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Authors' Forum => Writers' Cafe => Topic started by: H.M. Ward on February 25, 2016, 09:16:14 am

Title: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: H.M. Ward 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Usedtoposthere 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Small Town Writer 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Talbot on February 25, 2016, 10:15:22 am
I will gladly blame my lack of reviews on Amazon shenanigans. Harrumph!
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: drno 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/
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Kay Bratt 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: anniejocoby 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Matthew Stott 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: H.M. Ward 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! 
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Out_there 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?
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: crebel 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Tilly 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: farrago 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Tilly 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: farrago 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Carina Wilder 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Monique 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?
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Avis Black 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/
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Monique 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
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Not any more 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.   
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Monique 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Carina Wilder 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: TromboneAl 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Atunah 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
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: memememe 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.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: jaehaerys on February 25, 2016, 01:30:18 pm
In tumultuous times like these for indies, I'm certainly glad that kboards exists.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: H.M. Ward on February 25, 2016, 01:31:50 pm
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.

Mine aren't using affiliate links. Both of the women that got banned this week didn't even have a website. They weren't bloggers. They were soccer moms and this was a hobby--they read and review books.

I read the article posted on the last page as well. These people post several book reviews each week, not much else, and they were also verified purchases (approx 1/2 of the group I'm talking to). I can verify, I recognize who's account is who's on Amazon. I track my reviewers, mainly to see where the point of diminishing returns is within a select series. When I start losing the die hards I know I've found it. Which makes it easy to see their reviews disappearing.

No links, no promos, no promos, verified purchases from long time buyers...one account per household. If they were in a dorm, that could be an issue. They'd all have the same IP address. :/ They're not.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Anarchist on February 25, 2016, 02:42:04 pm
I have a (crackpot) theory:

Amazon is treating reviews in the same manner as Google treats incoming links, specifically with regard to the pace at which they accrue.

Google has used link velocity as a ranking factor since at least 2012. Massive changes in link velocity can result in a ranking penalty for the site receiving the links. Essentially, if a site receives 10 new links a week during the first six months of its existence and receives 1,000 new links during the first week of the seventh month, Google assumes something hokey is going on. (It's assumed Google takes into account sudden bursts in publicity, such as appearing on Shark Tank.)

Amazon might be "adjusting" its review system to effect a similar outcome.

A book that has received five reviews a month for the past six months, and suddenly receives 100 reviews during the seventh month, sends up a red flag. Amazon would then (presumably) check to see whether the book's sales page received a flood of traffic from a particular source, such as BookBub or Facebook ads. If the traffic source is identified, the reviews are allowed to stick. If no such traffic source can be identified, the reviews are set aside for investigation and eventually purged.

I'm just guessing. Nobody knows nothin' at this point.

If Amazon is doing something like the above, there are bound to be a ton of false positives while it refines its methodology.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Bbates024 on February 25, 2016, 02:54:39 pm
It's sad if honest reviews are being removed, but we can't get one-star reviews because someone couldn't figure out how to download a book removed.

Seriously my only review under three stars is from someone that couldn't download the sample...... I asked Amazon about it and they said it was fine, even though it doesn't pertain to the product.

What are you going to do. :-(
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: PJ_Cherubino on February 25, 2016, 03:27:21 pm
This sounds like the Review Apocalypse foretold by prophecy.

"And I saw the final dark horse galloping upon the scammer-ravaged field. Its rider cloaked in inky ribbons of TOS text, it swung its scythe to cut down the wicked and the virtuous alike. The name of the horse was Civil Suit and its rider's name  was Baelzebezos."
- Book of Indie Authors, 33:9-
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Anarchist on February 25, 2016, 03:31:19 pm
(http://i.imgur.com/o6bBGvZ.gif)

This sounds like the Review Apocalypse foretold by prophecy.

"And I saw the final dark horse galloping upon the scammer-ravaged field. Its rider cloaked in inky ribbons of TOS text, it swung its scythe to cut down the wicked and the virtuous alike. The name of the horse was Civil Suit and its rider's name  was Baelzebezos."
- Book of Indie Authors, 33:9-
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Alan Petersen on February 25, 2016, 04:18:04 pm
Mine aren't using affiliate links. Both of the women that got banned this week didn't even have a website. They weren't bloggers. They were soccer moms and this was a hobby--they read and review books.

