The only thing I take seriously is my Freedom. And Bacon.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Amazon Blocks Conservative Reviewer

My Amazon Vine Account - see it while you can before they delete this one too!!!
A long time ago, when Amazon first started self-publishing, I experimented with writing. I had a separate account for publishing - trying out different pen names (George Orwell pen name! Ayn Rand, pen name! And we all know Stephen King has tried his hand at several pen names!)
Anyway, I moved on in life for a few years and forgot about Amazon for awhile, moved into a new life, a new city, a new computer, a new everything - and opened a new account on Amazon, this time under my name - Laura Freed.
Then I receive an invitation from my old email address/Amazon account inviting me to the Amazon Vine.
I had no idea what it was.
I thought maybe it was spam and almost deleted it but did a little investigating and found out Amazon would send me stuff for free in exchange for a review.
Holy. Smokes. YES!! Please.
Over the years, I've gotten many awesome things - and I also discovered how terrifically mean the Vine reviewers are that hang around Amazon forums. The most viscous of all are the Liberals - they hang out on the boards all day and have this holier than thou attitude. So superior than everyone else. I never ventured in the forum - call me chicken, but with all the hate I get on Twitter - I didn't think I needed to tempt the Vine High Priests.
I would occasionally review under my real name - but back in those days (pre-Breitbart) I was all about food, fashion, fun. And when I did finally wake up politically, I kept my Laura Freed Amazon free from politics because it was the one online place I it was the one place I wasn't challenging the truth.
And then, I bought a Kindle Fire for Christmas, started reading a bunch of political books and thought, you know, might as well start reviewing under my real name - and I didn't rate every book five star, and was honest.
The only one star I left that was for a liberal book was Philosophy: 100 Essential Thinkers: The Ideas That Have Shaped Our World by Stokes, and that was because it was biased toward communism...and had I KNOWN that, I never would have purchased it.
So, in the course of roughly a month, I start reviewing political books under my real name - on February 1st, I reviewed Stonewalled, an Auburn knit hat, The Cave and The Light (book) and the Amazon Kindle Fire 6. The only reason I am sure of that is because Amazon sends you a copy of the review when it is posted (or rejected as I've come to discover). All of these were 5 star reviews.
On Friday, February 6th, I went to look at the reviews for The Cave and the Light, and noticed my review was not there. When I went to my profile for Laura Freed "Girl Medic" - all my reviews were gone. I thought there must be a glitch - as there sometimes is with Amazon. I tried to send the reviews through again and each one said it couldn't be posted because they didn't meet their guidelines. I tried posting the reviews under my Vine reviewer account and surprise! They all went through. But usually, when there is a glitch like that, many people will complain on the Amazon forum boards...and I found...nothing.
I created a new account - fake name, and tried reviewing random things, and they went through.
Oh my gosh, are you still with me??
Sorry to be soooooooooooooo drawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn out, but I want this ON THE RECORD!
I posted a story about this happening so I could keep track and so, if it was a glitch, other people wouldn't panic, and if not, then something was seriously stinking in Amazon.
On Monday, I received a letter from Customer Service saying their was fraudulent activity on my reviews. Seriously preposterous. All my reviews were for VERIFIED PURCHASES. I was using MY REAL NAME . I had under a 100 reviews that went back to 2006! I start reviewing political books and suddenly, I'm breaking guidelines?
I write back and ask for examples - show me ONE REVIEW that breaks the TOS. Silence. Nadda nothing. I also asked for a copy of all my reviews under Laura Freed. (save copies of your reviews people!!).
I've decided to make it public that I am a Vine Reviewer. If Amazon is throwing me out because I had published Girl Medic on Amazon (to which I had NO REVIEWS written under any household  Amazon accounts) why wouldn't they have suspended my Vine account? What products, exactly, did they believe I was manipulating on my Amazon account under Laura Freed "Girl Medic" - there are authors/reviewers on Amazon that still exist (I wrote about them in my first post) - these authors are liberal...that's the only difference.
I haven't been kicked out of Vine...yet...but it's only a matter of time. And I can't wait to dish the dirt on Vine! It's so ionic Amazon is blocking my personal account for 'manipulation' yet allowed my VINE account because Vine reviews are what lure vendors to sell on Amazon. Some Vine reviewers do tell the truth -- and some simply give EVERYTHING five stars and/or do a lot of gaming the system for review ranking status.
This is the writing I do off the fly - when I'm stoked. It's long and I apologize. But there is no doubt in my mind there is either someone like a Lois Lerner slowly quietly erasing Conservative reviews and they just happened to mess with the wrong reviewer, or it is a deliberate choice - Amazon, block my accounts, you'll never block my voice. #TrueStory - before anyone tries to be helpful (appreciated!) it does state in the VINE terms of service that if you receive an invitation for Vine and have more than one account, the Vine account will be under your highest rated account, so it is acceptable to have more than one Amazon account for Vine purposes.