Why is Amazon moderating customer reviews of ‘Finding Freedom’?

It didn’t even occur to me that the war between the Sussex Squad versus the racists would find a new battlefield: the Amazon customer review section. Do people really check out Amazon customer reviews? I might look at the first few reviews, but ultimately, the reviews matter as much to me as the comments on the Daily Mail. But apparently it’s a thing! Amazon corporate has had to step in and basically moderate the reviews for Finding Freedom, the book about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. FF is already a mega-bestseller and people have strong opinions about it on all sides. Look at the way the Daily Mail framed this story:

Amazon has restricted reviews on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s explosive new biography Finding Freedom after ‘noticing unusual activity’ on the site. The controversial biography about the Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 39, and written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, was released earlier this month and was quick to reach the top of the media giant’s bestsellers list as royal fans rushed to pre-order their copy, while it also hit the number one on the UK and US sites. But it has now emerged that fan accounts for the couple urged the ‘Sussex Squad’ supporters to write their own positive reviews and vote on existing posts about the book in an effort to boost its rating.

Amazon has now placed restrictions on who can review the title, with a message online reading: ‘Amazon has noticed unusual reviewing activity on this product. Due to this activity, we have limited this product to verified purchase reviews.’

Some fan accounts for the Duke and Duchess have been mobilizing a campaign to give the book five star reviews because they believe there is a rival effort to leave bad reviews on Amazon. One Twitter user commented: ‘There is an organized effort to leave bad reviews for Finding Freedom on Amazon and to mark hateful reviews as “helpful” so they appear first.’

Another wrote: ‘#SussexSquad, the trolls are upvoting all the negative reviews on Amazon by rating them as helpful (some are rated helpful by at least 400 people). If you have time, please go rate the positive reviews. Please share, thanks.’

[From The Daily Mail]

The Mail makes it sound like Amazon has to moderate the reviews because of the positivity coming from the Sussex Squad. Um, you know that’s not how corporations work, right? No corporation – especially one as large as Amazon – is going to change up their customer review/feedback formula because the feedback is so positive. I’d be willing to bet that Amazon had to place those restrictions because the customer reviews started looking like, you guessed it, the comment section of the Daily Mail. Probably tons of racist sh-t. But of course the Mail makes it sound like the Sussex Squad is being “punished” somehow.

And now I’m wondering about whether there’s an actual campaign behind this on the other side. We already know the Cambridges hired *someone* to inflate their follower numbers on Instagram. Hm.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN.

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