I read the article posted on the last page as well. These people post several book reviews each week, not much else, and they were also verified purchases (approx 1/2 of the group I'm talking to). I can verify, I recognize who's account is who's on Amazon. I track my reviewers, mainly to see where the point of diminishing returns is within a select series. When I start losing the die hards I know I've found it. Which makes it easy to see their reviews disappearing.

No links, no promos, no promos, verified purchases from long time buyers...one account per household. If they were in a dorm, that could be an issue. They'd all have the same IP address. :/ They're not.

It appears Amazon is taking a scorched earth approach to try to clean up the mess they created (and have allowed to fester) and unfortunately, innocent people are getting nailed.

Hopefully, once Amazon figures out to get the bad one out, they'll reinstate the good ones they've booted.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Mystery Maven on February 25, 2016, 04:32:29 pm
Maybe this is a stupid question, but how does Amazon know whether someone is your Facebook friend or follower? Are they tracking based on the e-mail address connected to your KDP account being the same one connected to your FB? Or is it the e-mail address your Author Central account is created under?

I have several pen names. Let's say one is John Smith. How does Amazon know which John Smith on Facebook is that pen name's page? Are they searching for the content of the page, looking for every author's pages? Are they tracking where my affiliate links are posted?

My affiliate account and my KDP account are under the same e-mail, which is different from any of my Facebook accounts. Which are different than my Author Central accounts…

So how am I losing reviews, which came organically, if this is based on social media connections?

I don't know which reviews are gone, but I do know this: The most bogus-looking reviews are still there. I have a few reviews on each pen name that say "Amazing product!" or something idiotic like that. I've reported several of them to Amazon myself because I hate the way it makes my reviews look smarmy. I never solicited or paid for reviews. I don't exchange reviews, anything. Yet there they are, and there they stay, in spite of the purge.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: TheForeverGirlSeries on February 25, 2016, 04:39:54 pm
I've lost a few also, but not many. I keep checking to see if any of the reviews they removed were from the people who were on another website claiming they never read my book and never would, but I have a feeling they're only going after the 4 and 5 star reviews.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: ronesa_aveela on February 25, 2016, 04:50:53 pm
This has been happening a lot. The following link is a petition that was sent to Amazon several months ago to revise their "Know the Author Policy."

https://www.change.org/p/amazon-com-amazon-change-the-you-know-this-author-policy

It was completely ignored. It appears that even the concerns of more than 15,000 (at that time) authors and readers was a drop in the bucket for Amazon. Maybe it would have to be ten times that amount before they would take notice.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: DarkScribe on February 25, 2016, 05:03:20 pm
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.

I am having a different review issue. I do not review every book purchased from Amazon, just those that are either outstanding or appalling. My reviews are generally very specific and in some depth as to why I found the book good or bad.  Lately I have been getting an almost daily "You have purchased this book - could you please provide a review of it?" This used to happen on infrequent occasions, but now it has become so regular as to be annoying. Another issue is that my review ranking has climbed - unusual and unexpected for someone who is only a occasional reviewer. Something is definitely happening regarding Amazon reviews.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: batmansero on February 25, 2016, 11:04:56 pm
One of my ARC reviewers contacted me and said she was recently banned from Amazon reviewing. She explained what happened and I just can't understand how it happened. She's offered to post reviews everywhere else though.

This is kinda worrying...
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Stella S. Fitzsimons on February 25, 2016, 11:20:58 pm
Holly, yes, I've heard from bloggers that their reviews were all removed, including verified purchases, and then they received emails from Amazon banning them from ever being able to review a product on the site again. Most were literally in tears as they love reviewing books and have never done anything that could be considered a violation of the ToS. Something really strange is going on.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Taking my troll a$$ outta here on February 26, 2016, 05:57:02 am
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.

I am thinking this as well -- that maybe Amazon is starting to look at street team members, ARC reviewers, and bloggers as "professional" reviewers.  Perhaps reviewers are being flagged based off of sheer number of book reviews, or book review frequency within a certain amount of time, or if a reviewer posts a review to multiple books of the same author. Those would be a few ways they could flag those who they are categorizing as professional reviewers. There doesn't seem to be any other connection.

