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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 27 May, 2020

Hundreds of one-star reviews of Hillary Clinton's book removed from Amazon

It’s believed many of the reviews were posted by people who hadn’t read the book, in a deliberate bid to lower its rating.

Clinton at a book signing in New York on Tuesday
Clinton at a book signing in New York on Tuesday
Image: Van Tine Dennis/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

HUNDREDS OF ONE-STAR reviews of Hillary Clinton’s new book have been removed from Amazon.

Published on Tuesday, What Happened is Clinton’s retelling of her US presidential election loss to Donald Trump last year.

As of Wednesday morning, more than 1,500 reviews appeared on Amazon. Many contained little information about the book and instead offered high praise or sharp criticism of the Democratic candidate.

It’s believed many of the reviews were posted in a deliberate bid to lower the book’s rating. The publisher of What Happened questioned so many reviews being posted within a day of the book’s release.

Simon & Schuster publisher Jonathan Karp told the Associated Press: “It seems highly unlikely that approximately 1,500 people read Hillary Clinton’s book overnight and came to the stark conclusion that it is either brilliant or awful.”

Unverified purchases 

Quartz found that, of the 1,500 or so original reviews on Amazon, “only 338 were from users with verified purchases of the book”.

The website reported yesterday: “The average rating for reviews from unverified purchases was a 2.3, while the average from a real purchase of the book was 4.9.”

Tommy Noonan, the owner of ReviewMeta (which analyses millions of reviews to help consumers find the most trustworthy ones) told Quartz: “If that was happening by random chance it would be one in a trillion chance you’d see a discrepancy like that; actually much less likely than that, from a data science perspective.

“It’s obvious that people who didn’t buy the book are rating the book much lower.”

Additional reporting by Órla Ryan

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