Talk:Amazon.com controversies

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Amazon.com Hosting of Wikipedia information for profit[edit]

So I'm just now learning about this: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-20024297-36.html

And I would imagine that this is illegal use of wikipedia material since its being done for profit.

But in any case we should really add a section about Amazon's use of wikipedia content to sell books.

Zuchinni one (talk) 04:12, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

I'll leave it for someone more knowledgeable to provide a precise link, but as I understand it, there is no prohibition on using Wikipedia content for profit, providing certain licensing provisions are met (see WP:C). At any rate, the issue is not controversial unless a reliable source says it is, so I don't think any content needs to be added at the moment. Johnuniq (talk) 04:30, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
"Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?". Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:37, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Chronological order[edit]

I've changed the order of paragraphs to chronological, as that is more logical and I think improves the readability of the article. Otherwise we have to make value judgments as to what is more important than something else. By that measure, clearly the sales tax issue would probably be most important as it involves all online retailers. Best to just let the calendar provide the structure. ScottyBerg (talk) 15:08, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Sale of Wikipedia's material as books (Books LLC and VDM Publishing)[edit]

This section was deleted on 2010-11-28: "Likely of interest to Wikipedia editors only and sourced to a blog and a press release".
1/ I've added a new reliable source: Thiel, Thomas (2010-09-27). "Wikipedia und Amazon: Der Marketplace soll es richten". Faz.net (in German). Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
2/The following source refers to a blog but Preisgenau.de isn't a blog (see inconclusive discussions in Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard&oldid=373730302#Preisgenau.de and in Talk:Amazon.com):
"amazon.com erlaubt Verkauf von freien Wikipedia Artikeln". Preisgenau.de IT-News für Verbraucher (in German). 2010-04-06. Archived from the original on 2010-07-19. Retrieved 2010-04-09.  This webpage refers to: Haines, Eric (2010-03-30). "Best Book Title Ever, Period". Realtimerendering.com. Archived from the original on 2010-05-19. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
Playmobilonhishorse (talk) 08:16, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Although you have found a credible source, you have also re-added the blog and the press release, neither of which should be included. This "controversy" really has not had significant coverage. It appears to be a case of Wikipedia writing about Wikipedia, and not something that has genuinely interested ether the public or the news media. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:20, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Agree. I'm not seeing a bona fide controversy here. I concur with removal of this section. If it matures further, it can be added back in with more evidence of this being an actual controversy. ScottyBerg (talk) 17:44, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
"This "controversy" really has not had significant coverage. It appears to be a case of Wikipedia writing about Wikipedia". Happy to learn that the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is a fanzine written by wikipedians for wikipedians. Another reference: Rückert, Hermann (2010-09-20). "Copy and Paste als Geschäftsmodell: Amazon bietet die Plattform für tausende absurde Buchtitel" [Copy and paste as business model: Amazon offers its platform to thousands of absurd book titles]. Telepolis knews (in German). Hannover: Heise online. Archived from the original on 2010-12-07. Retrieved 2010-12-07.  Playmobilonhishorse (talk) 08:31, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
It's been criticized by a couple of German newspapers, but I don't see how that adds up to a "controversy" on a par with the other genuine controversies outlined in the article. The fact that it is confined to German language newspapers doesn't help. If it fit the definition of a controversy, I would think that the English language publications would have picked up a controversy surrounding the English Wikipedia. ScottyBerg (talk) 21:27, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Although I continue to think that the section as it stands should be removed, this will likely become a moot point once the press figure out that the person publishing the Wikileaks documents on Amazon also publishes books culled from Wikipedia material, such this one on Paul Cézanne. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:17, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Or this one: Sahra Wagenknecht: Deutsche Politikerin von Heinz Duthel (German Edition) Paperback. And this one: Dr. Guido Westerwelle: Deutscher Politiker von Heinz Duthel (German and German Edition) Paperback. Nice compilations of material from German wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. Playmobilonhishorse (talk) 19:43, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Why is the child-molestation book under the wikipedia use section?[edit]

Under the header for the wikipedia printing contriversy, we get this: "On November 10, 2010, a controversy arose over the sale by Amazon of an e-book by Phillip R. Greaves entitled The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct.[53]" This should have it's own section, right? It has nothing to do with the Wikipedia controversy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.234.123.137 (talk) 03:20, 18 March 2011 (UTC)