I've never had my FB account linked to Amazon, yet this week one of my longtime fans messaged me & told me all her reviews were deleted. She doesn't get ARCs, she's not a blogger, and she buys all my books. She's just a sweet little lady who took a liking to my stuff early on. She said all her book reviews were deleted and only two other reviews were left, which were product reviews.  :-X
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Lefevre on February 26, 2016, 06:26:30 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.

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

That is an interesting article. Thanks for sharing it.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: lilywhite on February 26, 2016, 06:27:03 am
It appears Amazon is taking a scorched earth approach to try to clean up the mess they created (and have allowed to fester) and unfortunately, innocent people are getting nailed.

Gonna save this so I can just copy/paste it into every thread concerning some ham-handed attempt to fix something the 'zon brought on itself with asinine policies and ignoring the problem for too long. That'll save me some time.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: theaatkinson on February 26, 2016, 06:48:05 am
This sounds like the Review Apocalypse foretold by prophecy.

"And I saw the final dark horse galloping upon the scammer-ravaged field. Its rider cloaked in inky ribbons of TOS text, it swung its scythe to cut down the wicked and the virtuous alike. The name of the horse was Civil Suit and its rider's name  was Baelzebezos."
- Book of Indie Authors, 33:9-

I'm in love with this. best. comment. ever.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: belindaf on February 26, 2016, 07:01:48 am
I had one removed from one book which doesn't have a ton of reviews, but I can't pinpoint whose was taken down or why.

On a personal note, disappearing reviews is frustrating. I buy a lot from Amazon (and not just books) because I've come to trust that I will like higher rated products. Reviews are key in an electronic world where products are intangible.

I used to write a ton of them (books and products), but am getting to the "why bother?" stage. Given how hard it's been to amass reviews for my novels the past year or two, I don't think I'm alone. As others point out, reviews are a time-consuming, uncompensated labor of love. That Amazon feels it's okay to filter which stay and which go bugs me. Personal connection is a reason to get a review torn down, but one written by someone who admits they've never even read the book can stay? I get that there are two sides to this story, but it's not going to be great if everyone throws up their hands and quits reviewing altogether in the long run.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: drno on February 27, 2016, 06:48:16 am
I've been reading reviewer comments on Amazon forums and it seems Amazon does not want products reviewed that were obtained for free. They think this manipulates the reviews. So if you provide ARC's or use net galley, you might wanna be careful.

It seems a lot of the reviewers whose reviews were deleted were notorious Bridezillas and they even say so themselves. They review for coupons.

It seems Amazon is looking at those who use coupons during the checkout process and those who have bought and given out these coupons to trace and delete review accounts.

https://www.change.org/p/amazon-com-amazon-put-a-stop-to-amazon-shutting-down-reviewers-accounts
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: C. Rysalis on February 27, 2016, 06:58:02 am
I've been reading reviewer comments on Amazon forums and it seems Amazon does not want products reviewed that were obtained for free. They think this manipulates the reviews. So if you provide ARC's or use net galley, you might wanna be careful.

If free copies for honest reviews are no longer allowed, they should make an official statement about it.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Becca Mills on February 27, 2016, 07:54:41 am
I just checked, and all my reviews but one have been taken down. This is definitely a new thing.

ETA: Clarifying -- all the reviews I've written, not the ones I've received.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Becca Mills on February 27, 2016, 08:01:21 am
They also took down all but one the reviews I'd posted under my real name, and those were overwhelmingly not book reviews. Like, I think there were two book reviews in there and maybe a hundred reviews of toddler potties and t-shirts and peppercorns and so forth. So strange.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Usedtoposthere on February 27, 2016, 08:04:09 am
Well, Amazon Publishing uses NetGalley and encourages its authors to send out ARCs, so...
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: drno on February 27, 2016, 08:07:48 am
I just checked, and all my reviews but one have been taken down.
Did you accept free products? Free books?
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Drakon on February 27, 2016, 10:04:00 am

Amazon has brought suit against 1,100+ Reviewers -

http://consumerist.com/2015/10/16/amazon-sues-1114-individual-reviewers-for-hire/
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Stella S. Fitzsimons on February 27, 2016, 10:33:26 am
It's all a big mess. They're removing reviews that are verified purchases, too. It looks like they're in the process of deciding who's qualified to review and who's not and prolific reviewers seem to be at most risk to lose their reviewing privileges.

Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Alan Petersen on February 27, 2016, 10:52:20 am
Well, Amazon Publishing uses NetGalley and encourages its authors to send out ARCs, so...

In a behemoth corporation like Amazon, the publishing company is probably run outside of the HQ realm, so perhaps even their own authors are getting reviews deleted. So Amazon publishing encourages ARCs and the Amazon engineers in Seattle are writing code to zap them.  ;D

Hopefully, Amazon will figure out how to do what they want to do without so much collateral damage.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: drno on February 27, 2016, 10:53:24 am
Well, Amazon Publishing uses NetGalley and encourages its authors to send out ARCs, so...

I don't think Amazon is banning writers. They are banning reviewers.

I read now that reviewers who were sent free coloring books to review have been banned. Some were top 1000 reviewers.

Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Tulonsae on February 27, 2016, 10:56:46 am
Content removed due to TOS Change of 2018. I do not agree to the terms.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: C. Rysalis on February 27, 2016, 11:02:09 am
And yet, a five star review I reported for being a Bookbub ad (just that, no connection whatsoever to the book they 'reviewed') is still up even though I reported it.

It's a bit absurd.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Alan Petersen on February 27, 2016, 11:05:16 am
Well, if you're sending out ARCs to hopefully get reviews, and those reviewers are then banned and their reviews removed - what is the point of sending out ARCs?

I was actually revving up to do this. I was also going to send review copies to get more reviews for my current books. But I'm going to hold off until Amazon settles down and figure out what it's doing here.

From that article that someone linked up-thread (from the consumerist) it appears the scammers are using the "I received this for free in exchange for an honest review" verbiage to sneak fake and paid reviews in. Pay for the review and have their person copy/paste the "free" verbiage when it's all BS. So now Amazon has to try to figure out which one is legit and which one is not.

All guesses and speculation of course, since only the overlords of the Amazon algorithm know what they're targeting and why.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Avis Black on February 27, 2016, 11:27:46 am
Amazon has access to the Kindles as well as the Kindle reading apps owned by many reviewers.  If these people are not reading or finishing the books they're giving 5-stars too, Amazon may be booting them off the reviewer list.  Some reviewers give artificially high ratings to books because they don't want to halt the gravy train of free stuff coming their way from authors.

Amazon also has access to those hidden ratings people give on their Kindles at the end of a book as well as any enthusiastic referrals you make via your Kindle to your friends about the titles you've read.  They also have data they've crunched from Goodreads.  The company may have decided that if you give too many 5- or 4-star reviews compared to what everyone else does, or if your hidden ratings don't match your public on-website ratings, or if you make no internal referrals about lots of titles you rate 5-star when you're telling your friends about books with a lower rating, they may be going after you. 
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Anarchist on February 27, 2016, 11:29:04 am
All guesses and speculation of course, since only the overlords of the Amazon algorithm know what they're targeting and why.

Best summation of the issue thus far.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Jill Nojack on February 27, 2016, 12:02:13 pm
They also took down all but one the reviews I'd posted under my real name, and those were overwhelmingly not book reviews. Like, I think there were two book reviews in there and maybe a hundred reviews of toddler potties and t-shirts and peppercorns and so forth. So strange.

The last time this happened--a year or a year and a half ago, maybe? I had the same experience as you, Becca.

Then, whatever bot that malfunctioned and wiped so many legit reviews put them all back. Mine, plus the ones from other reviewers.

I'd say there's a possibility that some of the reviews will come back after a while. They searched on a keyword that caused problems with legit stuff as well as the not legit stuff. Fortunately, it was not the same one that wiped my reviews last time.

I expect that the legit reviews will return once they sort it out.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: drno on February 27, 2016, 12:17:01 pm
It seems using NetGalley is against Amazon TOS. That is Amazon reps are now saying to banned reviewers that if a seller (are self-publishers not sellers?) pays for reviews they are breaching TOS.

Oh, just adding that a reviewer was told by an Amazon rep that sellers who buy reviews through review providers are now being blacklisted. Some reviewers were trying to review products on the sellers page, but cannot do so anymore. They can leave reviews on other sellers' products. So it seems both sellers and reviewers are being penalized.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: AmpersandBookInteriors on February 27, 2016, 12:28:00 pm
It seems using NetGalley is against Amazon TOS. That is Amazon reps are now saying to banned reviewers that if a seller (are self-publishers not sellers?) pays for reviews they are breaching TOS.

