Sock Puppet Reviews Prompt Action at Amazon
In the last few months there have been a number of revelations that successful authors have been paying for positive reviews of their books, particularly on Amazon. Now referred to as “sock puppet reviews”, it sparked a letter of complaint from a number of established authors as well as some investigation from people like author Steve Weddle over at Do Some Damage. It was also reported on by LitReactor's Rob W. Hart and Cath Murphy.
Surprisingly, it seems Amazon’s listened - well, to the complaining, at any rate. They’ve now instituted a policy against authors reviewing other author’s books. This is an actual response Weddle received from Amazon:
We do not allow reviews on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product. This includes authors, artists, publishers, manufacturers, or third-party merchants selling the product. As a result, we've removed your reviews for this title. Any further violations of our posted Guidelines may result in the removal of this item from our website.
Weddle’s rightly perturbed, but not as much as best-ebook-seller J A Konrath who seems pretty annoyed - both with Amazon and what he dubs the “No Sock Puppets Here Please” authors, whom he thanks for all their help!
Konrath is, however, realistic, in that he doesn’t expect the reviews to magically disappear (nor do I), but I have to agree that it does appear Amazon has gone too far trying to eradicate some of the bad reviews. It’s good they’re doing something - it’s just a shame about all the collateral damage. Do you think Amazon is doing the right thing?
You can read one of the articles in full at Techdirt.
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