I am an Indy author with seven Award Winning Thriller novels published. Edit.
I’ve been “noticed.” I have a following on social media. I have to be there to market my novels. The Internet is the best way that authors who are not with a major publisher can promote their books.
Other than those active on social media, most were unaware until recently that the society-transforming “Fake News” war to erase history, suppress truth, and limit free speech has exploded into Cyberspace. The left has always wanted to censor its critics and erase history. Conservative authors are being targeted, personally attacked, and aggressively censored. Book reviews are being gamed.
Those in Cyberspace who don’t comply, who don’t conform, are being punished.
I was blacklisted on Amazon in 2016, banned from posting. All my twenty-some years of book reviews deleted. Why? I was never told. I actually got to a person by phone once and asked, back then (the Fall of 2016), he got a strange tone and said he couldn’t answer that question.
I only discovered the banner above recently (November 2020) when I was updating my webpage and seeking to tell my fans how to do reviews. I don’t know how long it has been up there.
My guess? Perhaps because I voted for Trump and criticized Hillary. Perhaps because I’d said unkind things about leftist trolls who for years were aggressively flooding reviews and comments about my novels with political rants.
I’d complained about that often. A few times Amazon had actually helped me by removing vitriolic political posts, sometimes even entire threads.
But they never said told me why I was banned. Today, I’m told that Amazon will rarely answer such questions. If you post a review and it’s not accepted, you are unlikely to get an answer as to why. The best thing to do is to keep a low profile, change the words a bit, and try again.
There is a saying in the military, “If you can’t stand the answer, don’t ask the question.” Other authors I know have been treated more harshly, so I don’t plan to ask again.
I’ve not asked since it happened, but here below are some details from that time. The issue is censorship of conservative free speech in Cyberspace to influence elections is today (2020) a hot issue. So is the issue of gaming matters to benefit or punish vendors.
Other authors have been treated worse. Here is one example from a top “Thriller colleague” who returned to non-fiction writing, only to find it worse. Orwell would understand.
Alex Berenson in the WSJ lamented that Amazon sells Mein Kampf and The Anarchist’s Cookbook, but withdrew his covid booklets from their offerings. https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-and-the-new-age-of-censorship-11607381415?mod=opinion_lead_pos9&mod=djemMER_h
“At least half a dozen other authors have emailed me that their books have been pulled…Google-owned YouTube censors even more aggressively. The company disclosed in October that it had pulled more than 200,000 videos about the epidemic—including one from Scott Atlas, a physician…
Although I was a reporter at the Times for a decade and I am no conservative, almost no one there spoke up for me when Amazon refused to publish my Covid booklets.”
Two mainstream publishers declined to make offers for a full-length book I am writing on the epidemic after saying they would. “You see what I mean about conservative imprints being some of the few places left truly interested in free speech,” an editor at one wrote. “I’ll turn to a conservative publisher if that’s what it takes to be true to liberal principles.”
Note: After protests from Elon Musk and Glenn Greenwald, Berenson’s booklets were alloved back up on Amazon.
It didn’t matter, the message was clear. Berenson gave up talking about Covid and 24/7 “Panic Porn.”
The masks came off in February 2020: Bezos-Owned Washington Post Wants To Give The Elites A “Bigger Say In Choosing The President” by Ending Primaries. By October, all the cyber media firms (Twitter, FB, etc.) were aggressively censoring content, mostly political free speech, even by the President.
The cyber-Czars don’t want to let the voters decide anymore. Forget Democracy, forget having a Republic, forget the Constitution, the new rulers are to be Oligarchs and Socialists. Link.
Here is what Wall Street Journal said in December 2020:
“Amazon never really grew up. Mr. Bezos still runs it with the drive of a startup trying to survive. That ethos helps keep Amazon booming. It’s also why the tech-and-retail giant is the target of rivals, regulators and politicians who say its tactics are unfair for a company its size.”
To put this in context, Twitter and Facebook have been much more visible and aggressive at blatant Big Tech censorship and election interference.
Congress complains, but does nothing. The fix is in.
May 2019: Does President Trump Know EVERY Pro-Trump Publisher from 2016 Has Been Decimated or Eliminated by Facebook — Including His Own Account?
This conflict is now raging all over social media, mostly below the surface. It has aspects of what we saw in fiction in The Matrix, which is an updated version of what Orwell put in 1984 and in line with what I put in my own novel Privacy Wars.
In the run-up to the 2018 Election “Big Tech” censorship (along with Fake News in the old media) was a MAJOR ISSUE.
It first showed up on the radar in the summer before the 2016 Election.
Bozell: Social Giants Perpetrating World’s ‘Greatest Censorship of Free Speech in History’
According to Constitutional Law experts, there are no explicit First Amendment rights in Cyberspace. Yet….
The problem of MASSIVE CENSORSHIP has gone beyond Cyberspace.
America’s Founding Fathers could not have known that huge corporations could ever have enough unfettered power to censor free speech. Today they do. #FakeNews is basically the propaganda arm of the far left.
Lock-downs and riots were used to silence critics. Citizens lost the right to to assemble in taverns and churches. Many small businesses (30% plus) went bankrupt. So people turned to Cyberspace, and they got hammered.
It worse there. Even THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES was totally shut down, and at the worse possible time, an election with massive fraud and disinformation.
And, of course writers have been censored as well. It’s a truism that novelists have always been among the first to go to the Gulags. And so we are.
The big book publishers have mostly signed on, and sold out. Link
Hollywood again has blacklists. Not to stop Communists, as in the 1950s. Now they blacklist Patriots and Conservatives. Speak out, and you’ll never work there again.
Huge corporations (cartels) and ruling elites will continue to exploit and abuse First Amendment Rights to support their own agendas and political biases.
I expect there will eventually be a Supreme Court ruling on this. It may extend to blocking Social Media firms from accepting foreign political advertisements or owning news media. This is exactly why our founding Fathers so valued the First and Second Amendments.
If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
I was blacklisted (banned from posting) on Amazon 8/29/2016.
I was never told why, but the timing coincided with an “alert note” that I sent out by email (supporting now President Trump) which went viral. I had never posted it on Amazon, but others may have.
Action Note #5 — For the first time in my adult life…. – http://us3.campaign-archive.com/?u=678e02cd37623f8eb83d534da&id=222bb1c0be
It now seems that, effective sometime after August 2020, that ANYONE can can be censored or have their books banned on Amazon.
Amazon, the world’s dominant online retailer, quietly changed its content policy sometime after August 10 last year to include a ban on “hate speech,” according to reports.
According to an Epoch Times analysis of internet archives, no ban on “hate speech” existed on the site’s content policy page prior to August 10. Now there is, and it is, of course, Amazon who gets to decide (without notification or justification) exactly what hate speech is. Basically, this is the same as what the other Cyber cartels are doing, but, in this case, it clearly extends to banning books.
Trump Targets Amazon
“One place Amazon likely does enjoy an unfair competitive advantage is due to federal intervention. The Obama Justice Department brought an antitrust case against Apple for trying to compete with Amazon’s e-books dominance. These columns called the case “quarter-baked,” but liberal judges approved.
Amazon has been the main beneficiary, and today it accounts for around 75% of all e-book sales. Mr. Trump’s appointees at the Justice Department should review that case, though the President’s social-media outbursts will make any such intervention now seem politically motivated….”
I expect “Fake News,” censorship, and intimidation will get worse as the next election cycle approaches. From Google, to Facebook, to Twitter, to YouTube, to Amazon, and beyond the social media firms – now the most prosperous companies in America – are a major part of the “Deep State.” Censorship of conservative free speech on Facebook is already in the 90% range. Link. Google hates Trump. Link.
These firms are the Robber Barons of our time. Essentially, the Silicon Valley giants have gotten fantastically wealthy by capitalizing on others’ data for little or no cost to source. They have developed their own “cult” cultures and are purging their firms of any who disagree with their views.
This is a war for control of public speech and the rights to personal information and intellectual property. How it ends will shape the future of America.
If you control speech and words, you control what people say. If you control what they say, eventually you control what they think. Political Correctness is Fascism masked as politeness.
This post is to share what’s going on in my small corner of this world with you and to request help from my readers and those who value Free Speech and First Amendment rights.
It would help a lot if you would post reviews for my novels on Amazon. I’m blocked from posting there, even under my own author’s pages, and also from reviewing any books on Amazon. LinkToMyBooksOnAmazon
Here are tidbits from my small corner of the war in Cyberspace: Books. In the run-up to the amazing 2016 election crazy things were happening.
