Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why I Don't Support Amazon

I will often talk shit about Amazon, but then, these days, who doesn't? However, I felt the need to explain in an article my reasons for not supporting Amazon.

I remember way back when Amazon was a joke. For those who were internet savvy back in the dark ages, Amazon was the last place you ever considered buying from online. Why? Amazon is not a retailer. It's a online warehouse shipping company. They sell whatever they have in their warehouse. Of course, with the introduction of ebooks, the line is severely blurred. It's digital material, it can't be stored in any kind of warehouse, so how can a warehouse shipping company sell digital material?

In my honest opinion, if Amazon hadn't invented Kindle, they probably would have gone out of business by now. The people behind Amazon are smart, I'll give them that much. They damn well know what they're doing. By inventing the Kindle they've bridged that gap between physical material and digital material. Good for them. And there's the problems.

First and foremost, Amazon does not care how they make money or why. Keep that in mind. Second, Amazon does not screen reviews. While it's not instant, it is automated. Even if fake reviewing accounts are flagged, it's not removed. If someone posts a rant that's completely unrelated to the product and flagged, it's not removed. If someone bashes an author of a book directly in a review, making it obvious bullying, it's not removed. If a rival posts lies as a review, it's not removed. The review policy states that a person doesn't have to experience a product in order to post a review. All anyone needs to do to leave a review is to buy one product. It could be earrings or a box of diapers, it doesn't make a difference. While many reviews are legit, this policy makes all reviews that doesn't say “verified purchase” fake by default.

There's been a lot talk about bullying on Amazon lately, though for any active internet user who's been around for a while, we know this has been going on since day one and removing anonymity won't make any difference. Amazon sees the hate. Amazon sees the sale number skyrocket. Amazon does not care, never has, and I doubt they ever will. It's making money from hate, and that's what their “no-censorship” policy is really about. It always comes down to money.

Last but not least, there are so many scams online it's hard to keep track. In online publishing, there's vanity presses. Upload your work, kiss your copyright goodbye, you'll never see a cent of royalty. At the same time, despite the fact these vanity presses are scams and blatantly selling copyrighted material without the copyright owner's permission, they're also connected with Amazon. It's called the “out of print” scam. Ebooks or books published with a self-publisher that's a vanity press in disguise, when an author realizes it's a scam and attempts to cancel, the book is then marked as “out of print” and sold on Amazon for however much money they want. Go to Amazon. Dig around. Find books that were published with an internet company. If it's a paperback that has a price of more that 20$ (American), I guarantee that book was stolen and Amazon is selling illegal copyrighted material. I have personally seen books published with American Star Books formerly Publishers America, a well-known vanity press (the name change doesn't matter, everyone still knows it's a scam), with a price on Amazon for up to 999$. In other words, selling illegal copyrighted material for almost a thousand dollars.

This makes Amazon the worse pirating website on the entire internet.

See my article about Internet Piracy for more information.

Therefore, I don't support Amazon. Thanks for reading.

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