few here and there, and then Amazon issued a violation of their ToS form letter, without further explanation. This week 3 heavy reviewers were all banned from reviewing further. Before you try to figure out what they did, there was no obvious violation. I've been talking to a group of 3 dozen (not all are my readers) who are having this issue. Many are book bloggers, and others aren't. Verified and unverified purchases were removed. No links, no promo, nothing obvious. The only commonality at this point is the reviews were all for books. Reviews for other products were left intact on several accounts.

Needless to say, having 100's of reviews wiped was very upsetting for these readers. That was a massive amount of work and something they took pride in. One had nearly 1000 reviews, which are now all gone. Is anyone else hearing about reviews being struck and reviewers getting banned? I'm not really in the blogging/ review community, and was wondering if there's chatter over there? I would have thought they'd be seething about it.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 09:20:48 am by H.M. Ward »
NYT, WSJ, & USAT Bestselling Author

KBoards.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Online Usedtoposthere

    • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
    • *******
    • Posts: 6271
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016, 10:07:57 am »
    I've been losing reviews for a couple months. Noticed the other day that my numbers had gone down again on several books. Like others, no idea who it was, because I have a fair # of reviews.

    I've stopped accepting any reader friend requests on Facebook. I suspect this may be my issue, even though I have whatever-that-is switch on my Amazon account set to "off." (The "sharing" one.) I'm also going to start having my assistant send out any gift cards, etc., somebody wins. That may be part of it as well--I've done that a few times.

    It's darned annoying. They're readers.

    Offline Small Town Writer

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 942
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #2 on: February 25, 2016, 10:11:59 am »
    I had a couple removed from the same person. He reposted the other day and so far it's still up there. Hopefully it stays.

    Offline Talbot

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1493
    • Gender: Female
    • Raleigh, NC
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #3 on: February 25, 2016, 10:15:22 am »
    I will gladly blame my lack of reviews on Amazon shenanigans. Harrumph!

    drno

    • Guest
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 10:16:24 am »
    Hey Holly, Amazon's review system was severely criticized by the Consumerist a week ago. The Consumerist is an affiliate of Consumer Reports, which is a non-profit organization, which publishes a magazine about consumer products with 7.3 million subscribers. You know how much Jeff Bezos loves the review system. They are clamping down on shady reviewers. Those are the facts.

    My advice is, you might wanna stay out of this one, until the dust settles, and you are sure you are not being played by these "reviewers."

    http://consumerist.com/2016/02/08/is-amazon-doing-anything-to-fight-latest-wave-of-fake-compensated-reviews/

    Offline Kay Bratt

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2637
    • www.kaybratt.com
      • View Profile
      • www.kaybratt.com
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #5 on: February 25, 2016, 10:18:54 am »
    I haven't lost any (that I know of) but I've noticed that whereas I used to get reviews nearly every day, now they don't come in every day and recently I noticed NOTHING came in for two weeks, then bam---a group came in all at once.
    And after that, crickets again.
    It's just not usual for my books.
    I feel like the reviews are possibly being held back and some not posted at all, based on past experience with my readers/reviews.
    Perhaps they are being vetted before being published now. And possibly deleted based on FB relations--- I use my personal page and my author page for readers.
    Or I could just be paranoid.
    But I know this; my reviews are real. Not paid or bargained for.
    I earned them. 
    From real readers.


    Kay Bratt, Capturing the Heart of Humanity | author website | facebook | twitter | goodreads

    Offline anniejocoby

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2182
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 10:21:16 am »
    Yeah! I had reviews taken down that were by a book blogger - she reviewed all three of my new books in my new series, and two of the reviews were taken down, but not the third. Weird.
    « Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 10:23:02 am by anniejocoby »

    Two dollars! Two dollars! I want my two dollars!!!
    Annie Jocoby | Annie Jocoby website

    Offline Matthew Stott

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1326
      • View Profile
      • Uncanny Kingdom
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #7 on: February 25, 2016, 10:36:39 am »
    I know I've lost at least one. Not a big deal, but slightly annoying, as I think it was a positive review. I'm not sure who left it or why it was removed and why they continue to leave up a bad review about a kindle cover on one of my books even though I keep pointing out it's clearly been left on the wrong product...! Unless they were trying to use my book as a kindle cover, in which case fair enough. It would be a terrible kindle cover.
     
    Matthew Stott | Twitter |

    Offline H.M. Ward

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1679
    • Gender: Female
    • US
      • View Profile
      • H.M. Ward
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #8 on: February 25, 2016, 10:39:02 am »
    Hey Holly, Amazon's review system was severely criticized by the Consumerist a week ago. The Consumerist is an affiliate of Consumer Reports, which is a non-profit organization, which publishes a magazine about consumer products with 7.3 million subscribers. You know how much Jeff Bezos loves the review system. They are clamping down on shady reviewers. Those are the facts.

    My advice is, you might wanna stay out of this one, until the dust settles, and you are sure you are not being played by these "reviewers."

    http://consumerist.com/2016/02/08/is-amazon-doing-anything-to-fight-latest-wave-of-fake-compensated-reviews/

    They're coming to me, crying and I have no idea what to tell them. I wish I saw what the problem was so they could fix it, but I don't. This started about 6 months ago with a couple of them. It snowballed within the past week.

    I find it horrible that they leave up troll reviews that are author attacks or about other products, but they take down the real ones? They weren't all good reviews either. Some of the bad ones were removed too, like the 10 reasons why i hate this book kind of review that rips it apart. I have no idea what they're doing.

    I thought the social media connection was an issue in the past, but some of the fans affected aren't friends on my personal page and they're still being targeted.

    My thoughts are that change is coming and Amazon is leveling the field so they can do whatever it is they need to do. Its not exactly their policy to be forthright with these things, but remembering that these are normal people who took a lot of pride in their reviews would have been nice. I'm watching to see what shakes out, and am expecting something the size of an elephant to roll out.

    Thanks for the link.

    On a happy note - B&N is cleaning up the kids sexting on reviews! Hooray! 
    NYT, WSJ, & USAT Bestselling Author

    Out_there

    • Guest
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #9 on: February 25, 2016, 10:46:14 am »
    I was going to appeal to bloggers to post reviews. Is this now a waste of time?

    Offline crebel

    • Status: Emily Dickinson
    • *******
    • Posts: 9113
    • Gender: Female
    • Ottumwa, Iowa
    • Member #1600 since January 15, 2009
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #10 on: February 25, 2016, 10:57:40 am »
    Amazon is apparently trying to clean up the review system that is so often complained about here, and seems to be doing it in a wide swath since the end of last year.  What's that phrase frequently used - "using an axe, not a scalpel"?  Hundreds of people with hundreds and thousands of reviews are being purged, including people in the Top 10 and Amazon Reviewer Hall of Fame, and the purges have been increasing in frequency and number this month.

    Those interested in more information or to see the scope of it should visit the Amazon Discussion Forums and go specifically to the Top Reviewers Forum.  There are lots of related threads, but one of the more comprehensive threads is titled "Reviews deleted by Amazon?  Here's why."  In the OP of that thread commonalities of purged accounts are listed. There is a section that speaks specifically about bloggers which may or may not be pertinent here:

    "BLOG REVIEWS

    Some people post reviews on Amazon and then link to the review on a blog. If someone clicks through to Amazon from the blog review and buys the product, some bloggers have it set up so that they receive pay from Amazon. Reviews like this are also being removed by Amazon, because its terms for reviewers do not allow reviewers to receive any payment for a review other than a free copy of the product."

    I am not a seller, blogger, or reviewer, so I have no skin in the game.  Just passing information along.

    Offline Tilly

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1681
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #11 on: February 25, 2016, 10:58:03 am »
    My totals have dropped over the last two weeks, but since I don't track (or read) my reviews I have no idea which ones were removed or where they came from, I just know the total went down.

