Accuracy in Media

Ten months after the election and Jeff Bezos is still making in-kind contributions to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Last year, he was directing the Washington Post to promote Clinton over her opponent, no matter the cost to the paper’s identity or credibility. Now, he is having Amazon pull bad reviews of Clinton’s book off the site to artificially improve its ratings.

According to Zero Hedge:

“In what many have dubbed a flagrant intervention by Amazon itself to seemingly boost the rating of Hillary Clinton’s new book “What Happened,” the Telegraph first reported, and subsequently many others observed first hand, that Amazon has been monitoring and deleting 1-star reviews of Hillary Clinton’s new book, ‘which was greeted with a torrent of criticism on the day it was released.’”

Among the deleted, according to Zero Hedge: “Read all the promotional excerpts, which combined come close to book length – pretty good novel. It is fiction, isn’t it? Surely, someone is playing a joke.” Another said, “Picked this book up at Wal-Mart out of sheer morbid curiosity. Returned it, claiming I bought the wrong book.”

Screenshots show the manipulation. At 10:31 a.m., “What Happened” was rated 3.2 out of five stars, based on customer reviews. Of 1,503 reviews, 45 percent were 5-star and 52 percent were one-star. At  2:55 p.m., the book was up to 3.3 stars overall, with 46 percent awarding 5-star ratings and 50 percent awarding just one.

But by 5:23, everyone had fallen in love with the book. It was up to 4.9 out of five, 97 percent of the reviews were 5-star and more than 1,000 reviews had been deleted.

Amazon responded to Fortune magazine with a statement that said, “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.”

Amazon also told Fortune some of the posts occurred before the book was released, which would mean more if it had not been excerpted widely beforehand, and that many of the commentators were deleted because they had not made a “verified purchase” of the book.

It may well be that some people commented on the book without having read a word of it. But it is likely many of those people gave the book a 5-star rating. And it may be that people organize in opposition to a person or book.

But we’ll wait to see Amazon similarly tidy up the ratings for a conservative book before we buy into this account of its motives. 

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  • Austinniceguy

    BS!!!! They deleted the reviews they didn’t like because they wanted to boost her ratings but the fact is that it didn’t work. Word on social media, including facebook is that the book is garbage. They went so far as to relegate it to the clearance rack on its first day!!! They can do whatever they want but it won’t make a difference, she’s a total loser and will never be anything else. LMAO!!!!

  • Mary

    Amazon rating are scripted and inaccurate to move everything to left socialists. Would not buy anything based on an amazon rating. As far as Hillary goes she is a loser, always was a loser and will continue to be a loser. When is her obituary going to be posed?

  • John Cunningham

    All of the Media is in bed with Satan and the Mistress of Satan.

  • larry

    screw amazon… just the most recent sell-out to the goose stepping liberal fascist movement…

  • Columbuslady

    We all know that “verified purchaser” means little to nothing about a book, since many people get their books from other vendors or libraries. As for comments prior to public release of a book, some readers have obtained review copies before publication, or have read long pre-release excerpts in magazines. I myself usually read a new book in the library edition before deciding whether to buy my own copy, and I post reviews accordingly.

  • Thomas Anderson

    Amazon is getting very polluted not only with bogus reviews on books like this but also on some products outside of the books/DVD realm. They are also letting a lot of bogus “sellers” into their “Marketplace” area with exceptionally low prices and zero intent to ship products. (I’ve been nailed myself with one of them.) “Amazon also told Fortune some of the posts occurred before the book was released” certainly doesn’t sound good.

  • john

    Bezos could just write her a check; that’s all she’s after anyway. Although, he may have bought 5 million and needs to bolster the ratings to unload them.

  • Denise Marie Larson

    We know the reviews were not accurate as Amazon could not even say how many people had bought that piece of garbage. I have not read the book but the excerpts that I have seen are nothing but blaming everyone else for her own lack of viability She has been a waste of life from the times she was a teenager until present. She has just gotten better at taking people down her path of hate and stupidity. Man I just wish she would go far far away

  • Diane B. Kowalczyk

    Just like the nasty trolls in online news stories’ commemts threads, trolls are prolific “contributors” on Review boards. Especially those with political themes. I see no problem with troll comments being deleted, as long as constructive criticisms remain. Also, you’re fooling yourself if you think every single comment or review originates from outside and public sources. Common practice for a business, perhaps lacking in reviews, to submit anonymous comments to spur sales. Also common practice to consolidate a lot of very similar comments into a single one that summarizes them all.

  • Mer A Schw

    I haven’t read the book yet. But a report by a conservative holds no weight with me. That would have the same results if Bernie sanders wrote an article about breightbar or the art of the deal. I would love to see a review by someone who doesn’t have a political agenda

  • Samuel Sanchez

    Amazon always deletes spam and fake posts. If you want to give it a genuine bad review you need to be a verified purchaser and then write a bad review. You can’t just spam bad reviews. It’s also a best seller so won’t be on clearance racks until at least a month plus after its release date.

  • Samuel Sanchez

    Amazon has verified purchasers the reviews they deleted were the fake hate group people who ever bought the book.

  • Austinniceguy

    That’s as funny as when the morons from the left thought she was going to win the election. If it were a best seller the lamestream libturd media would have been screaming it from the rooftops but instead they’ve been VERY quiet about it. If you had done even a TINY bit of research you would have seen that it debuted at 40% off the original list price. Do yourself a favor and look it up so you won’t come across as the low IQ, uneducated you make yourself out to be.

  • Samuel Sanchez

    That’s why the verified purchaser reviews are the only one that matters on amazon. Furthermore books are subjective regardless. Just because I like a book doesn’t mean you will regardless.

  • Mark Midas

    I also have to wonder how many books Amazon has effectively banned by making it difficult to search the site by title or author or by altering URLs. Before electronics was a driving force, the publishing industry blacklisted many worthy, loyal authors. After she mercifully left Congress, U.S. Rep. Patricia Schroeder was made president of the Association of American Publishers in 1997, a position she held for 11 years. The Wicked Witch of the West was, as Lenin would have put it, a useful idiot.

  • J. Glenn

    Yep. You’ll find them living in the Hell known as Hollywood.

  • NonPCconservative

    I have been unable to purchase several conservative Kindle eBooks from Amazon as they say that the book is not available. I am an expatriate living overseas. A support agent was somewhat evasive when asked why this was so initially saying that the publisher likely restricted sales geographically. I asked if Amazon was the publisher then the story changed to “perhaps the author placed the geographical restriction”.

    I believe that Amazon is doing this off their own bat as it is unlikely that an author would want to restrict sales. A publisher may, in the case of an eBook, want to push sales of physical books to support their traditional outlets but that did not apply in two cases as they were only available as Kindle eBooks.

  • P`tar

    Sorry, you have to buy something from Amazon before you can review it.

  • John Cunningham

    Sodom & Gomorrah is more like it. Wouldn’t mind seeing Rosie O”Donnell as a pillar of salt.

  • TED

    As is the case with businesses that favor rightwing politics and politicians, Amazon is free to support whatever ideology and politician it chooses to and for whatever reason. If you don’t like that … don’t buy the book or spend any money on Amazon! Very simple.

    This article and most of the comments regarding it are just more purely d*ckheaded, ideological, partisanship with the wingnut haters grousing, griping, and grumbling as usual.

  • J. Glenn

    That’s funny … and the entire panel of The View along with Barbara Walters and most of the people who attend the Academy Awards ceremony. They’d leave behind a pillar of salt that would surpass Mount Everest in elevation easily!

  • John Cunningham

    Oh wouldn’t it be wonderful. Cheaper salt too!

  • LibbyDibs

    Thank you for describing yourself Ted!

    “more purely d*ckheaded, ideological, partisanship with the wingnut haters grousing, griping, and grumbling as usual.”