What Happened? Negative reviews of Clinton’s new book disappear from Amazon

What Happened to hundreds of negative reviews of Hillary Clinton’s new book on Amazon?

Hundreds of negative reviews of Clinton’s memoir, posted within hours of its publication release, strangely disappeared from Amazon.

The 512-page book chronicling the former Democratic presidential candidate’s account of the 2016 campaign came out on Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, more than 1.500 people had left positive and negative reviews of the memoir on Amazon.com, according to the Guardian.

Simon & Schuster, the book’s publisher, then had Amazon remove more than 900 reviews.

“It seems highly unlikely that approximately 1,500 people read Hillary Clinton’s book overnight and came to the stark conclusion that it is either brilliant or awful,” Jonathan Karp at Simon & Schuster said.

According to Quartz, which tracked the reviews, of the approximately 1,500 original reviews, “only 338 were from users with verified purchases of the book,” adding that “average rating for reviews from unverified purchases was a 2.3, while the average from a real purchase of the book was 4.9”.

Only 581 customer reviews were left Thursday morning after the purge, and of those, 95% were rated with five-stars.

Amazon claimed they “remove customer reviews that violate our community guidelines,” adding that “when we find unusually high numbers of reviews for a product posted in a short period of time, we may restrict the number of non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews on that product.”

Reviews “must be related to the product” and should help purchase decisions, Amazon stated.  “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.”

Karp noted that the publisher had hoped the reviews would “reflect opinions of people who have actually read the book.”

As of Friday, “What Happened” had 726 reviews posted on Amazon with 93 percent giving it a five-star rating. Sixteen reviews, or four percent, gave the book a one-star rating with a negative review.

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Frieda Powers

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