Oh, just adding that a reviewer was told by an Amazon rep that sellers who buy reviews through review providers are now being blacklisted. Some reviewers were trying to review products on the sellers page, but cannot do so anymore. They can leave reviews on other sellers' products. So it seems both sellers and reviewers are being penalized.

There's usually a difference between places like NetGalley, where you pay for placing your book before the eyes of potential (But not guaranteed) reviewers, and actually buying reviews out-right. With the first you might not get reviews, and with the second, you obviously paid for one so you get it.  There's  a subtle difference, even if it's hard to tell the difference between the practices.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Usedtoposthere on February 27, 2016, 12:43:52 pm
NetGalley isn't against Amazon TOS. As I said--Amazon Publishing puts all its books up on NetGalley for advance reviews. That is not "purchasing a review." It's making a review copy available to ARC readers.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: drno on February 27, 2016, 01:40:15 pm
The hardest hit reviewers are reviewers using AMZ Review Trader for discounted and free stuff. And yes sellers buy access to reviewers on that system too. Guess what, even publishers giving away free books were caught up on that system. So why not NetGalley? Why not free ebooks?

My advice is: this is not the time for giving out coupons. Or do it! And we'll see how many of your readers get their accounts banned.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: PJ_Cherubino on February 27, 2016, 01:59:18 pm
It's all a big mess. They're removing reviews that are verified purchases, too. It looks like they're in the process of deciding who's qualified to review and who's not and prolific reviewers seem to be at most risk to lose their reviewing privileges.

Yup. The Zon is taking a meat cleaver to the whole process. I suspect this is to somehow strengthen their case in their legal proceedings. They can now claim "thousands of people are taking advantage of our system" and show proof by providing lists of purged reviewers and reviews.

This prevailing attitude that "reviews are for whatever I want" seems to be what Amazon is trying to counter. They are reclaiming the process. Quite a few people on this board have remarked that this current situation was likely to happen.

Because Amazon is so accessible to the customer, we tend to forget that we are accessing a private service owned by a business entity. It is not public, common ground like a park or public road. When we visit the site, we are subject to terms established by the owner.

I've been accused of being "pompous" for saying this, but I'll say it again: reviews are not for doing anything other than offering an opinion to other customers about a product or service. They are not a means of creative expression unless that expression is to serve as information for a product or service.

As Julie has pointed out in her mega thread, there are actual laws involved that govern this behavior. Why? Because of the impact public opinion can have on the ways people make their livings and the way people spend their hard earned money.

I think everyone who posted to this thread has a vested interest in the Amaon Marketplace and Amazon itself has said in court filings that the review system is a core component of that of that market.

Pretty sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but I just wanted to put that out there. I love what you all have to say.

 ;D
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: PJ_Cherubino on February 27, 2016, 02:34:35 pm
The hardest hit reviewers are reviewers using AMZ Review Trader for discounted and free stuff. And yes sellers buy access to reviewers on that system too. Guess what, even publishers giving away free books were caught up on that system. So why not NetGalley? Why not free ebooks?

My advice is: this is not the time for giving out coupons. Or do it! And we'll see how many of your readers get their accounts banned.

I've been following your posts. You make a lot of interesting points.

For me, the takeaway on all of this is to stick very closely to the Amazon TOS. If I have to ask myself "does this comply" the answer I come up with is "don't do it." Why risk it?

Since I'm such a rank newbie, my risk tolerance is low for anything that might impact my bottom line. I'm already risking reputation. money and a huge amount of labor in writing. The stakes are pretty high this early in the game.

What I find interesting with indie publishing is that the Indie Author movement (if it can be called that) was supposed to be a way for Authors to get published who might not otherwise get to market. The intention was to remove as many middlemen players as possible. As the tide of authors rose, new middlemen stepped into the process.

In the author's struggle for visibility, we feel pressure to "get reviews" which leads to mailing lists and ARCs. The prime promotional sites apply further pressure by demanding the number and quality of reviews. Because visibility is such an issue, the promotional sites become the "new gatekeepers" (not my term, forgive the lack of citation - can't recall where I read this..)

I won't even get into the scammers who pump the market full of garbage trying to take advantage of holes in the system. They are also standing in the middle of the process as a barrier to full access.

