The writers are now complaining about losing as many as 100 reviews on their works, and others seem to have had all their reviews suddenly vanish without warning.
Murmurings of the purge began on a closed Facebook Group called Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance, or CLFA. Members all began sharing the same story about having their reviews bizarrely disappear. Marina Fontaine is author of Chasing Freedom, and featured in the pro-Trump fiction anthology MAGA 2020. She also moderates CLFA and reported members losing their reviews.
“This does happen from time to time,” said Marina Fontaine. “But this is too much of a coincidence.”
CLFA members began a campaign to get answers from Amazon. Science fiction writer and DANGEROUS contributor Jon Del Arroz, who was banned from Worldcon earlier this year, asked Amazon to restore his reviews directly. Amazon replied:
“At this time, we’ve reviewed your feedback and ensured that appropriate action is taken. There may be times that reviews must be removed from the site. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to discuss the specifics about why the reviews were removed as we’ll only be able to discuss that with the individuals who posted the reviews. They’re welcome to contact us if they’d like additional information.”
Del Arroz’s reviews were eventually brought back. However, many conservatives are troubled about the target on their back with the traditionally liberal “big tech” taking aim. Building and connecting with an audience is no easy task for anyone, but becomes more arduous when faceless administrators could be motivated by political bias.
“I asked several independent authors about the review losses when it occurred,” Del Arroz said to PJ Media. “My left-wing author contacts said they didn’t lose any reviews, but the right-wing authors who are members of a group called the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance all lost an incredible amount of reviews,” he added.
“One author said he lost seventy-seven on his books, which is devastating. I believe the CLFA was targeted by an extreme alt-left troll mob running an email harassment campaign to Amazon who were enabled by a rogue Amazon employee.”
Del Arroz was banned from Worldcon and not allowed to join the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America due to a targeted email campaign by angry left wing activists.
Amazon, which surpassed Google to become the world’s second most valuable company last week, has not eased the tension with its conservative users, adding only “There won’t be any additional insight or action we can offer on the matter.”
“I hate that absolutism, with no way of finding out what happened,” said a conservative author who would like to remain anonymous for fear of more backlash. “I lost all my reviews with no explanation and then they were reinstated after I complained.” Some are speculating if this was a test run for more censorship around the corner.
More CLFA members believe they are in Amazon’s crosshairs. Catholic spy thriller writer Declan Finn saw a huge chunk of his reviews go missing saying “Yes, I did lose reviews, both those on my novels and those on books I’ve published. I went from 315 to 238 in the blink of an eye,” he confirmed.
“As of now, the reviews have only come back up to 269. While I generally try not to be paranoid about political targeting, it’s awfully suspicious that CLFA members lost reviews from their novels, or had all of their reviews purged from their profiles.”
Finn added “In order to get a bigger sample (and perhaps find a single non-conservative who has had this problem).”
Finn is still seeking answers to why the reviews keep vanishing saying, “I’ve posted a few calls on my blog for people to tell me if they’ve had it happen to them. I’m still waiting. While the reviews I’ve posted have been restored after a conversation with Amazon, I was never told why they were deleted in the first place.”
Members of the CLFA group feel the culprit might be a “rogue” employee or employees of Amazon. Anti-SJW publisher Castalia House had a publication pulled due to a random Amazon employee’s personal distain for the subject matter.
Customers also acknowledged that they were blocked from reviewing Hillary Clinton’s 2017 book What Happenedunless they had purchased the book on Amazon, but were free to review other, conservative, authors if they hadn’t bought the book from the online retailer.
After having her reviews removed three times author Anna Erishkigal contacted the Federal Trade Commission to file a formal complaint. She believes Amazon violated the customer relationship by removing her reviews on purchases she made.
“I give up… boycott boycott boycott,” said Erishkigal. “I’m not going to buy products from them if they think so little of me, they block my reviews of what I just bought as fraudulent.”
In the past few months, reports of conservatives on big tech platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube being deliberately targeted have been rampant. Amazon might be the latest to join in.
Amazon, whose CEO Jeff Bezos also owns the left-wing Washington Post, is yet to publicly comment at this time.