Amazon Fail[edit]

Where's all the histrionics and conspiracies from the LGBTQ community about the delisting of sexual content? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.22.68.127 (talk) 18:33, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Amazon.com_controversies#Product_availability White 720 (talk) 00:43, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Some bozo whined on my talk page about my striking out this homophobic crap, calling it "legitimate comment", which it most certainly is not. -- 98.108.206.28 (talk) 01:39, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Link Check[edit]

In the section "One-click Patent", the text "Bezos responded with his own open letter.[7]" appears to have a link that does not go to an open letter from Bezos. Could someone please check the link and see if it works for you? Thanks! --Guy Macon (talk) 19:58, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Controversies vs. Criticism of[edit]

Consider the following Wikipedia pages:

Amazon.com controversies

Criticism of Google

Should we rename so both are criticism of X with a redirect from X controversies?

Should we rename so both are X controversies with a redirect from criticism of X?

--Guy Macon (talk) 18:00, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

I think there is difference between criticism and controversy. Controversy is generally reserved for issues that draw a lot of attention from both sides while criticism is used to assert general distaste for a current ongoing policy. 68.41.154.157 (talk) 22:18, 26 September 2011 (UTC)


Why isn't this page a part of the amazon.com page? There is a section there titled "Amazon Controversies" with a link to this article, but also some duplication. It seems to me that all of these pages titled "whatever controversies" or "whatever criticisms" are by definition non-NPOV, while a section on controversies/criticisms in a page devoted to the subject (like the amazon.com page) is not non-NPOV, because at least the information is presented as part of an article devoted to the subject itself. For a user of this resource, I think it serves better to present criticisms as part of a general article of whatever subject is being discussed.

I also think that "controversy" is being used as a pejorative in this article. For instance, in the "One Click Patent" section, the first sentence is "The company has been controversial for its alleged use of patents as a competitive hindrance." could just as easily have been written as "The company has been criticized for its alleged use of patents as a competitive hindrance." It's also more a criticism of the patent system itself, rather than amazon.com, as this type of competitive practice is used by pretty much every corporation with a legal department nowadays. 173.74.10.29 (talk) 01:48, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Richard Stallman: many reasons not to buy from amazon[edit]

Richard Stallman cites many reasons not to buy from amazon at http://stallman.org/amazon.html

moved from amazon.com's talk page--it was deleted there. Stallman is a notable voice per WP:REL. While it might be debatable if his points merit mention here, imho it's not debatable that this should be discussed. --tickle me 10:10, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

To me it looks like he wrote a list of, well, Amazon.com controversies. It recapitulates everything already listed here without adding any new information or insight. Stallman is an expert on EMACS but on this topic I'd want to see evidence that his opinions about Amazon are influential. If there are third parties who say his statements on Amazon had an impact somehow or drew significant attention, then they're worth mentioning, briefly, here. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 17:35, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Amazon's Account Closing Procedure...aka MONEY WATCH. What you might not know about your Kindle Guru.[edit]

There are many examples of outraged and surprised customers pointing out that their amazon accounts have been closed suddenly. This practice started around 2008 and hit not only USA but also UK. The procedure is to send generic email with no signature nor call back No, and get rid of inconvenient shoppers. The content of the email usually states brief explanation of the decision, pointing to high level of returns, or association to another account that violated their policies. One can't really get in touch with any person that would address their concerns, as the only link- email provided, resend same generic replies pointing out their final decision. If you look carefully in that matter you get to the conclusion that not only people that return items are on the aim, but also "fussy" customers that call back, complain and get inconvenience credit. "So what" you may say, but just think of this scenario that hit so many people already- you bought expensive item, you return it and just before getting a refund, you are getting this surprising email, that your account is closed, no orders will be processed nor further refund given. Wouldn't that take a smile off your face? That's exactly what is happening. Less damaging but still distressing is another example- you have a gift card code attached to your account or a credit, or you have even placed an order using the gift card, and just before it ships, your account is closed. Chances also are, you have vouchers from amazonlocal on your account, that conveniently for them weren't send to your email address, only can be looked up from the account itself. You can't log in anymore however neither to your amazon nor amazonlocal account, and their regular customer service can't help you, as they don't have access to the details. In one moment YOU are LOOSING it all, just when you thought buying on ebay is risky. Search the web and you'll see this happens commonly, and victims of that procedure aren't the "system abusers" as one might think, but just regular users. I know that from own experience. I have made several orders and just one return- a glass table I ordered came broken so I called it and asked how to proceed with this return (packing broken glass and scheduling UPS pick up??). I was told not to send the item back (logically) and received a full refund plus small inconvenience credit. Next thing I know, my account has been closed FOREVER, with the explanation of being associated with someone else (that might have lived under same address before, if that's a real reason to begin with). The account credit has been lost as well, even people living under same address are the target and get banned. Not mentioning that I lost all my vouchers from their local deals. NO warning, no explanation, no concern about pending orders, no refunds. No chance to return anything one bought previously or that is already on its way, in case such need occurs. Disturbed? Well, one should be, at the end it's your money and no one will look after your business for you no matter what they try to convince you off.

