900 Trump supporters have already been blocked from Amazon and their accounts are being investigated after the furore yesterday as Hillary Clinton’s book debuted in Amazon.
Mrs Clinton’s book, What Happened, went on sale on Tuesday. By Wednesday there were 1,600 reviews – many of which did not discuss the book, but instead offered high praise or scathing criticism of Mrs Clinton.
The book has only been published and within 24 hours, many people are claiming to have read the book entirely and then posting negative reviews which made the whole activity on Amazon look suspiscious, triggering Amazon to look at the accounts and the comments.
The website Quartz analysed the data from the reviews and found that of the book’s 1,600 or so reviews as of Wednesday morning, only 338 were from users with verified purchases of the book – that is, those who actually bought the item on Amazon.com. They could, of course, have bought the book somewhere else and then logged onto Amazon to post a review, but the majority of Amazon’s reviews are from people who bought the book on their site
“It seems highly unlikely that approximately 1,500 people read Hillary Clinton’s book overnight and came to the stark conclusion that it is either brilliant or awful,” he said.
He said Simon & Schuster hoped the online commentary would reflect opinions of people who have actually read the book.
“It’s pathetic and immature that Clinton can’t accept personal responsibility for her loss. She was a terrible candidate and had a hard time defeating Bernie,” wrote R.J. Parker.
Another reviewer disagreed, saying: “Love this woman in all her candor, playfulness, defiance and brilliance. #ImWithHer #StillWithHer #AlwaysWithHer”.
Amazon says on its site that its reviews are designed to help customers make purchase decisions, and it is not the company’s role to decide what customers would find helpful in reviews.
Amazon would be within its legal rights if it closed the accounts of the offending customers who wrote negative reviews before reading the book or even buying the book.
Their actions would amount to fraud as the activity of writing “fake reviews” on Amazon to influence the sale or reputation of the book could be legally termed as fraudulent.