    Offline farrago

    • Status: Lewis Carroll
    • **
    • Posts: 110
    • Gender: Female
    • Texas
    • A traveler of the good earth. Reader of books.
      • View Profile
      • Accent on Romance
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #12 on: February 25, 2016, 11:06:21 am »
    Amazon is cracking down on reviews, especially on paid and author-generated reviews--IF the author of the review writes in the same genre as the reviewed author. Bloggers who state publically that he/she/it will not post less than a 3 star review are seeing many of their reviews removed. Bloggers who accept books for reviews, reads a book, finds it flawed and does not publish the review, are considered to cherry-pick which reviews to post on Amazon. Cherry-picked reviews MAY be posted on the reviewer's site--but NOT on the review page on Amazon. However, a cherry-picked review MAY be posted in Editorial by the author. Amazon frowns on author-traded reviews. Reviews on Books given as ARCs or from a review service, must state: a free copy received in exchange for a review. Best business practice is to read Amazon's Terms of Service. Many indie authors don't--they just tick the box--I Agree.  Hope the helps. But, an author can always ask amazon for clarification on any element of TOS.

    Offline Tilly

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1681
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #13 on: February 25, 2016, 11:14:19 am »
    Amazon frowns on author-traded reviews. Reviews on Books given as ARCs or from a review service...

    I don't do any of those and kind of resent the implication that if reviews disappear they are the result of author-trades. I've never embarked on any sort of "trade" nor do I give out ARCs. My policy has always been to sell books and let reviews flow in organically. Like I said, I don't track reviews apart from the overall total so have no idea which ones disappeared. I think it's far more likely to be a result of Amazon following tenuous social media connections like FB or Twitter followers.

    Offline farrago

    • Status: Lewis Carroll
    • **
    • Posts: 110
    • Gender: Female
    • Texas
    • A traveler of the good earth. Reader of books.
      • View Profile
      • Accent on Romance
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #14 on: February 25, 2016, 11:14:29 am »
    There you go! The answer in a nutshell why reviews are being removed: The reviewers/bloggers have affiliate accounts and collect $$ for click throughs from their sites.

    Offline Carina Wilder

    • Status: Lewis Carroll
    • **
    • Posts: 249
      • View Profile
      • carinawilder.com
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #15 on: February 25, 2016, 11:18:25 am »
    There doesn't seem to be so much rhyme or reason to it, really. I know a reviewer who recently had over 800 reviews deleted. She was legitimate, an ARC reader for many. She read the books, reviewed, did not have a separate site on which to earn money, did not accept payment in return for reviews.

    I've long since delegated any mail-outs to a personal assistant so that I don't appear personally connected to reviewers. That includes ARC copies. But it's entirely possible that Amazon can still track who my Facebook friends and readers are; I just think it'd be a serious shame to dictate that we can't interact with our fans.

    Carina Wilder

    Offline Monique

    • Status: Isaac Asimov
    • ********
    • Posts: 11307
    • Gender: Female
    • California
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #16 on: February 25, 2016, 11:23:41 am »
    I keep wondering if it isn't a pattern in reviews that's partially to blame here. I understand that much of this is happening in this shifter community. Maybe Amazon has linked legitimate reviewers with those who are receiving some payment/are different shades of shady because of the mass of similar products so it looks like a review farm? Maybe?

    Offline Avis Black

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1086
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
      • Avis Black on Wordpress
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #17 on: February 25, 2016, 11:30:28 am »
    Consumerist appears to be relying on another website called Fakespot to detect whether a product's reviews are being bought.  It certainly looks one I'd use myself to double-check Amazon.  I wonder if it works with Goodreads, too.

    http://fakespot.com/


    Offline Monique

    • Status: Isaac Asimov
    • ********
    • Posts: 11307
    • Gender: Female
    • California
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #18 on: February 25, 2016, 11:33:59 am »
    Consumerist appears to be relying on another website called Fakespot to detect whether a product's reviews are being bought.  It certainly looks one I'd use myself to double-check Amazon.  I wonder if it works with Goodreads, too.

    http://fakespot.com/

    If that's the case, you can disregard that article entirely.

