Amazon deletes my reviews
November 11, 2007 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone else had trouble with Amazon either deleting or not posting reviews?

Amazon has been deleting or not posting some of my reviews. They are not that negative and are respectful in tone. Some recent reviews I wrote that were deleted include Marco Polo and Shadow of the Silk Road. An Amazon discussion board post suggests "technical error" but I don't believe it (see my post in that thread). Am I being paranoid? I'd like to stay an Amazon customer but am not comfortable being forced to write fawning reviews to get past censors.
posted by stbalbach to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Have you tried calling them?

I posted a review to a book which I didn't purchase thru Amazon. When Amazon allowed comments on reviews, someone posted an inaccurate comment to my review. I tried to post a response to the comment but was denied because Amazon no longer allows people to leave reviews or comments on books they didn't themselves purchase from the site. So I called their tech support and had someone on the line within about a minute. They were able to open my account and discuss it and my posting history with me. Perhaps you could try the same.
posted by dobbs at 12:43 PM on November 11, 2007

I left what I considered to be an enthusiastic (and intrinsically interesting enough, anyway) review of this very website that never saw the light, as far as I know. The other reviews on the page were all years old at the time, as well.
posted by jamjam at 12:53 PM on November 11, 2007

I wrote quite a negative review of a particular movie via Amazon's IMDB interface. Apparently, someone took exception to the review and deleted not just it but every single thing I had written on IMDB/Amazon since the 1990s. Customer support was useless, and said there were no records of any deletions, and no indication that I had ever written anything that had been deleted.

Don't waste your time.
posted by meehawl at 1:10 PM on November 11, 2007

Don't waste your time.
Yeah, exactly.

If you read Amazon's TOS, which I wouldn't advise, I feel sure that it says in there, somewhere, that Amazon doesn't guarantee that user-submitted reviews will appear on the site, and that they decide to post reviews at their sole discretion, and blah blah blah boilerplate.

(I'm a little confused by the last sentence in your question. I'm an (occasional) Amazon customer, and I've never written a fawning review of anything. Most of Amazon's millions of customers have probably never written a review for the site at all. If you'd like a place to buy stuff online, Amazon is often a pretty good choice. If you'd like to post reviews of consumer products online, you might be better off with Epinions, Yelp or one of the other sites devoted to the subject.)
posted by box at 1:31 PM on November 11, 2007

I wrote a favourable review of a book whingeing mentioning that the UK price was over double the US price and it was deleted within 24 hours.
posted by ceri richard at 1:33 PM on November 11, 2007

Amazon nuked my hugely popular Nintendo Wii review because I posted it a couple of months before the Wii had come out. (They nuked all pre-leased reviews.)

Problem being, I had actually played the Wii extensively at that point (at E3, the trade show) and my review was long, in depth and glowing. It had something like "890 of 910 people found this helpful" and was the top-listed review so that just pissed me off.

C'est la vie.
posted by disillusioned at 1:41 PM on November 11, 2007

I've had some pretty scathing reviews allowed to stay up, but I've also had other reviews edited for no reason I was ever able to figure out. It's pretty clear that you're not allowed to use profanity, that you have to be literate, and you can't talk about prices or other retailers except in the most general way. But you can slag the item all you want.

Talking about other items that a buyer of the reviewed item might prefer, oddly enough, is something that has gotten a number of my reviews edited or deleted. I haven't been able to figure out when that's OK and when it isn't.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:53 PM on November 11, 2007

I wonder how much of this has to do with the manufacturer/seller of the product wanting the review pulled, especially for the kind of this ikkyu2's talking about.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 3:59 PM on November 11, 2007

I'll offer a perspective from the other side of the fence: I'm a book author and have contacted Amazon on a couple of occasions and got them to remove reviews. They have a form online somewhere for that purpose.

Their policy is not to remove reviews just because they're negative. In my case they were either abusive and insane ("The author of the book is a cheese-eating space weasel and watches me eat my breakfast") or clearly off-topic ("Teach Yourself JavaScript did not help me one bit with my plumbing problems.")

Nonetheless, I wouldn't be surprised if some authors / publishers / manufacturers are more liberal than me with attempts to take down reviews, and I wouldn't be surprised if they sometimes get away with it.

[Incidentally, this was all years ago. Nowadays I let the "vote on this review" feature deal with the problems or leave a comment in reply to the review.]
posted by mmoncur at 5:44 PM on November 13, 2007

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