Amazon Book Collective[edit]

The footnote for this has been changed at some point to have the incorrect link. This is an important case, the breifs of which detailed how far Amazon would go to attack anyone who might challenge their trademark -174.62.68.53 (talk) 20:21, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Which? magazine.[edit]

I'm moving the following from my talk page, to discuss here:

Please do not remove information with entirely fallacious explanations! You said "The Which? article does not even *mention* Amazon. If the information can be sourced, include it here, with references" The reference is in the paragraph, a few lines above the wording which you believe should not be there. The referenced article states:

Ever ordered electricals from an online shop only for a different product to arrive? Which? Convo community regular Socketman collaborates with Wavechange and Scott on this counterfeit electricals debate.

Wavechange, Scott and I are increasingly concerned about substandard and counterfeit small electrical goods. We’ve been debating this on the two-pin plugs debate here on Which? Conversation.

Among the items known to cause problems are phone and laptop chargers, power leads, and travel adaptors.

Failure of any of these items can lead to electrical fires and/or electrocution.

Many of us buy these items online, and we typically head for Amazon or eBay, but can you always be sure what you’re buying? I take a look at customer reviews to judge items, but do you know that you’ll be sent the same thing? And what happens if there are multiple sellers offering the same product on a single Amazon listing? Does it make sense to choose the seller with the lowest price? After all, they’re all selling the same product… or are they?

My test purchase

I recently carried out a test purchase, placing nine separate orders for the same product on Amazon Marketplace. The product shown in the listing was an adaptor to allow a German Schuko plug to be used in a British socket. Any adaptor for use in a British socket is subject to the Plugs and Sockets Regulations and must conform to British Standard 1363, such as including a fuse. The adaptor shown in the listing was clearly marked as BS 1363, and was shown with a fuseholder. The Schuko plug is earthed via side clips in a recessed socket, so the adapter has to match it.

Of the adaptors that were sent to me, only one was the product illustrated, another was a similar, not identical, fused Schuko to BS 1363 adaptor from a different manufacturer. A third seller sent a two-pin shaver adaptor, no earth and only suitable for low currents. The other six sellers supplied one of three different types of fused adaptor which would accept a variety of European and American plugs, but none of which had recesses, and therefore couldn’t make proper connection to a Schuko plug. And two of the three types didn’t comply with BS 1363.

When I complained a number of suppliers promised replacements, but only two sent them, one of which was a shaver adaptor, and the other just sent the same incorrect product. Of course, none of these were actually sold by Amazon, although the two Schuko adaptors were ‘fulfilled by Amazon’ in that they were held in Amazon warehouses.

Two of the products arrived in unmarked packaging, and one of those was a plain paper envelope! And it’s not just adaptors; I’ve had a similar experience with power leads and chargers.

Knowing what you’re buying

Careful analysis of Amazon customer reviews often reveals that very different products are being described, but many of us just look at the number of stars a product has rather than reading between the lines. And when you stop to think, although most of us are capable of giving a sound opinion on a book, how many of us is qualified to comment on the safety of an electrical accessory?

Would it help if Amazon always made clear the manufacturer and model number so that you could check that against what you get? Should there be a minimum standard of product illustration so that you’re always clear about what’s being sold? Should Amazon take action against suppliers who substitute different products?

