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Sunday, 23 December 2012

Amazon and the great reviewer purge

Stephen Leather and one of his reviewers
The New York Times have this weekend run an article by  David Streitfeld that looks at Amazon's recent purge of what the faceless corporation see as fake reviews. The article states that - "Giving raves to family members is no longer acceptable. Neither is writers’ reviewing other writers. But showering five stars on a book you admittedly have not read is fine."

The article goes on to state that "Several mystery writers, including R. J. Ellory, Stephen Leather and John Locke, have recently confessed to various forms of manipulation under the general category of “sock puppets,” or online identities used to deceive. That resulted in a widely circulated petition by a loose coalition of writers under the banner, “No Sock Puppets Here Please,” asking people to “vote for book reviews you can trust.” 

It seems that Amazon have angered some writers by removing thousands of reviews be they fake or not - no doubt some of this was necessary but the ruling about writers reviewing other writers books is stupid. This has gone on for years with print books - indeed I would never have discovered Clive Barker had not Stephen King wrote, 'I have seen the future of horror and it is Clive Barker.'

Ahh well this is Amazon and you can't argue with them.

The article makes for interesting reading and the full text can be found HERE

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