All my Amazon reviews have disappeared!

Brian G Turner

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#1
amazon.jpg


Yep, all the reviews I've ever posted to Amazon have disappeared. I'm not sure why - I noticed last week, and my initial feeling was that it must have been an IT error.

However, Gathering has just lost a review as well, so I wonder if Amazon has a new algorithm for cracking down on "fake" reviews - and it's throwing out the baby with the bathwater?

I don't see how I could possibly have broken Amazon's rules, though perhaps being the first reviewer on a few books might have raised a flag. Either way, I've emailed Amazon support about this and hope to get this resolved.

It does mean, though, that if you're an author here and I reviewed one or more of your books, those will now be missing on Amazon - though my Goodreads reviews don't appear affected (look how fake they are - lol!).

I do have a couple of reviews outstanding - Ellis Knox's Goblins at the Gates, and Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451 - but I'll wait to see what happens before posting anything to Amazon or Goodreads.

UPDATE: And... they were re-instated! See this post and the one following it for more information/speculation: All my Amazon reviews have disappeared!

UPDATE 2: I now suspect the reason my account was flagged was due to a high ratio of self-published books (especially ones with relatively few - if any - reviews) being posted.
 

thaddeus6th

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#2
I've heard, some years ago, that if chaps leave mutual reviews (so self-published authors, for example, reviewing one another's work) that can lead to all your reviews being tossed out. It's one of the reasons, along with laziness, why I very rarely put anything up on Amazon.

As you say, could just be an IT error.
 

Brian G Turner

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#3
I don't do mutual reviews, though. Over the years, the total number of chrons authors I've reviewed who have also reviewed me is... 3.

One of them was you - but you never asked me to read anything by you, let alone review it. I read your Kingdom Asunder (abridged version) because it was free and I wanted to see how other self-published fantasy compared to mine - that is all. :)
 

thaddeus6th

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#4
I always said you had exquisite taste and impeccable judgement ;)

However, it's possible that might be enough to trip the Algorithm of Doom, particularly if they've tweaked said algorithm. Such nonsense afflicts Youtube videos on a host of subjects (put the wrong word in the title and you get the video demonetised. It can be reviewed and overturned by an actual human, but that takes long enough that most of the views [and hence missed income] have already happened).
 

Hugh

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#5
When I click on your "Gathering" on Amazon.uk there are 24 reviews.

When I look at my profiles on both amazon.uk and amazon.com, my reviews are still there.

Recently I did find it was impossible to post a review on amazon.uk unless it was a verified purchase.

Almost all my reviews are not "verified purchase" (I use a different email account to order books), but they don't seem to have been cleansed.
 

awesomesauce

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#7
Yep, all my reviews on Amazon have disappeared. I'm not sure why - I noticed last week, and my initial feeling was that it must have been an IT error.

However, Gathering has just lost a review as well, so I wonder if Amazon has a new algorithm for cracking down on "fake" reviews - and it's throwing out the baby with the bathwater?

I don't see how I could possibly have broken Amazon's rules, though perhaps being the first reviewer on a few books might have raised a flag. Either way, I've emailed Amazon support about this and hope to get this
Apparently there's a lot of stuff going on with Amazon right now. They changed some of the review rules, especially for non-verified purchase, and minimum spending levels, and there's stuff going on with them taking away KU reads too.

I'm not up on the details, not a big Amazon reviewer, or a reviewer in general, though I try to throw some love at self published books I enjoy.
 

Brian G Turner

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#8
Well, I just tried to post my latest reviews to Amazon, but got the following message:

Sorry, we are unable to accept your review of this product.

Your previous review of this product did not comply with our Customer Reviews Guidelines. Amazon does not permit reviews from customers whose relationship to the product or seller may be perceived as biased.
So it seems as though Amazon prefers it if writers don't review other writers - and especially not someone who leads a community of writers.

I can appreciate Amazon's position on this, but removing every single review I've ever made for every single product from the past 10+ years seems more than a little extreme.

I'm not sure whether to be bemused or indignant - especially as one of the books I tried to post a review for was Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451! :D
 

HareBrain

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#9
So it seems as though Amazon prefers it if writers don't review other writers - and especially not someone who leads a community of writers.
It seems odd, and heavy-handed, that there should be a blanket ban on reviews. I wonder if they actually detected your link to this community, or if you were just unlucky.
 

Brian G Turner

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#11
It seems odd, and heavy-handed, that there should be a blanket ban on reviews. I wonder if they actually detected your link to this community, or if you were just unlucky.
Presumably their algorithm looks for connections between people. As I used to send books for the winners of the writing challenges, I have especially wide connections across the chrons community - not just for book reviews.

They've got rid of a few of mine, too. Can't they find something better to do?
At least it's not just me! Perhaps we should start a club? :)
 

HareBrain

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#15
Has there been any sign of Goodreads doing this kind of thing? Given it's owned by Amazon, you wonder why not (though of course I'm hoping they don't).

Brian, how many reviews had you posted?
 

tinkerdan

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#17
I suppose at some point goodreads will follow suit; however they seem to move like molasses to amazons water like flow.

I have had Amazon block my reviews at times and the first time was because I mentioned the author's name too many times and with too many words around the name that something or someone was afraid I was defaming the author.

The funniest thing to happen though was when they kept bouncing one for content and I kept reading through it and could find no references to the author or any such attacks and was baffled until I remembered that I had put a quote from the book into the review. When I checked it there was a word in the direct quote that apparently reviewers are not allowed to use and I had to alter the quote so that it was no longer accurate and it finally went through.

Seems like a double standard there; when they can't allow you to use a word they allow an author to use in the book. But I wouldn't want to argue that and begin supporting censorship of authors works.
 

thaddeus6th

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#18
I was thinking of putting some of my blog reviews on Amazon, but this has completely put me off. I don't want to lose the reviews I've got, or cause others to get their reviews taken down.

I do remember hearing of this silliness some time ago. Sometimes tech giants can be quite daft.
 

Jo Zebedee

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#19
Brian- your reviews have value as the sff Chronicles reviews. I know on Inish I have a quote on the cover from it and just attribute it to the Chrons.

Why not make a virtue of Amazon’s weirdness, and make your reviews exclusive to the Chrons. It drives traffic, and also adds kudos to the writers to say they were reviewed on the site.
 

tinkerdan

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#20
There are a number of ways for this to happen.
Ah - I meant reviews of my books, not reviews that I'd written. (I've not written any.)
Some outside of Amazon's control.
Since a reviewer can either edit or delete their review at any time there is a huge area of flexibility.
An author responding to a review(in any way) can prompt such action.
An author getting abusive of the Reviewer can cause the removal.(If the reviewer is a speed-reader they might also be able to get a refund--even(especially)on an e-book.)

And it is possible that if enough people complain about a specific review it can be removed--this can go either way when someone is defending the author, or someone suspects it's a sock-puppet.
 

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