    https://www.kboards.com/index.php?topic=230117.0

    Offline Not any more

    • Status: A A Milne
    • ******
    • Posts: 4299
    • Baltimore, MD
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #19 on: February 25, 2016, 11:42:36 am »
    From the Amazon "Top Reviewers" forum, posted Feb. 7, 2016:

    "Last night, I was reading the reviews of a book I had purchased and then reviewed. I noticed my review (that I posted on 2/1/15) was missing - along with all the other 88 reviews I've made in the many years I've been on Amazon.
    Gone.
    I had some of the old emails from Amazon that they send out telling you "Your Review Is Live!" I copied, pasted, and tried to repost my reviews and the one for the Amazon Kindle 6 (five stars) went through at first, though my others were rejected. Now, a few hours later, even the Kindle one is gone. I re-posted the reviews under a different family members account, and they all went through, without a problem.
    I sent an email to Amazon, am waiting for response. I am not a top reviewer, nor looking to be a top reviewer, I only found this forum by doing a Google search for "Amazon Reviews Missing" to see if this has happened to anyone else (perhaps it's a glitch?). None of my reviews had photos and none violated the TOS (as I said, they all went through on my family members account). Very perplexing...- no reviews for money (or anything else for that matter!). All my reviews were verified purchases on my credit card through Amazon and mostly for Kindle books (all by major publishers)."

    Judging from the remarks on that forum, Zon is cleaning up with a flame thrower and a chain saw. This particular reviewer says she received a letter and her account is blocked.   
    This post remains on KBoards over my objections.

    Offline Monique

    • Status: Isaac Asimov
    • ********
    • Posts: 11307
    • Gender: Female
    • California
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #20 on: February 25, 2016, 11:45:27 am »
    I have to say I'm not sure why anyone thinks circumventing the removal/bans by using another account is going to lead anywhere good.

    Offline Carina Wilder

    • Status: Lewis Carroll
    • **
    • Posts: 249
      • View Profile
      • carinawilder.com
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #21 on: February 25, 2016, 11:52:06 am »
    I keep wondering if it isn't a pattern in reviews that's partially to blame here. I understand that much of this is happening in this shifter community. Maybe Amazon has linked legitimate reviewers with those who are receiving some payment/are different shades of shady because of the mass of similar products so it looks like a review farm? Maybe?

    Possible. It's also possible that Amazon simply doesn't believe that a person could read and review 800 of something--but they may not fully get the voracious appetite of a lot of romance readers.

    Unfortunately, those who are getting banned are turning to other vendors for their books and to write their reviews, buying other e-readers, etc. It's all turning into a big, ugly clusterduck.

    Carina Wilder

    Offline TromboneAl

    • Status: Dostoevsky
    • ******
    • Posts: 3949
    • Name IRL: Al Macy
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #22 on: February 25, 2016, 12:05:23 pm »
    Here's something important that you should do:

    Periodically take a screenshot of your recent reviews. Maybe even with every new review.

    That way, even if one disappears, you still have it, and can use it somewhere in your promotions.
     
    Al Macy | Web Site

    Offline Atunah

    • Status: Harvey Chute
    • *********
    • Posts: 12237
    • Gender: Female
    • South of Seasons
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #23 on: February 25, 2016, 12:10:10 pm »
    Had to check and I think all mine are still there. I wrote over 200 reviews and most are for books, but not all. I don't really have a blog, unless booklikes counts. Not all of my stuff is verified and I do read with KU, library, etc.

    Now I want to know what a shifter community is. Is that like a fandom of those that like shifter stories? There is such a thing?  ;D

    Offline memememe

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 54
      • View Profile
    Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
    « Reply #24 on: February 25, 2016, 01:26:54 pm »
    It's very sad if dedicated readers are having their reviews removed. I hope it gets sorted out soon.

    Unfortunately, I get the feeling that amzn might deem these readers to be "professional reviewers" just by dint of the fact that they review so often. This is the only explanation I can think of, which is an extremely unfair one. None of my reviews have been removed, thankfully. But I have just created a FB page and was about to get social.

    KBoards.com

    • Advertisement
    • ***