AMAZON accused of deleting negative reviews of Clinton’s ‘What Happened’

Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently wrote a book in which she details the reasons why she was unable to reach the nation’s highest office for the second time. In it, she blames her defeat on Russia, social media, women who failed to vote for her (as she feels they all should have done) and former FBI director James Comey – among others.

Since hitting shelves this week, reviews have begun pouring in and, already, online e-commerce site Amazon is “batting down claims that it deleted hundreds of one-star reviews” of the book, according to LifeZette. Amazon has reported that it doesn’t delete negative reviews, but others are challenging the claim.

“We never suppress reviews based on star rating or sentiment,” Amazon told LifeZette in an emailed statement. “We have triggers in place to detect when numerous reviews post in a short amount of time that are unrelated to the product. When these triggers are activated, we suppress all non-Amazon Verified Purchase (AVP) reviews on the product.”

Released Tuesday, Clinton’s new book had more than 1,600 reviews posted by Wednesday morning, LifeZette reports. Reviewers who gave the title all 5 stars came in at about 50-percent, while those who felt it deserved only 1 star sat at 49-percent, with an average rating of 3.2.

According to LifeZette:

By Wednesday evening, however, there were only 460 reviews left on the site. All were marked “Verified Purchase” — indicating the reviewer had purchased the book on Amazon. Most, if not all, were five-star reviews…

By Thursday afternoon, there were 626 reviews — 607 positive and just 22 negative. The average rating was 4.9 out of a possible 5. All were marked “Verified Purchase.”

On Friday afternoon, a review of the site by DML News revealed that there were 758 reviews, with an average rating of 4.8 stars. 92-percent of reviewers are giving it a 5-star rating, while only 4-percent say it deserves 1 star.

According to LifeZette, those responsible for giving the book a low rating, of which they have examples, “slammed Amazon for appearing to delete other bad ratings.” On Friday morning, it claims, posts “knocking Clinton and the book took up almost the entire first page of reviews, evidently because they got the most likes.”

Looking at the site Friday afternoon, DML News found the first three reviews to populate were largely negative. One said, “I wouldn’t have encouraged her to publish it.” That reviewer gave it a 2-star rating.

Another, which gave “What Happened” 1 star, wrote, “Very long and really doesn’t have a point other than explaining that Hillary takes no blame for her own presidental [sic] loss.”

In Amazon’s emailed statement, they explained the way reviews work:

Amazon Customer Reviews must be reviews related to the product and are designed to help customers make purchase decisions. In the case of a memoir, the subject of the book is the author and their views. 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.

The third reviewer to populate in Amazon’s review section for the book Friday afternoon, Manuel Beiro, attempted to sum it up for anyone interested and to help them make a decision. Beiro wrote:

I’m a non-partisan who has actually read this book and have to agree with many of the negative reviews here. This pretty much sums up the book:
1) It was MY turn
2) The campaign was absolutely impeccable..without any flaws whatsoever
3) It was everyone else’s fault

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