Friday 25 January 2013

Amazon Defamation

You might be surprised to learn that those who suffer abusive and defamatory reviews on Amazon are not necessarily the sellers. You, as a buyer are also vulnerable to a similar faith if you decide to assist your fellow shoppers by providing your own honest and fair opinion about the product that you purchase on Amazon.

In my blog post Is Amazon a compassionate organisation? I described the faith of an online shopper who wrote a negative review on Amazon.

The next question is how to remove defamatory comments and reviews from the Amazon store.

Being an enormous company, it is never going to be possible for Amazon to filter each comment and review that is written on its website. In some instances however, defamation on Amazon might be removed through an automated process which filters a list of forbidden words and phrases. However the vast majority of the reviews, as negative as they might be do not contain foul language which means you will need to report them to Amazon through an automated process.

If you feel that a bad review on Amazon is unjustified you can always write a rebuttal or you can use the process described below to report it to Amazon.

Clicking the “Report Abuse” button will mark the defamatory post as “inappropriate” but Amazon will only consider removing it if at least 3 different users have reported it.

If you choose to “Report Abuse” in relation to a defamatory comment or review you will be prompted to click on a link which will take you to Amazon’s Notice and Takedown Procedure. 

Your next step will be to complete a statement where you will need to include full details of the  incident as well as your name, address, occupation, the exact words complained of, why the words are defamatory, why they are untrue etc. This will then need to be printed, signed and sent to Amazon’s Legal Department in Slough. 

Sometimes you will receive a reply and sometimes you will not. Amazon claim that in many cases they remove the defamatory content from their website, but this is questionable. 

Although Amazon requires you to follow their own reporting procedure, you might choose to report the defamation by way of a cease and desist letter and send it to Amazon’s legal department as above. Provided your letter complies with all the legal requirements of a cease and desist letter, a Court will accept your report as sufficient.
Internet Law Centre

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