Amazon Faces More ‘Sock Puppet’ Charges After Fans Attack New Michael Jackson Biography

'Untouchable...' biography of Michael Jackson

Woe betide anyone who dares write a book which poses uncomfortable questions about Michael Jackson, the (now deceased) King of Pop. A group of intense Jackson fans, describing themselves as “Michael Jackson’s Rapid Response Team to Media Attacks”, quickly threw themselves into action when Randall Sullivan’s new biography, Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson, went live on Amazon. Untouchable… received more than 100 one-star reviews, accompanied by angry comments by the fans and even succeeded in getting favorable notices ‘erased’. They are even taking credit for Amazon taking the book down, however briefly. What seems to have upset them the most are allegations that Jackson was a virgin when he died and indulged in far too much plastic surgery. Really?

Twitter and Facebook buzzed with their efforts as they stated that their mission was “defending the king and promoting his legacy”. They obviously take this seriously.

It’s sensationalism, lies, and simply disrespectful. Let the KING rest in peace Mr Sullivan.

Of course, any victory they may have achieved has had the opposite effect, as we all know there’s no such thing as bad publicity — readers are now buying the book to see what all the fuss is about! The “resounding failure in the marketplace” is doing pretty well.

What it does do is bring up the whole ‘sock puppet’-gate ( I can say that, can’t I) that Amazon’s been dealing with, badly, in recent months. While it might be reprehensible on some levels, it’s called freedom of speech, isn’t it? And “Amazon said the fans’ reviews had not violated its guidelines but declined further comment.” So don’t expect any action anytime soon.

It just makes me wonder how easily the reviews can be manipulated. Maybe, as some pundits are suggesting, we should have a ‘purchased’ button on reviews so people know whether you’ve actually bought it or not. Even if you haven’t read it. What do you think? Have they gone too far?

Image of Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson
Author: Randall Sullivan
Price: $15.99
Publisher: Grove Press (2012)
Binding: Hardcover, 704 pages
Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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Comments

alisia's picture
alisia from Byron, NY is reading The Goldfinch by: Donna Tartt January 23, 2013 - 11:05am

I think these weirdos have gone too far. They're vehemently defending a child molester. That being said, how hilarious is the title of this book? 

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break January 23, 2013 - 11:12am

Funny how "freedom of speech" has deformed into "I can say whatever the fuck I want about whatever I want without credentials, just cause, or any type of factual foundation."

And yes, that would include giving nasty reviews on books that you've neither purchashed nor read.

 

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading January 23, 2013 - 11:41am

If Michael Jackson died a virgin, then how did his reputation get so fucked?

Spencer Richard's picture
Spencer Richard from Canada is reading Go Set A Watchman January 23, 2013 - 1:09pm

If Michael Jackson died a virgin, then how did his reputation get so fucked?

Priceless.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like January 23, 2013 - 3:33pm

He's not dead.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like January 23, 2013 - 3:37pm

say whatever the fuck I want about whatever I want without credentials, just cause, or any type of factual foundation.

I wasn't alive back then, but I'm pretty sure people did that before the Bill of Rights was written.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break January 23, 2013 - 4:15pm

I wasn't alive back then, but I'm pretty sure people did that before the Bill of Rights was written.

@J.Y.

Can we debate over Skype? Pretty pretty pretty please?

I'll record it and then everyone can see how witty and smart you are.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like January 23, 2013 - 6:06pm

Depends. Can I masturbate? Like, at the same time as we "debate?"

[This is precisely how witty and smart I am.]

Maybe if I hadn't said, "I wasn't alive back then, but ...," it wouldn't seem like I was being whatever you think I was being.

I just thought your suggestion that these fake reviews from hardcore pop music fans were an indication of the devolution of the official ethics of the United States Government was wrong. Or off-base. What does the Federal government's stance toward citizens' statements have to do with fake reviews? The article mentions it only as a question:


... it's called freedom of speech, isn't it?

Was that merely a quip by Mr. Fetzer? Have these reviewers actually claimed free speech allowance? Have the amazon folks stated they will not crack down on this stuff because of the First Amendment?

Slander and fraud are illegal, even though they may involve speech. Amazon can adjust their guidelines to prohibit monkey business, if they wish, or if they are compelled to. People talk shit even without supposing they are protected in doing so by the Constitution.

Bill Glover's picture
Bill Glover from Northern California (currently) is reading Lamb by Christopher Moore January 23, 2013 - 8:33pm

Amazon does add an indicator in the "format" line below the reviewer name to show that the reviewer purchased the product or book.

Format Paperback | Amazon Verified Purchase

I'm not sure how I feel about Amazon reviews. I've read some great ones that really told me what I needed to know, and read some others that would have fit right in as YouTube comments.

 

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading January 24, 2013 - 5:53am

My other joke was going to be that if he died a virgin, then he was telling the truth in Billie Jean.

That kid's not his son.

Spencer Richard's picture
Spencer Richard from Canada is reading Go Set A Watchman January 24, 2013 - 9:16pm

@Fylh

You are on fire. Stop, you're killing me. lol

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like September 16, 2013 - 6:13am

... memories ... feelings ... good times ...