It seems that the process of indie publishing itself almost DEMANDS these middlemen, or at least creates them. I can see where the tradpubs have a point. This is why tradpubs lasted centuries doing essentially the same thing. If this is true, it's bitter medicine.

The indie market has some serious issues and I think this review situation shines a light on those issues. It's not simply about the reviews. There are many factors in play here.

Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Becca Mills on February 27, 2016, 02:55:27 pm
Did you accept free products? Free books?

Certainly no free non-book products. For the first month or two, I accepted free books from people who wanted book reviews. Then I just started buying them. I didn't review often, and the books were only a few bucks each.

I wonder if they nixed all the reviews of anyone who cross-posted reviews elsewhere. I cross-posted most of my book reviews to my blog and B&N.

The last time this happened--a year or a year and a half ago, maybe? I had the same experience as you, Becca.

Then, whatever bot that malfunctioned and wiped so many legit reviews put them all back. Mine, plus the ones from other reviewers.

I'd say there's a possibility that some of the reviews will come back after a while. They searched on a keyword that caused problems with legit stuff as well as the not legit stuff. Fortunately, it was not the same one that wiped my reviews last time.

I expect that the legit reviews will return once they sort it out.

Thanks for the info. I hope you're right. If they're gone forever, it'll definitely be annoying -- especially on the non-book products, since those reviews don't exist anywhere else.

FWIW, I didn't get a banned-from-reviewing notice on either account. Maybe that means I was caught up in the sweep.

I've been accused of being "pompous" for saying this, but I'll say it again: reviews are not for doing anything other than offering an opinion to other customers about a product or service. They are not a means of creative expression unless that expression is to serve as information for a product or service.

Making a blanket statement like this seems a bit silly. People express themselves creatively in lots of different ways, and what's purely informational for one person may well be creative for another. For someone flippin' burgers at McDonald's, cooking is probably not a means of creative expression. It's just producing requested calories in order to get a paycheck. For a chef at a fancy restaurant, cooking absolutely is a means of creative expression. And home cooks run the same gamut. For some people, distributing furniture around a room is a means of creative expression; for others, it's just creating a butt repository in the quickest, easiest way possible. Some people express their creativity through their clothing; others just slap something on so they won't be arrested. People write reviews for all kinds of reasons, and for some reviewers, it certainly is a means of creative expression. Reviewing is itself an art form, and some reviewers, such as Anthony Lane (http://www.amazon.com/Nobodys-Perfect-Writings-New-Yorker-ebook/dp/B002LLRDU6) of The New Yorker, have become famous writers in their own right.

Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: PJ_Cherubino on February 27, 2016, 04:06:43 pm
Making a blanket statement like this seems a bit silly. People express themselves creatively in lots of different ways ..

I did not make a blanket statement. I made a very specific statement. You are responding to one part of a sentence that supports the point I'm trying to make, not the point itself.

Here are the important points I'm trying to express (maybe not well enough) without the distracting parts:
 ;D


This prevailing attitude that "reviews are for whatever I want" seems to be what Amazon is trying to counter....

 ...unless that (creative) expression is to serve as information for a product or service.


Of course, I understand creativity and the forms that it takes. I understand creativity is subjective. I'm not arguing that reviews should not be creative, or that they can't be a creative outlet.

The fact that reviews are intended by Amazon (and by law) for purposes of product information is not subjective.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: A. N. Other Author on February 28, 2016, 01:15:40 am
I know that Amazon are really cracking down on reviews when left by someone accessing the product via a keyword search or "super URL" as that is seen as gaming the system (it improves the books' algorithm ranking, I think).

Also, I was talking with someone this week, one of those services that gives access to reviewers rather than promising reviews, and they said they do not post "reader reviews" as it's now against Amazon's TOCs, but their reviewers post on their site, which can be added to the "editorial reviews" section.

Perhaps, because of the glut of people using fake reviews, we are now going to find promoting genuine social proof even harder than before.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Decon on February 28, 2016, 04:16:26 am
It is fair to say that Amazon have to be seen doing something other than having TOCs. Legislators are currently looking at the review process in Europe and no doubt elsewhere. Amazon is not the only one under scrutiny. The legislators are also looking at such as Trip Advisor. Perhaps they should also look at the Amazon's own  'Vine Program'

Vine program reviews.     Don't have to say they recieved the book free, or any product for that matter.

