Amazon Knows Your Friends


Amazon is deciding who you are friends with—even if you aren’t. The retailer is using that information to scrub book reviews from customers who might be friends with authors, reports the Guardian. Though the tight-lipped company won’t reveal the formula it uses to determine who customers are friends with, it seems merely interacting with authors online triggers the review ban. The review ban itself is less controversial than the sense that, to make a literary reference, Amazon is acting like “Big Brother.”

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →