Hillary Clinton’s memoir about her campaign last year was released on Tuesday. As expected, the book skyrocketed to the top of the best-selling charts. But, considering who she is, the book is highly polarizing. Lot of people love it, while others hate it. Those who dislike it were quick to leave a bad review on Amazon. But then something funny happened: Those negative reviews began to disappear.
Where did they go?
On Wednesday morning, Clinton’s book had nearly 1,700 reviews — 50 percent were one-star and 45 percent were five-star. But did that many people actually read Clinton’s entire 512-page book in just one day?
Clinton’s book publisher, Simon and Schuster, believed the answer was no — so they seemingly had Amazon remove upward of the 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, the book’s publisher, said.
After the removal
According to the Guardian, after reviews were deleted, 95 percent of the hundreds of reviews that remained were positive of Clinton’s book.
Why were they removed
Amazon told the Guardian they "remove customer reviews that violate our community guidelines,” including when “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.” All of the reviews deleted were unverified.
What Amazon said
In a response to TheBlaze, an Amazon spokesperson said:
We are not deleting negative reviews. We have triggers in place to suppress reviews when the voices of many are drowning out the voices of a few. When these triggers are activated, we suppress ALL non-AVP (Amazon Verified Purchase) reviews on the product. In this case, people that actually bought the book and have an AVP badge are more likely to review the book favorably than people that did not buy the book.
Amazon Customer Reviews must be reviews related to the product and are designed to help customers make purchase decisions. 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.
Where the book ranks now
As of Thursday afternoon, the book remained the best-selling title on all of Amazon. It has more than 630 reviews and boasts an average rating of 4.9 stars out of five.
Editor's note: This story was updated to add a statement from Amazon.