Reports of Amazon purging reviews from conservatives books on their site have been made for some time now. PJ Media’s Megan Fox reported in March 2018 that many conservative authors noticed a mass deletion of reviews. Well, another purge has taken place. This one targeted my book, The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. This book was approaching 1,000 reviews until Amazon decided to clean house. On Tuesday, the book had 945 reviews. On Wednesday, the book had only 693 reviews. A whopping 252 reviews (approximately 27 percent) simply vanished. Worse yet, most of the purged reviews appear to have been positive ones, as the average rating went down from roughly 4.5+ to 4.2 stars.
I can prove this because I have screenshots:
My book is routinely targeted by the left for bogus negative reviews. Roughly 25 percent of the book’s reviews have always been bogus one-star reviews that are not tagged as a “verified purchase” and accuse me of being racist, claim the book is poorly researched (it has over 1,000 endnotes), or some other attack. The percentage of these bogus reviews appears virtually unchanged.
The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama was originally self-published in July 2016. The book became an Amazon bestseller and the paperback rights were later sold to Bombardier Books (an imprint of Post Hill Press) in 2018. The book still sells consistently on a daily basis after three years.
On Thursday, I contacted Amazon by phone to inquire about the purged reviews and was told I could expect an email from the appropriate department within 24 hours. I received a response several hours later with the following canned response:
Clearly, Amazon isn’t interested in giving me a proper explanation for why my book’s reviews were purged. Even though so many of the reviews were bogus 1-star reviews, the positive reviews greatly outnumbered them, giving the book an average rating of approximately 4.5 stars out of 5 before the purge. Amazon has made money off my book, I would think they’d try to amplify its success instead of downplaying it by purging 252 reviews.
“It’s shameful how Amazon is using its near-monopolistic power for what appears to be the targeted harming of conservative works,” conservative science-fiction writer Jon Del Arroz told PJ Media. “I hope for my own sake this doesn’t continue onto fiction works.”
This unfortunate situation comes just as I’m about launch my new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy, which will be published on Tuesday, July 30. I’d like to believe that Amazon will allow it to have as good a chance as any other book, regardless of politics, but how can I be sure? If a successful anti-Obama book is treated so poorly that they’ll purge more than a quarter of its reviews, then what kind of shenanigans will they pull with a new pro-Trump/anti-Obama book to keep it from being successful?
Matt Margolis is the author of the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy, will be published on July 30, 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis