Two months ago on January 17, I noted on Twitter that Amazon was no longer offering commenting for reviews and that comments for old reviews were no longer showing up. Now I’ve had lots of issues with Amazon before and I’ve written about many of them in a sparsely posted Blogger blog I’ve had since 2015 called Canman Canned Comments. These usually turn out to be squirrel problems — updates and such on the inner workings of the site. And Amazon is a huge site. There are literally millions of books and many can have thousands of reviews. They also allow reviews on other products besides books. So it does seem possible that this could just be a major rework or evaluation of the review comment feature. The whole feature may have just become too unwieldy.
Of course Amazon has lately been making the news because of wokeness. They’re getting a lot of attention for no longer carrying some Dr. Suess titles. My latest Canned Comments post is about how Amazon is cracking down on snarky reviews. The Cliscep banner post is about how Jeff Bezos’ $10 billion environmental fund has just doled out hundreds of millions to a bunch of green activist groups. I’d like to note that Alex Epstein and Steve Milloy have on interesting discussion about this at 38 minutes into one of Alex’s podcasts.
I’ve always enjoyed commenting on Amazon’s reviews and will really miss the feature. It’s really a shame that these threads have disappeared. A lot of informal discussion between authors and readers took place there. I’ve never been able to get Amazon review comments to show up in the Wayback Machine until doing some research for this post. I usually find that comments just don’t show up, such as when I wrote this post about locating a disappeared parody review of a Michael Mann book. I’ve found that book reviews weren’t often saved in the Wayback Machine. Here’s a Brad Keyes review that was saved 42 times. I can’t get the comments to show up although I haven’t tried all 42 captures.
While playing around with the Wayback Machine for this post I actually did come across a review of a Michael Mann book that I commented on where I could read the comments in a Wayback capture. I don’t know all the rules to how the Wayback machine works. I’m sure there are ways people can keep their own stuff off it for perfectly legitimate reasons. It’s undoubtedly a good idea to save any links to interesting threads.