I was early to Amazon. I was there doing book reviews since about 1996. Virtually all my reviews were positive, as why read a book if you hate it? Over the years, I posted about 120 reviews. ALL MY BOOK REVIEWS ON AMAZON WERE DELETED.
Here is the last review I posted on Amazon – it was there for only a day or so before it was deleted. I then got this note. Here it is, along with my deleted review.
Your review could not be posted.
Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:
| Review from John D. Trudel on September 28, 2016
Straight propaganda. Don’t waste your money.
Straight propaganda. Don’t waste your money. See some book or film like “Stealing America” or “Clinton Cash” if you want the straight words about lying Hillary.
Yes, Hillary is the first woman candidate for the office of President of the United States. This woman is arguably the most corrupt person to ever be a serious candidate for the office, and — depending on what polls you believe — 60-70% of the U.S. public (including some who will vote for her) think she’s untrustworthy.
Note: My banned review (9/28/2016) has aged well.
Hillary Clinton’s book broke records for its horrible reviews. Here are some of the early reviews. I found them clever.
[It’s now been puffed up to being 4.5/5 stars, so I expect all these are long gone. I didn’t check.]
Top Reviews for “Stronger Together” (9/28)– Hilarious
Top positive reviews
Showing 1-10 of 239 reviews (positive). Show all reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I feel safe now.
By S. Mainon September 23, 2016
I was going to give this book an unfavorable review but I fear for my life.
77 comments| 905 people found this helpful
By Pendeplume on September 25, 2016
The five stars are for the review written here by Daniel B., NOT THE BOOK! I had to re-post as it, NOT THE BOOK, is well worth the read.
“I was going to read this book … I really was. But just as I got started, I found myself under sniper fire, passed out, and fell and hit my head. After that I got double vision and had to wear glasses that were so damn thick I couldn’t even see to read. As if that wasn’t enough, I then had an allergic reaction to something and started coughing so hard I spit out what looked like a couple of lizard’s eyeballs, my limbs locked up, and I passed out and fell down again, waking up only to find out I had been diagnosed with pneumonia 2 days earlier. Somehow I managed to power through it all, but it’s a good thing I was able to make a small fortune on this random small trade in the commodities market (cattle futures or some such thing) and then, miracle of all miracles, a few banks offered me a few million to just talk to their employees for a few minutes – and all that really helped out because I swear I was dead broke and couldn’t figure out how I was gonna come up with the 6 bucks to pay for this book, let alone pay the $1,500 for my health insurance this month. I still want to read it, but, honestly, what difference at this point does it make? I hear it sucks anyway.”
17 comments| 970 people found this helpful.
By william vaughn on September 25, 2016
I liked the way someone at Amazon manipulated the numbers on theses reviews proving once again that hitlery Clinton is the most corrupt person to ever run for president just like she was the most corrupt Secretary of State ever. She needs somebody to alter results of reviews and polls because she is so dishonest that she has to hide how dishonest she is by being dishonest
9 comments| 726 people found this helpful.
By suz702 on September 18, 2016
I didn’t buy this book or read this book, but I have read the reviews, and enjoyed hours of entertaining, fun filled reading, expressing the TRUTH, about a crooked, lying, corrupt, terminally ill Presidential candidate, who stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders, and who is about to steal the Presidency with the use of election fraud. 10 Stars to the authors of these reviews. Proof that not only are Amazon.com shoppers of superior intelligence, but they call it like they see it. More reviews please!
Amazon shows this as a verified purchase, when I didn’t buy the book…..how fun!
14 comments| 910 people found this helpful.
By jaws48 on September 24, 2016
Looked through the book preview…boring and full of BS. That said, however, the reviews are the best entertainment I’ve had in days! Amazon customers are the best. Sorry Amazon management sees fit to delete some of their customers’ best work!
By Greg. T on September 18, 2016
Truly the Mein Kamf for a new generation. I have never in my life been more inspired than I was after reading this magnificent account of Hillary’s struggles, particularly in regards the truth and her inability to avoid pandering. The mellifluous prose she employs makes it obvious that it took a village to raise this idiot and that one can overcome every hurdle in life, up to and including your husband using an intern as a cigar humidor.
I have a new found appreciation for the women who was heaved unceremoniously like a sack of potatoes into the back of her van and who then reemerged hours later, her Cyberdyne Systems microprocessor fully rebooted, to continue her run for our nation’s highest office: Commander and Thief.
17 comments| 760 people found this helpful.
