Author Anne Rice has signed a petition asking Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to curb the relentless abuse, harassment and bullying from anonymous reviewers who have attacked independent authors and trolled the site.
Launched by Todd Barselow on Change.org, over 1000 people have signed up, showing Amazon a clear indication that the commenting system is being widely abused. The petition also asks the company to protect authors.
As the website allows people to write reviews for books, it allows reviewers to remain anonymous essentially giving them free reign to write whatever they like with no consequences.
Amazon is not the only company having to deal with comment abuse. Google recently switched comments on Youtube to the Google+ system which was initially condemned at first, but done in part to prevent constant abuse from anonymous visitors. Amazon faces a difficult balancing act to prevent hurtful comment spam whilst keeping the site authentic and free to use for people who write legitimate comments. The site is regularly used by indie authors to publish and promote their work, but the increase in abuse has significantly degraded the experience and could damage the reputation of the platform.
The petition opens with this statement:
“The purpose of this petition is to bring to the attention of Mr. Bezos, Mr. Fine, and anyone else employed by Amazon or its subsidiaries, the lack of oversight and or control in the Amazon system regarding product reviewing—in particular book reviewing—and in the participation of the many forums on Amazon.”
Signatories of the petition have vented their frustration with the system and one of the supporters said
“The Kindle self publishing system has been destroyed by bullying cliques hidden by anonymity.”
We hope that Amazon finds a way to protect authors while preserving the integrity of creative work. Authors shouldn’t be fighting bullies on one of the world’s leading publishing platforms.
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