Amazon has been accused of censorship after it removed negative reviews of Hillary Clinton’s new book for supposedly violating “community guidelines.”
The online retail giant has admitted to removing hundreds of one-star reviews of Clinton’s memoir, ‘What Happened,’ claiming they have the right to uphold reviews from legitimate customers.
Amazon deletes over 1500 1 star reviews for Hillary’s book.#WednesdayWisdom https://t.co/tWIZhy6HgS
— Wednesdayy (@RealWednesdayy) September 13, 2017
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“In the case of a memoir, the subject of the book is the author and their views,” an Amazon spokesperson told Fortune. “It’s not our role to decide what a customer would view as helpful or unhelpful in making their decision. We do however have mechanisms in place to ensure that the voices of many do not drown out the voices of a few and we remove customer reviews that violate our community guidelines.”
Rating of @HillaryClinton‘s book prior to deleted @amazon reviews: 3.2 out of 5. After the purge, 4.9. Seems kosher. https://t.co/R7te9TwqZZ
— Gad Saad (@GadSaad) September 14, 2017
As a result, Clinton’s memoir had five out five stars from over 700 reviews, as of Friday morning. However, the top eight “most helpful” reviews, picked by users, gave the book one or two stars.
“If Amazon doesn’t like what we have to say, don’t ask for input,” said one reviewer, who said their feedback was deleted three times.
ReviewMeta, a website that analyzes the authenticity of Amazon reviews, said that 25 percent of reviewers of Clinton’s book were “suspicious,” a designation it gives users who have only reviewed one title.
Amazon is a problem, trying to alter the reality of what people really think.https://t.co/cRsctPXAl1
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) September 13, 2017
Amazon’s guidelines for customer reviews state that a reviewer must spend at least $50 before contributing a comment and the content can’t be “libelous, defamatory, harassing, threatening or inflammatory.”