By Heck yeah! on September 16, 2016
My only disappointment with this book is that it ended before Batman showed up to haul her to jail.
3 comments| 626 people found this helpful.
By Bill NE on September 25, 2016
The virtue of this book is that it has revealed Amazon’s scandalous practice of manipulating reviews for political objectives. I actually do find this hard to believe, and even harder to accept. Maybe I’m just a gullible fool, but I always looked to Amazon customer reviews for useful information. No more.
8 comments| 600 people found this helpful.
Top Customer Reviews
By Sherwood 4ust on September 23, 2016
Four days ago (the morning of Sept 19) there were 898 reviews of this book. By evening there were 983 reviews. The reviews were merciless and many quite funny (though mostly accurate). This morning I look and there’s 209 reviews. Hmmmmm, what happened to all those other reviews? Apparently Clinton has friends at Amazon.
Edited to add: In the WND article there was a comment “This may be the first book to receive more reviews than sales” and I think that’s possible. Meanwhile Hillary is laughing all the way to the bank. First she gets an $8 million dollar advance from Simon and Schuster for her last abysmal failure and now she’s getting somewhere around $14 million for this book. The woman could hustle Bernie Madoff.
By The One on September 21, 2016
I ordered this book from the Clinton Foundation for 2.5 million USD. It came with a certificate good for one free ambassadorship and a guaranteed seat on the State Department advisory board. I only give it one star because when I received the book I found all the pages had been deleted.
By Always Write on September 21, 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On a technical level, the book is well written in that the authors give concise details of all their plans for America once they get their hands on her, if they do, that is. But I couldn’t stand listening to more than an hour of the Audible version I wasted a credit on and skimmed the remainder of my Kindle version, all the while shaking my head.
The book details ambitious plans for overhauling everything from infrastructure to manufacturing to clean energy, etc. and much within their first 100 days because they say that they aren’t going to wait for people such as “defeatists in Congress to take action.” The book also documents their plans for making debt-free college available to all Americans, but that section doesn’t say who’s going to foot the bill just a small statement that they are going to “Push employers to contribute to student-debt relief.”
The book also has sections on regulations for companies to make them “share profits with employees” and lots more promises of goodies for everyone, no doubt, in an attempt to buy their votes. All this, and the authors plan on defeating ISIS and global terrorism too.
And that’s only the first half of the book! Skimming, skimming, skimming…
I don’t believe the authors can do all that they say they are going to do in this book, and I don’t want them to even try. Not one single progressive proposal in this book is going to make you and me as fellow Americans, “Stronger Together.” If you decide to read the book yourself and manage to get through it all, please read between the lines and keep asking yourself who will pay for everything proposed and at what price will it come?
By Robert S Lionel JR on September 23, 2016
Every time I write my review it gets deleted., it’s so weird. Does anyone know where the servers are hosted that contain reviews? Seems to resolve to bathroom.mailserver.bathroom.dc That seems very odd. I’m sure this one will get deleted as well. Oh well.
By Amy Sterling Casil on September 16, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book begins well. The first sentence says, “America is great because America is good.” It goes downhill from there. My experience has been that people want to know the inside truth about their role models. I read page after page looking for tips on how to ask for big payments from rich foreign money launderers, military dictators or junk food manufacturers. It was just a bunch of malarkey even more boring than a 6th grade Common Core history book. I wanted to find out how to delete hundreds of thousands of voter registrations and emails, but no such luck. This book talks about how every vote counts. As long as it’s for Hillary Clinton! [seriously: I did skim it and it is sooooooo boring and these are two boring people with very little to say except “vote for me!”]
By SusieMoon on September 16, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Tried reading the book but developed an instant case of narcolepsy. Then tried using it as a back yard pooper scooper, but it’s already so full of feces that no dog poop would fit. Bummer.
By Amazon Customer on September 25, 2016
It’s tragic that Jeff Bezos is willing to risk the integrity of the ratings system to protect his Presidential Candidate of Choice.
Hillary Clinton. A couple of days ago there were over 2000 reviews. Great majority were negative. Bezos had them removed to puff up Hillary’s reputation. What else is Jeff tilting the scales on?
By happyreader on September 17, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
Strangely, every time I opened this book I was hit with a wave of nausea, followed by uncontrollable coughing. I believe it is a horcrux. Take caution, friends!
The Hillary review was my last for Amazon. I’m no longer allowed to post reviews there. Rather than close on a negative note, here are two of my last reviews. Feel free to share them.
