Last updated on September 2, 2023
Here is Amazon’s response:
I’ve read the review titled “Felt put upon” for the book titled Volume 1, Taste and See, A Sampling of First Chapters by John 316 Marketing Network Authors.” I understand your concerns, but the review doesn’t violate our posted guidelines, so I’m unable to remove it in its current format.
We try to encourage our customers to give their honest opinions on our products while staying within our guidelines. As a retailer, we are interested in cultivating a diversity of opinions on our products. Part of that is allowing our customers to air their honest thoughts on items they have received. Here’s a link to our guidelines for reference:
My reply: So a person can post a review on a book they have not read? If that’s the case, then I will just encourage people to post a five-star review to get the ratings back up to where they should be. The only reason I care is that your algorithm is rating this book as a 3.5 and there are eight  stars that should be pulling it up to a 4.75.
That means someone who has not even read the book is able to reduce the overall rating of the book from 4.75 to 3.5. It seems to me like Amazon’s algorithms are censoring what books they want to do well and what books they don’t want to do well. This is against a higher law of ethics, and I will be looking into what I can do about this, including contacting the Federal Trade Commission.
Their final reply was the following:
We’ve investigated the review “Felt put upon” for the book titled Volume 1, Taste and See, A Sampling of First Chapters by John 316 Marketing Network Authors.” and looked into your previous correspondence of “February 18, 2020” with my colleague. We’ve determined that this review is within our Community Guidelines (available here Taste and See, Volume One and will not consider the removal any further.
Here is a sampling of the eight 5-star reviews that Amazon seemed to disregard in their overall rating.
As shown from this selection of random five-star reviews, what Amazon has done is unethical. They have allowed one 1-star review to be posted by a reader about a book she had not read and then allowed that one review to lower the overall rating of the book to 3.5. Against eight 5-star reviews, statistically, that is impossible. There are no other reviews on this book. They are all five stars with one 1-star.
Because all the first chapters from thirty books highlighted in Taste and See Volume I, as well as other materials, including poems, devotionals, et cetera, are written by Christian authors, I truly believe Amazon is now censoring Christian authors/books.
Once the overall rating was artificially lowered to 3.5, not a single book was downloaded. Would you want to download a 3.5-rated book when there are so many books rated four stars and above?
I will be posting at least one more blog post on my experiences this last year with Amazon and all the reviews they have removed from various books of mine. And that’s not all they have done to me.
I have a couple of marketing experiments going on as I write this to test my hypothesis and pull together a compelling case to present to the Federal Trade Commission – if Amazon blocks my marketing efforts as I anticipate they will.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have anything to add to my thoughts.