NetGalley Addicts Support Group discussion

61 views
Need Help? [Ask the Group] > Another question about Amazon Reviews

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 93 comments Has anyone had any of their reviews disappear from Amazon before? I went to look one up today for an unrelated reason, and found that my review wasn't there.

I can't tell if I never posted the review or if it was taken down for some reason and I was never notified of it.

Has anyone had a review removed before? Does Amazon notify you? It's entirely possible I just never posted it, but I swear it's been on my review list for a couple months.


message 2: by Andy (last edited Apr 12, 2019 03:31PM) (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) I don't know whether Amazon informs you, but disappearing reviews do seem to be a growing problem.

Amazon automatically prunes reviews that might violate their terms of service (paid, family, friends, etc.). It sounds like the algorithm got more aggressive last year. Authors are complaining about tens of reviews disappearing overnight. Amazon won't explain exactly what changed, but people are guessing.

Theory: social media. Some say that Amazon is considering social media connections with the author. Nobody knows for sure how or whether this factors into pruning decisions.

Theory: ARCs "in exchange for" reviews. That's very common language. Amazon's latest terms of service say (emphasis added):

"Book authors and publishers may continue to provide free or discounted copies of their books to readers, as long as the author or publisher does not require a review in exchange or attempt to influence the review."

Some people are concerned that the phrase "in exchange" might now be viewed as a requirement to leave a review (which would seem petty), so they're trying less obligatory language: "with no obligation to review" or "no expectation". Again, nobody knows for sure.

It's possible Amazon will restore your review. As described in one of the posts below, apparently you can email community-help@amazon.com and ask. These posts are written for authors, but I'm including them since they discuss why reviews disappear.

Why Has Amazon Removed My Book Review?
How Do We Prevent Book Reviews From Being Deleted?!
Why Did My Amazon Reviews Get Deleted From My Book?


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 93 comments Andy wrote: "I don't know whether Amazon informs you, but disappearing reviews do seem to be a growing problem.

Amazon automatically prunes reviews that might violate their terms of service (paid, family, frie..."


Hi Andy, thanks for the very thorough and thoughtful post. It’s very frustrating that they are doing this. Because honestly it’s not going to stop me from posting anything. I’ll just take out the disclaimer line. #SorryNotSorry Amazon.

I post reviews because A) I like to support authors. And B) I like to help other readers find books they might enjoy.

It would suck not to be able to be honest about the source, but I know my opinions are my own anyway.

I was just wondering because this review in particular might have been controversial/has controversial content. I didn’t finish it, admitted I didn’t finish (read to 70%), and it was a 2 Star review. I was just wondering if someone reported it for something other than it came via Edelweiss.


message 4: by Andy (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) Good points. Here are my thoughts—bearing in mind I'm not an expert. I only know what I've read from Amazon, and from people writing about Amazon. 🙂

Sarah wrote: "I’ll just take out the disclaimer line. #SorryNotSorry Amazon."

I'm pretty sure I've read that the disclaimer is an FTC requirement when a reviewer receives anything of value from a seller. Maybe non-obligatory language would placate Amazon. And again, I don't think people are even sure whether that "in exchange" language is a problem. Just a theory that's out there.

Sarah wrote: "I was just wondering because this review in particular might have been controversial/has controversial content. I didn’t finish it, admitted I didn’t finish (read to 70%), and it was a 2 Star review. I was just wondering if someone reported it for something other than it came via Edelweiss."

Maybe somebody could complain that a DNF review shouldn't be there. I'm not sure how Amazon would treat that. That might fall under the "Helpful and Relevant" clause of their review guidelines, though reading 70% seems helpful and relevant to me.