Amazon Review Posted, July 9, 2016 (5 stars – my 4th from last review)
Here is my review of “Defeating Jihad.” Most thought that the end of the Cold War signaled an age of endless peace. Just as those who survived World War One thought there could never again be such horrors visited on the world. They were wrong.
The delusion that we were seeing the end of evil, the end of history, ended on 9/11/2001. We have now blundered into a time where we seem to be living through some demonic confluence of the 1930s (world socialism) along with a resurgence of red, raw, radical Islam from 1,000 years ago and, yes, even a resurgence of the Cold War on top of this. This time we are facing fanatical terrorists with nuclear weapons.
There will be War against a monstrous enemy – radical jihad, those who preach a homicidal interpretation of Islam. They are at war against America AND moderate Muslims. Unfortunately, Western Nation States, despite constant conflict, the Mideast being in flames, and the march of terrorism into America and the Western world, still don’t know this enemy. Worse yet is that, increasingly, we don’t even seem to know ourselves, who we are and what we stand for.
“In 1940, we knew who we were, we knew who the enemy was, and we knew the dangers and the issues…. It is different today. We don’t know who we are, we don’t know the issues, and we still do not understand the nature of the enemy.”
— Bernard Lewis, Historian
Dr. Gorka has written a phenomenal book. He explains why BOTH political parties have failed to effectively combat radical Islam — and it’s not for the reasons you hear on the media. He explains how and why Bush failed, and how Obama has made matters worse….
I thought that was one of my better reviews, so I tried to repost it. I cannot. Here is the note I got when I tried.
“Sorry, we are unable to accept your review of this product for either one or both of the following reasons: Your previous review of this product did not comply with our Customer Reviews Guidelines. Amazon does not permit reviews from customers whose relationship to the product or seller may be perceived as biased.”
Cute: “May be perceived as biased….” Wow! Subjective censorship, and presumably why my ~20 years of reviews (fiction and non-fiction spanning a wide range of topics and authors) were all deleted. This assertion is an early example of what is being called “implicit bias,” a justification now being used by violent groups like “Antifa” and “Black Lives Matter” to censor public free speech.
Such censorship goes one step beyond Orwell with the notion that speaking truth can be “hate speech,” an unconscious thought crime, if the speaker expresses opposing views or even associates with people who hold opposing views (e.g. Hillary’s deplorables).
Truth: I bought Gorka’s book from Amazon, read it cover to cover, liked it, and posted a positive review, now deleted. I am now a big fan of Dr. Gorka. We’ve never met or communicated directly, but I do follow what he posts now.
Here is what’s left of a later one that I posted for an interesting little book by Michael Connelly, the Constitutional Lawyer titled The Rag.
Michael is a radio host and he’s had me on a few times. Here is a link to his broadcasts.
Michael suffered worse under Amazon than I did. They stopped selling his E-Books after he hosted a 9/2016 radio interview where we discussed my having been blacklisted. [Michael died in June 2018. He was one of the good guys.]
Amazon Review Posted, July 9, 2016 (5 stars – my 3rd from last review)
from John D. Trudel on July 25, 2016
Highly recommended. Read this book, but let’s not live it. Tell your friends BEFORE the election.
Pastor Greg Young has a good one sentence summary of this book on the cover: “1984 meets the Hunger Games meets the Patriot.”
What genre best fits? Most would say “Political Thrillers.” To me, this book is more of a “Future History.” It’s a cautionary tale, a parable…
In September 2017 Hillary announced a NEW Book, What Happened. It was not well received.
This time Amazon publicly admitted to gaming the book’s reviews to defend Hillary. Some 900-1000 negative reviews were deleted. The reason stated was silly.
Since then, things have gotten, well, more overt. Not just the Washington Post, but Amazon itself, have become part of the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party. This does not bode well.
Nov 9, 2017: “Breitbart News exec and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon ripped into the Washington Post Thursday night at the 603 Alliance’s “Taking On The Establishment” fundraiser in Manchester, NH — calling the paper, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, “purely part of the apparatus of the Democratic Party,” citing its similar hit pieces on Judge Roy Moore and then-candidate Donald Trump.” Link
What we are seeing is what Bannon calls “the politics of self-destruction.” I find this sad. It used to be about coming together and honesty – E pluribus unum, out of many, one. Now it is about power and destruction of any who dare disagree.