That is NINE mentions of Amazon, one of which is about the specific point regarding Amazon reviews! FF-UK (talk) 18:03, 19 September 2015 (UTC)

This is in reference to the following text in this article, which FF-UK keeps re-adding:

"The Which? article also describes how the customer reviews of the product are actually a mix of reviews for all of the different products delivered, with no way to identify which product comes from which supplier."

In fact, the article Which? has no mention of Amazon Marketplace, or of Amazon at all. I'm not looking to edit war, but can anyone other than FF-UK indicate where in that article this controversy about Amazon is mentioned? TJRC (talk) 18:25, 19 September 2015 (UTC)

TJRC The cited source is, obviously, not the WP article on Which? (WP can never be a source for WP!), but the article published by Which? which is referenced in the paragraph as shown!
==Amazon Marketplace==
The British consumer organization Which? has published information about Amazon Marketplace in the UK which indicates that when small electrical products are sold on Marketplace the delivered product may not be the same as the product advertised.[1] FF-UK (talk) 19:52, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
  1. ^ "Ever been sent dodgy electricals by an online shop?". August 15, 2014. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 

I believe that I have pieced together what happened here. An inexperienced editor PrisonersDilemma linked the word Which? for a second time within the section (Diff). On WP this is called overlinking: and is explained here: "Don't link the same word or phrase multiple times, at least not in the same section of an article." I reverted this with the comment overlinking. Another inexperienced editor Mendezes Cousins again added the additional link with the comment a link here is useful (Diff) Shortly afterwards TJRC removed the complete sentence to which the overlinking had been added with the comment Which? does not mention amazon (Diff). TJRC had apparently misinterpreted the sentence with the additional link as referring to the WP article on Which? rather than, as the OP had written, a continuation of the description of the particular controversy which was described in the referenced article on the Which? website.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I did not at that point identify what had triggered TJRC's edit, and reverted it with the comment The article IS about Amazon, and describes the review issue (Diff). Having done that I immediately noticed the Mendezes Cousins linking edit and reverted that also with the comment The link is already in the first line of the section! (Diff).

TJRC again removed the complete sentence with the comment The Which? article does not even *mention* Amazon. If the information can be sourced, include it here, with references) (Diff). This made no sense at all to me, I reverted TJRC's comment with the comment The Which? article, which is referenced in this paragraph actually *mentions* Amazon 9 times (Diff), I have to admit that it did not occur to me that an editor as experienced as TJRC would confuse the concept of "referenced" with a link to the WP article on "Which?"! The inexperienced Mendezes Cousins then re-reverted me with the inappropriate comment rv vandalism! (Diff).

Meanwhile I had taken up the issue on TJRC's talk page, I chose that option as I believed TJRC's behavior was inexplicable, given that the referenced article was entirely about Amazon and mentioned them nine times. I was not interested in challenging this publically, so chose what I thought would be a less public forum to point out to TJRC that the reference to the article IS in the section, and I quoted the specific section dealing with the topic which he was determined to remove. Instead of responding to me there, TJRC moved my comments to this page, into a more public forum. TJRC was clearly still convinced that the sentence was in error, but for the first time, indicated that he was looking in the WP article on Which? for the references, rather than the cited article on the Which? website! I find it very disappointing that TJRC has failed to acknowledge his error on this page, despite having been active on WP since it was pointed out. FF-UK (talk) 07:44, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

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Amazon sells Nazi books and offers to send them to countries where they are not legal[edit]

Most of these books are published by tiny publishing companies with limited resources and severely limited distribution. Amazon has none of those limitations and, by selling these books, is encouraging the spread of their vile "information."

Here, for example, is a book written by a genuine Nazi - someone who, according to Amazon, served in Hitler's regime - https://www.amazon.com/Germany-Jewish-Question-Friederich-Wiehe/dp/1501067370/

The Neo-Nazi books (some seen at the bottom of the page cited above) are mostly apologists and historical revisionists who deny the Holocaust or Germany's role in the second world war.

As can be seen here: https://www.stormfront.org/forum/t645133/ the particular book cited above is used by American extremists to justify their racial hatred.

I can find no other large book company selling this gutter trash.

I am Dutch and Amazon offers to send these books to me though they are not legal in my country.

2001:983:7344:1:250E:DDFE:189:8F04 (talk) 09:36, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

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