A while back I wrote a review on Amazon for the movie Fury. Long story short it’s one of the most disturbing movies I’ve seen in a long time, with cavalier depictions of murder, torture, and rape, but most disturbing of all, a weird Nazi-sympathising subtext. I couldn’t decide if that aspect was editorially brave and humanising, or just creepy and suspicious. Either way, I wrote an honest, thoughtful review.
I wish I could unsee this. Not because it’s a violent war movie – I appreciate movies that portray the gruesome realities of war, even if that makes them hard to watch – but because it’s so unclear what the morality is supposed to be. “War is bad and everyone in it are monsters”, I guess – if I’m being charitable.
It’s basically about a monstrous group of Americans, with no redeeming qualities, that murder & rape their way across Germany. It manages to make the Nazi’s look good in comparison. Frankly I’m baffled.
Amazon rejected it, saying it contained:
- Hate speech
- Sexual content
- Illegal activity
- Private information
It of course contains none of that. The only one of those that’s even vaguely related is ‘Hate speech’, and only if they deliberately misinterpreted my review in the exact opposite way it was written. Or maybe they consider merely mentioning rape as ‘Sexual Content’? In any case, they certainly have no problem selling the actual movie, Fury, which does actually contain horrific, graphic portrayals of those.
Now, another of my reviews has been rejected, again for no valid reason, for a Lumisys dehumidifer (since delisted from Amazon). In this case I happen to have the review text saved:
It is in the process of dying – it’s freezing up, faster and faster each day, and making loud cracking noises from thermal expansion. It is almost certainly leaking refrigerant. The rate at which it’s removing water from the air has rapidly deteriorated (although as I write it hasn’t technically stopped working entirely – probably just another couple of days, though).
It has lasted about nine months of sporadic use.
Even when it was new and working fine, it wasn’t very effective. I bought it specifically because it was the highest-rated portable unit available in the U.S. according to https://www.energystar.gov/, but it clearly was both less effective and less efficient than other dehumidifiers I’ve used.
Regarding the dying unit, I tried to contact Lumisys through Amazon and was told by Amazon that they are no longer in operation (despite the fact that Amazon continues to sell their products).
I tried contacting them through their website, for which there is nothing but a web form, and received no response.
By all appearances the company is other defunct or dodging warranty claims. Either way, this is clearly not a company you should buy from.
This was rejected because, according to Amazon, it is / contains:
- Reviews given in exchange for cash, discounts
- Links to other sites
- Attempts to manipulate helpful votes
This is even more blatantly false and an overtly fabricated excuse than the previous case. At best you could point to “Links to other sites”, since I did reference the EPA’s EnergyStar website, but I find it hard to believe that’s considered unacceptable content.
It seems increasingly clear to me that Amazon is contriving to reject any reviews which are critical of the product under review.
I’ve long suspected that Amazon’s review system is biased towards positive reviews – they perpetually have a systemic problem with obviously fake reviews, for one thing – but this is even stronger evidence that they are not merely incompetent regarding review quality and authenticity, but malicious.