“Amazon Deletes Reviews of Conservative Authors with No Explanation.”
That’s what Matt Margolis says at the end of his article, Amazon Purges Reviews of Bestselling Anti-Obama Book, on PJ Media.
Margolis says he has proof.
He uses his own book, The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama, as an example:
“This book was approaching 1,000 reviews until Amazon decided to clean house,” writes Margolis.
“On Tuesday, the book had 945 reviews. On Wednesday, the book had only 693 reviews. A whopping 252 reviews (approximately 27 percent) simply vanished. Worse yet, most of the purged reviews appear to have been positive ones, as the average rating went down from roughly 4.5+ to 4.2 stars.”
To back up his statements, Margolis includes screenshots that clearly show a decrease in the number of reviews.
The article is persuasive.
If Amazon is manipulating reviews to mislead consumers due to a political bias, that’s a HUGE breach of trust.
Consumer Press investigated and asked Amazon directly. Is this true?
Amazon replied that there are two versions of the book. Something that Margolis also mentioned in his article. One was published in 2016, another in 2018.
“Regarding the specific example shared, the customer reviews mentioned were never suppressed, but were recently moved to align with the 2016 edition of the book they provided insights on. You can find the reviews here,” said the Amazon spokesperson we spoke with.
“It was an error that these reviews were ever combined on the detail page for the revised 2018 edition of the book. This newer edition is a different item (as it has a different ISBN, different publisher, different page count, etc.).”
She went on to say “We welcome all opinions and do not suppress reviews based on star rating or sentiment. We have clear participation guidelines for both reviewers and selling partners which can be viewed here and here.”
“We work hard to enrich the shopping experience for our customers and use a combination of teams of investigators and automated technology to ensure our guidelines for customer reviews are followed at scale.”
Consumer Press was able to confirm, through a combination of caches from Archive.org and Bing.com, that as the number of reviews decreased on the 2018 version of the book, the number of reviews increased on the 2016 version of the book.
On July 17, 2019, the 2018 version of the book had 945 reviews. By August 1, it was down to 728, a decrease of 217. The rating decreased from 4.4 to 4.2 out of 5 stars.
On July 19, 2019, the 2016 version of the book had 9 reviews. As of today, it has 255, an increase of 246. The rating increased from 2.6 to 4.1 out of 5 stars.
The dates of the caches don’t match up exactly, so the numbers don’t match exactly, but the trend is clear, and is consistent with Amazon’s explanation.
We emailed Margolis six days ago and asked for a response to Amazon’s statement. He has not replied.
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