                                    Shows as a "vine review'" in green as if it is a badge of honour.

                                    Readers have to click on the link to find out that the product was recieved free.

                                   Suppliers have to pay Amazon for vine reviewers to get their product free.

                                   Vine reviewers are chosen by Amazon.

Just saying.

                      Amazon imprints use this service and it guarantees them considerable reviews at publication.

As regards Amazon deleting genuine reviews, it's no wonder it is now harder to get genuine reviews, and it will only get harder in the future. This will hit indie authors more than publishers and Amazon imprints, who have a free pass to reviews/ paid for/ via the likes of paying a fee to NetGally and the Vine Program for inclusion, which is clearly within the Amazon TOC as you are not paying the reviewer.

With NetGally. The author/publisher gets to pick and choose if they consider a reviewer worthy of reviewing their book. With Vine, Amazon has already done that for them. Those NetGally reviews have to mention they got the book free as an ARC, usually stating they got it via NetGally.

I now use a service in the UK which is free, where an anonymous reviewer requests an ARC via the site. I am given an email as to where to send the ARC. There is no guarantee even then that the reviewer will leave a review. If those reviews get deleted... well, best not use expletives to explain how angry I would feel.

 
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: anotherpage on February 28, 2016, 06:33:35 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.

It is upsetting, however i can see the challenge that Amazon has. There are a lot of scammer authors out there who are playing tricks to get reviews
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Anarchist on February 28, 2016, 06:49:35 am
For those of you who have lost reviews, have you noticed any effect on your weekly sales?
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Becca Mills on February 28, 2016, 10:55:07 am
This prevailing attitude that "reviews are for whatever I want" seems to be what Amazon is trying to counter....

 ...unless that (creative) expression is to serve as information for a product or service.

Of course, I understand creativity and the forms that it takes. I understand creativity is subjective. I'm not arguing that reviews should not be creative, or that they can't be a creative outlet.

The fact that reviews are intended by Amazon (and by law) for purposes of product information is not subjective.

I just don't buy this argument. If Amazon were truly concerned with making reviewers see reviews as no more than an exchange of product info, the first reviews to go would be the joke ones on products like this (http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Three-Wolf-Moon-Adult/dp/B007I4HI1K/). These are, after all, the most creative and least informative reviews of all. But Amazon doesn't delete those. Quite the opposite, in fact: it keeps a page (http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1001250201) listing products with funny reviews, so that people can find them. Because, you know ... folks coming to the site to read funny reviews is a big 'ol YES PLEASE!

According to my understanding, the FTC doesn't regulate (https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/press-releases/ftc-staff-revises-online-advertising-disclosure-guidelines/130312dotcomdisclosures.pdf) reviews (https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking) because they can convey product information but because there's an opportunity for deceptive endorsement. If an ordinary customer reviewed a serving spoon on Amazon and said it was sterling when in fact it was only plate, the FTC would have nothing to say about the matter. It's just someone making a mistake or lying. Amazon could either take the review down because it's incorrect or leave it there and let other customers point out the error in comments. It's not a legal issue but a matter of the site-owner's preferences. But if a reviewer had been given the spoon free in exchange for the review and didn't disclose it, that would be of concern to the FTC in and of itself, whether or not the review's info about the product were accurate. So far as I understand the issue, this is the only legal matter surrounding online customer reviews of products -- whether or not there is an unexpected relationship between the reviewer and the seller/manufacturer. This tells us nothing about what reviews are supposed to be, other than that they're supposed to be honest on the matter of reviewer-seller connections.

Neither does Amazon state that customer reviews should be about "product information" in some strict or limiting sense. Rather, they invite (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201602680) reviewers to "Tell us about your experience with the product or service you purchased." If your "experience" of a product is that it prompted you to explore in-depth your memory of a horseback-riding adventure you had as a child, then you can go on about horseback-riding at length in your review, even if the product in question is a bottle of olive oil or a package of thumb tacks.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Alan Petersen on February 28, 2016, 11:15:13 am
Of course, I understand creativity and the forms that it takes. I understand creativity is subjective. I'm not arguing that reviews should not be creative, or that they can't be a creative outlet.

The fact that reviews are intended by Amazon (and by law) for purposes of product information is not subjective.


