Reblogged from Linda Hilton:
[Text of email I sent to the lawyer who filed the complaint on Amazon's behalf and to the reporter who wrote the article in the Seattle Times about it. There are two links in the text that may or may not work from this post, but I think anyone here can figure them out. More later. -- LAWH]
Amazon lawsuit against 1,114 fiverr reviewers
- Hilton L A W <removed for Booklikes>
- Today [Saturday, 17 October 2015] at 7:45 AM
- Linda A. Hilton
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a seller on Amazon. I have four novels and two non-fiction books published through the Kindle Direct Publishing program, and I am also one of the artisans selling on the new Handmade at Amazon platform. My Handmade shop is Arizona Angel Feathers.
I am also a former member of Goodreads, until I was banned for, apparently, telling the truth about the thousands of bogus reviews on that site. Yes, thousands. Goodreads, as you know, is owned by Amazon.
I tried to report the fake reviews to Amazon, but for some reason or other they never did much about them. I began at least as long ago as June 2014, and possibly a month or so before that. Though many of the fake reviews were in fact removed from Goodreads, the same reviews remain to this day at Amazon.
After almost a year of researching the fake reviews from fiverr.com that were posted on Amazon and Goodreads and blogging the results of my investigations at Booklikes.com, I posted this in April 2015.
I don't expect either of you to reply to me. Mr. Bateman, you are in Amazon's direct pay and are therefore going to present their interests and do nothing that would hinder their efforts, regardless what the end objective of those efforts might be. Mr. Greene, you write for a Seattle newspaper, and Amazon is one of the twin gods of the region (the other being Microsoft) so I don't expect you to write, or your publisher to publish, anything critical of Amazon.
But the information is out there. It's been out there for a very long time. I'm not an investigative reporter and I don't have access to anything secret or private or confidential. What information I obtained was readily available to anyone with the time and curiosity to find it.
I have hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of screen shots: of Amazon reviews, of Goodreads reviews, of fiverr profiles, of fiverr testimonials. And I have evidence that Amazon has made almost no attempt to protect their own reputation. Fake reviews have not been removed when Amazon is presented with the evidence.
I'm going to state that again just to make sure you're understanding clearly.
Amazon has not removed fake reviews even when presented with the evidence that those reviews were written by fiverr members who were advertising that they would post guaranteed 5-star reviews to Amazon, including evidence that those reviews were paid for by the product sellers, evidence that those reviews were posted in violation of Amazon's Terms of Service and Federal Trade Commission regulations.
I've given you a link to just one of my posts on Booklikes.com in which I've documented this information. You can check out the rest of my posts there, going back to approximately May 2014, for some of the evidence. I have more. A lot more. And I'm not afraid to share it.
I also understand that giving you this information puts myself and my ability to sell on Amazon at risk. I really and truly don't care. I was sickened when I first discovered the fake reviews, and I'm still sickened. Amazon has no integrity. None. Except to their own bottom line.
You have my personal email address. My home physical address is (removed for Booklikes). My phone number is (removed for Booklikes). I only answer the phone if I know who's calling, so if your number comes up and I don't answer, you'll have to leave a message or I'll just delete the number from the log. I'll get back to you.
Linda Ann Wheeler Hilton