Questions 8 and 9 of Amazon's Customer Reviews Guidelines Frequently Asked Questions from Authors talks about how somebody could contest a review, if you're curious.


message 5: by Andy (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) BTW, it sounds like Amazon might tell you why and whether the review was removed. In that Review FAQ from Authors link above, they say:

"We can only discuss specific Customer Review removals with the person who originally posted the review."


message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 93 comments An FTC requirement? Really? That seems kind of silly considering how often this happens. What if you get a free sample at a grocery store and review it later on your own terms?

Sorry- off topic.

Anyway- so it sounds like Amazon wouldn’t take a review down they previously posted due to consumer/publisher complaint alone without telling me?

So it’s probably the language then. It’s so hypocritical because Amazon does exactly the same thing with whatever their reviewer program is (called Vine I think).


message 7: by Devann (new)

Devann (devannm) | 58 comments i know people have talked about their reviews disappearing before so it's definitely not a new thing. i have no idea if any of mine have been taken down because i don't really keep track of how many i have or go back to look at them after i post, but i would assume they don't notify you because that would actually make sense lol. i just say 'i received an ARC copy from ____' at the beginning of my review but idk if that 'works' or not because like i said, i don't really check on them at all.


message 8: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 93 comments Thanks Devann! I’ll try that language and see if it works. It just feels so hypocritical of them to allow it for their own limited pool of reviewers but not for the wider world of book lovers and bloggers.


message 9: by MarilynW (new)

MarilynW (huecotx) | 76 comments I write "thank you to (whoever I got the book from such as the publisher) and (NG or EW or whoever) for this ARC" and none of my reviews have gotten rejected with that statement.

Amazon seems to encourage us to follow authors but sometimes I hesitate to do so if they are then going to accuse me of having a "connection" with the author.


message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 93 comments Marilyn that’s another excellent point and explains why I my Bernard Cornwell review was officially rejected a year after I submitted it lol. Guess I’ll be unfollowing the three authors I do follow. This is so dumb. Makes me not want to review on Amazon anymore.


message 11: by Andy (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) Sarah wrote: "Anyway- so it sounds like Amazon wouldn’t take a review down they previously posted due to consumer/publisher complaint alone without telling me?"

I think it's still worth asking Amazon if you're curious. When their guidelines say this...

"We can only discuss specific Customer Review removals with the person who originally posted the review."

...I didn't take that to mean they'll automatically contact you. I took it to mean that you're the only person who's allowed to ask them why your review was removed.

In other words, if an author is upset that 20 reviews suddenly vanished, Amazon won't tell the author why they all disappeared—they'll only tell the individual reviewers why each review disappeared.


message 12: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 93 comments Andy wrote: "Sarah wrote: "Anyway- so it sounds like Amazon wouldn’t take a review down they previously posted due to consumer/publisher complaint alone without telling me?"

I think it's still worth asking Ama..."


Ahh I see. Thanks for clarifying. I’m hesitant to ask about them directly for fear it will draw attention to all my other reviews. Most of them aren’t galleys, but a good chunk of them are.


message 13: by Connie (last edited Apr 13, 2019 03:08PM) (new)

Connie | 17 comments Sarah wrote: "Has anyone had any of their reviews disappear from Amazon before? I went to look one up today for an unrelated reason, and found that my review wasn't there.

I can't tell if I never posted the rev..."


Amazon is very touchy about reviews. Sometimes, I never see mine posted and sometimes it takes DAYS for them to post them. I really don't trust Amazon with the reviews but I know the authors rely upon it so heavily and I'm betting Amazon knows that. They do enjoy their "power."


message 14: by Andy (new)

Andy Giesler (andy_giesler) Sarah wrote: "I’m hesitant to ask about them directly for fear it will draw attention to all my other reviews.."

Fair enough. I have no idea whether Amazon gets picky and legalistic about this sort of thing, but that's certainly possible. On behalf of all authors: Thanks for taking the time to leave reviews despite all this nonsense. 🙂


message 15: by Connie (new)

Connie | 17 comments Amazon can be a royal pain to work with, but as far as I'm concerned, it's all about the authors so we will play along with Amazon's with games.


back to top