Amazon has apparently deleted over 900 reviews of Hillary Clinton's book in the first 24 hours since it went on sale, after the publisher raised concern that the reviewers had not actually read the book.
Mrs Clinton's book, What Happened, went on sale on Tuesday. By Wednesday there were 1,600 reviews - many of which did not discuss the book, but instead offered high praise or scathing criticism of Mrs Clinton.
The website Quartz analysed the data from the reviews and found that of the book’s 1,600 or so reviews as of Wednesday morning, only 338 were from users with verified purchases of the book - that is, those who actually bought the item on Amazon.com. They could, of course, have bought the book somewhere else and then logged onto Amazon to post a review, but the majority of Amazon's reviews are from people who bought the book on their site.
Jonathan Karp, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster, said he believed many of the reviews were not from people who read the book.
“It seems highly unlikely that approximately 1,500 people read Hillary Clinton’s book overnight and came to the stark conclusion that it is either brilliant or awful,” he said.
He said Simon & Schuster hoped the online commentary would reflect opinions of people who have actually read the book.
"It's pathetic and immature that Clinton can't accept personal responsibility for her loss. She was a terrible candidate and had a hard time defeating Bernie," wrote R.J. Parker.
Another reviewer disagreed, saying: "Love this woman in all her candor, playfulness, defiance and brilliance. #ImWithHer #StillWithHer #AlwaysWithHer".
Amazon says on its site that its reviews are designed to help customers make purchase decisions, and it is not the company’s role to decide what customers would find helpful in reviews.
They would not confirm they had deleted any reviews.
But, by Wednesday evening, only 460 reviews remained on Amazon's site - and all were marked "verified purchase".
Before the reviews disappeared, they were evenly split between those who hated the book and those who loved it. As of 11:40am eastern time (4,40pm BST) the former US secretary of state’s book had 1,669 reviews, with 50 per cent giving it one star and 45 per cent awarding it a five star review, according to Quartz.
Its average rating was 3.2.
After the reviews were deleted, the average rating rose to 4.9 stars out of five.
"This should be required reading for every American," wrote one reviewer.
"Not only is it a humanizing account of the campaign from the first woman EVER nominated by a major party for POTUS, but it consistently calls to mind the critical issues facing our political system today. Hillary isn't going away folks, and one day, we will thank her for it."