Originally Posted by DarkScribe
I can't see how removing poor reviews from another writer's book will help anyone other than that other writer - and Amazon.
If you both have a book in the same genre, and the other writer has a similar number of positive reviews as you, but also has some very negative reviews, then the scales tip in your favour. Remove those bad reviews and you are on a par. It would only help writers who are less than popular, and at the expense of better writers.
I didn't see where enough people could specify whether a removed review was good or bad to show a trend.
What I can generalize is that amazon's prime directive is to make a profit. With around a million books (can't imagine the number of listings they have if you include everything with a review) and with multiple reviews on each listing, It is hard to conceive that they are checking the reviews manually. I would have to believe they are running an algorthim of some kind.
Any algorithm would have to comply with the prime directive. If the algorithim does improve their profits they will continue it. If it doesn't they will discontinue it as it would increase their overhead and eat into their profits. Exactly how it improves profits will remain a mystery because amazon holds their cards close to their chest, not giving their competition any clues on how to improve their profits.
Speculating though - one possible reason is that they have an algorithim that identifies reviewers that do not meet amazon's review policy for some reason, so they remove them to keep the review process "clean" so to speak. If they allow the review process to become contaminated and untrustworthy then their overall sales are likely to start dropping. I base this solely on my own buying habits on amazon. The number one reason I shop there is because of the review process, giving me an excellent idea of the product's quality, based on actual user's experiences. Take that away and I wouldn't buy much of anything from them.
I guess what I am saying is that amazon is an intelligently run operation, as can be seen by their huge success, and they won't be doing anything that shoots themselves in the foot, at least not for long. If they are improving overall sales that gives us an opportunity, if our books are good enough, to share in the overall sales improvement.
But that is all speculation, the fact is I haven't seen where anyone has been able to determine why they are removing reviews. Speculation based on simple logic. I doubt they are removing reviews to decrease some specific authors sales in order to help someone else improve theirs. That doesn't make sense at any level to me.