by Mike Masnick

Jeff Bezos Favors Tax Evasion?

from the gotta-be-careful-when-you-moderate dept

Obviously, the title is a bit of a joke, but any time companies selectively moderate public forums, they're open to accusations like that. Just recently, we were writing about how some e-commerce sites had been caught deleting almost all negative reviews and how that hurt the credibility of those sites. A few years ago, Amazon.com discovered problems in their reviews when it came to light that many authors were writing positive reviews of their own books, leading Amazon to ban anonymous reviews. Turns out that wasn't enough. Amazon is still moderating reviews somewhat, getting them involved in the controversy over a self-published book on tax evasion. The problem was that some (perhaps rightfully so) used the reviews to point out that following the instructions in the book were likely to also cause you to go to prison (as, indeed, the author did end up in prison). Amazon removed the reviews, saying they broke rules about focusing on the book's content rather than the author, but it has some people complaining that it looks like Amazon is all for tax evasion, and blocking out views that are there to protect people.

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  • identicon
    Reggie Brext, 10 Oct 2005 @ 7:11pm

    Another example

    It is important that Amazon change their policy. "Reviewing" the book's author is every bit as important as discussing the content of the book.

    For example, a book like "Dianetics" absolutely needs to be put in context of its author.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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