I just don't buy this argument. If Amazon were truly concerned with making reviewers see reviews as no more than an exchange of product info, the first reviews to go would be the joke ones on products like this (http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Three-Wolf-Moon-Adult/dp/B007I4HI1K/). These are, after all, the most creative and least informative reviews of all. But Amazon doesn't delete those. Quite the opposite, in fact: it keeps a page (http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1001250201) listing products with funny reviews, so that people can find them. Because, you know ... folks coming to the site to read funny reviews is a big 'ol YES PLEASE!


Exactly. Those joke reviews are considered benign by most everyone, they generate traffic which a percentage turns into sales, Amazon and the vendor are happy.

Amazon uses reviews as a selling tool not to offer a consumer reports type review. When it gets out of hand and they get publicity then they react (like they're doing now).
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Becca Mills on February 28, 2016, 12:28:59 pm
Exactly. Those joke reviews are considered benign by most everyone, they generate traffic which a percentage turns into sales, Amazon and the vendor are happy.

Amazon uses reviews as a selling tool not to offer a consumer reports type review. When it gets out of hand and they get publicity then they react (like they're doing now).

Seriously. I actually bought that three-wolves-howling t-shirt for my father-in-law. He's been peeling off the babes ever since.  8)
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Wired on February 28, 2016, 12:51:37 pm
If your "experience" of a product is that it prompted you to explore in-depth your memory of a horseback-riding adventure you had as a child, then you can go on about horseback-riding at length in your review, even if the product in question is a bottle of olive oil or a package of thumb tacks.

Too funny! :D
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Alan Petersen on February 28, 2016, 01:32:30 pm
The $200 Bresciani socks Alec Baldwin mentioned in the Amazon Echo Super Bowl commercial is just about 100% fake reviews. Some funny, some mean, there is one wishing anyone that would spend $200 on a pair of socks should get ebola, and Amazon leaves those fake reviews untouched.

http://www.amazon.com/Bresciani-Cashmere-Over--Socks-1-Winter/dp/B01B9ILHV2/ref=sr_1_1?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1456694925&sr=1-1&nodeID=1040658&keywords=bresciani+socks

So perhaps if reviewers write their reviews with comedic bent and snark, they'll be left alone by the Zon.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Becca Mills on February 28, 2016, 01:51:02 pm
The $200 Bresciani socks Alec Baldwin mentioned in the Amazon Echo Super Bowl commercial is just about 100% fake reviews. Some funny, some mean, there is one wishing anyone that would spend $200 on a pair of socks should get ebola, and Amazon leaves those fake reviews untouched.

http://www.amazon.com/Bresciani-Cashmere-Over--Socks-1-Winter/dp/B01B9ILHV2/ref=sr_1_1?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1456694925&sr=1-1&nodeID=1040658&keywords=bresciani+socks

So perhaps if reviewers write their reviews with comedic bent and snark, they'll be left alone by the Zon.

Those are good! Have you seen the ones on the $40,000 98-inch TV? My favorite is something like, "Not big enough and also too cheap."  :D
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: lilywhite on February 28, 2016, 06:39:44 pm
My favorite is this one: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3JUIEGFUTUWMI/
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Ann Grant on February 28, 2016, 07:04:42 pm
My favorite is this one: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3JUIEGFUTUWMI/

That's hilarious. Best review ever.
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: KeraEmory on February 28, 2016, 07:14:52 pm
In honor of the Oscars tonight:

http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-710-5521-Silver-Color-Mist/dp/B005KTVG86/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456715631&sr=8-1&keywords=silver+food+spray#customerReviews
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: Moist_Tissue on February 28, 2016, 07:39:59 pm
Joke reviews are absolutely part of Amazon's culture.

http://www.amazon.com/review/RN9XMF3CS1YPS
Title: Re: Anyone hearing about Review Issues and Amazon?
Post by: 555aaa on February 28, 2016, 08:36:40 pm
There's a rising public backlash against the "I received this (thing) in exchange for an honest review" reviews.

Now, here's my pile-on, regarding the "I find your lack of toast disturbing" Darth Vader toaster:

http: //www.amazon.com/review/ R1TPH5IEV6EXRY/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00JFFH1NA&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=284507&store=kitchen

BTW I posted a review link at Amazon and it got replaced by a home depot link. I don't get it.