We deleted your reviews because

August 7th, 2018

I recently had  ~225 amazon reviews pulled and my review privileges taken away. After inquiring, they were (eventually) reinstated with an explanation that basically boils down to “sorry, we sometimes do that to people”.

I now have received another followup email; I think it serves as a demonstration of the dystopian future that awaits us all. Note the use of the word “Communities” in the title, as if a group of friends agonized over how to respond. What follows is my response, inline with the quoted original message:

Re: Your Amazon.com Inquiry Communities

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but your message is a bit cold and I think my reactions to it are a good example of how anyone receiving this email would react. I’ve spent a lot of time writing reviews of things I bought at Amazon, and I think you deserve a thorough, well-considered response.

Amazon.com wrote:
> Hello,

Hi!

Extracting information from your response is like reading redacted FOI request documents. I’ll attempt to translate. Correct me if I’m wrong.

We couldn’t accept a review for <a cheap Arduino relay hat> because we detected unusual review behavior on this product.  We place limits on reviews to preserve trust in customer reviews.  This can include limiting submission of all reviews or limiting reviews to Amazon Verified Purchase reviews.

Translation: a script automatically flagged all authors who reviewed <some technical thing>, and the low-paid reviewers who go through the flagged reviews didn’t understand a technical product, so they just deleted everybody who reviewed it. (Also, we’re not sorry.)

Wait. Did I just learn that the ~225 reviews in my review account were removed because I chose to review something that also received other, fake reviews? Yes I did.

I will now take a moment to calm down and drink some water before continuing. This is why we can’t have nice things.

I’m pretty sure my review included links to the project and web site where I’m actually using it. Did I include a picture too? I doubt it, probably just talked about it. For reference:

I mean, I know you don’t care, but let’s pretend you do, and continue.

For more details, please see our Community Guidelines:

http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines/

Translation: We think you’re a fake reviewer. And we don’t care if we’re wrong. It’s your problem.

For more information about Verified Purchase reviews:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201145140

Translation: Really. It’s not us; it’s you.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

I’m a hustler, you a customer.”  –Ice Cube, Holla @ Cha Boy

I get your point. Where else would I go?

– Brunella Z

Translation: here is the name of someone we hired to deal with your whining. Or maybe we made it up. If it is a real name, it’s the only personalized thing in this mailing. Enjoy the human, personal touch!

Message received! If I should, in the future, decide to review anything at Amazon, I will stick to products that already have many reviews from verified purchasers who are definitely native English speakers.

Best regards,
t

Brunella will never know how I feel about her

My reply email bounced. Because of course it did.

Tested!

June 17th, 2018

Box O Britches

Tested and ready to go!

Layers of abstraction

May 29th, 2018

Every problem can be solved by adding features to systemd except for the problem of systemd.

–tekHedd