Amazon placed restrictions this week on which site users can post reviews of former FBI Director James Comey’s new book “A Higher Loyalty” in a move the e-commerce giant says is meant to limit feedback to the product itself.
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Only Amazon users who purchased Comey’s book, which debuted April 17, are permitted to post a review. Non-verified buyers who attempt to post a review encounter an error message. The message appears regardless of the content of a non-verified buyer’s review.
“This product currently has limitations on submitting reviews,” the error message says. “This may be because we detected unsual review behavior on this product, or to maintain the best possible shopping experience. For more details, see the customer review guidelines.”
Comey’s book was written after President Donald Trump fired him as FBI director in May 2017. The autobiography details Comey’s views and lessons on leadership, as well as some of his interactions with Trump during the first few months of his presidency.
Amazon told FOX Business that the limits are meant to prevent commentary unrelated to the book from appearing in the product review section.
“We never reject reviews based on star rating or sentiment,” Amazon said in an emailed statement to FOX Business. “When numerous reviews post in a short amount of time that are unrelated to the product, we suppress all non-Amazon Verified Purchase (AVP) reviews. Reviews are meant to help customers by providing real feedback on a product from other customers who have tried it.”
Reviews of “A Higher Loyalty” have been overwhelmingly positive on Amazon, with 89% of respondents giving the book a five-star rating.
This isn’t the first time Amazon placed limits on book reviews. The site enacted similar blocks of non-verified buyers for author Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury,” which focused on the inner workings of the Trump White House, as well as Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election memoir, “What Happened.”
Comey is set to speak at Amazon's headquarters about "ethical leadership" on Monday, Axios reported. The former FBI director will not be paid for the appearance.