Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Et voila

Steve Guardala's review of Landsknechts, after having accumulated a number of interesting posts about the reasons of what happened to him, has finally been deleted.

I guess, having 'deleted-by-Amazon' a number of offending posts by 'Hondo', and despite a number of increasingly unreal but energetic attempts of damage control by friends of the reviewer, it was decided that the commentary still contained too much damaging information (though it was all speculative, of course), and the whole thing was blown away. Hiding traces? Looks self-incriminatory, I fear.

ADDED LATER: The review has been reposted since. A new discussion takes place now, every bit as interesting as before; another delete-and-repost isn't out of the question! :-)

ADDED LATER: All's gone again. Looks like a new method of comment wipeout (doesn't look like a delete-and-repost, at least inasmuch as suggested by the preserved vote counts -- I think I saw it once before). Anyway: whatever the method, comments are gone once more.


Deborah Hern said...

Color me confused. (And try to act surprised.) All I can see from the links is a review and a few comments discussing the topic. What happened to this guy, and why??

Stanley H Nemeth said...

I second Deborah's request for some accurate information about Steve Guardala and his disappearance from Amazon. Despite some wild assertions by certain members of what I call the Guardala Gang, my only knowledge of this fellow comes from his extremely mediocre final review posted on this blog (since deleted), a mere summary of the contents of a book, wholly without any sort of requisite insight. The obligatory raves for it from the Gang were equally empty one liners, and I indicated as much here and with a comment affixed to his now deleted review. Why he was removed from Amazon remains a great mystery. With what, other than writing empty reviews, might he have been charged, and why did slow to move Amazon apparently take action against him? Inquiring minds want to know.

Malleus said...

The first link -- the one that shows the review -- is to a google cache. It shows the review as it used to be some time ago. The last link ('deleted') shows that this review is no longer present on the Amazon site. The intermediate link leads to the reviews of the book in question, so you can see that Guardala's review is no longer one of them.

As far as Steve Guardala himself, I don't know anything about him, except what I've learned from this thread, which is, in my recollection, that he was wiped out by Amazon and banished; which his apparent clique took pains to explain as follows "he was harrassed; his banishment was an error; Amazon support has been working hard on correcting this error; he'll be back any moment now"; something like that.

Then, one poster ('Hondo'), very rationally imo, asked why, if SG was harrassed, it was SG who ended up banished. (That's where the in-error theory was propounded by one of the 'usual suspects' there). Then, these comments by 'Hondo' were 'deleted-by-Amazon'. This then was brought up, and a bit of back and forth ensued; questions were asked about why Hondo's totally inoffensive messages could have been 'deleted-by-Amazon', and was it really Amazon who deleted them, and why, if SG was innocent, he still hasn't been back, and perhaps he wasn't all that innocent to begin with, and perhaps there was no error in his banishment, and whatever his local friends keep saying is damage control rather than truth because it didn't seem to make much sense, etc.

To that, an apparent clique member kept offering more explanations of an increasingly unreal nature. The last post from him was, that Steve Guardala abandoned Amazon altogether. Which, if you think of it, is rather strage: I mean, if SG was "harrassed" by someone, he must have been an innocent victim, right? Why would an innocent victim end up banished? And if his banishment was an error, why wasn't it fixed in over a month? And why this innocent victim, who, purportedly, was about to be exonerated, decided to leave Amazon instead of triumphantly coming back ?

If I remember it right, SG was accused by someone to have set up multiple posting accounts and using them to simulate lively discussion of his own reviews... whether this is true or not, I don't know. Anyway, the announcement of SG's departure was practically the last of this thread: another comment or two appeared questioning the sanity of such explanation; next thing, the whole thread disappeared. My feeling is, all the guesses by Hondo and others were very close to reality, and, since the clumsy attempts to explain them away were increasingly unconvincing, SG decided to get rid of the whole thing -- thus covering tracks but imo also implicitly admitting that these guesses were not too far of the mark.

None of this is of any importance, other than as yet another demostration of how likely it is that the site can be, and is, manipulated by anyone who'd care to organise: 'deleted-by-Amazon', bullshit-based damage control; shutting up whoever poits to shenanigans by declaring his posts "harrassment"; using sock-puppet accounts, and what have you.

Stanley H Nemeth said...

This reposting is one of the rare cases where the sequel improves upon the original. The review itself, unfortunately, is unchanged in its emptiness, being a mere description of the book's contents, with nary a word as to why the book's author is especially "insightful." The improvement is wholly in the comments below the review. This time, instead of the obligatory, content-free one-liners of "brilliant" from those commentators taking in each other's laundry (Translation for the language impaired = engaging in "mutual backscratching," in this case to the bewilderment of outsiders), there are lengthy comments which have unwittingly enabled "the usual suspects" to show themselves at their most irrational. Not surprisingly, these persons have begun, like Lear's self-absorbed daughters, to turn on one another in a possible "schism." Steve Hedge,for instance, an alleged "double-agent," is about to be thrown under the bus. What a fate! Throughout this muck, The Ghost and Hondo, happily enough, emerge as bastions of solid sense; the Texas Swede and the 3 or 4 other Guardalaite commentators have revealed the sorry mindsets of assorted internet trolls.

Malleus said...

:-) Yeah, poor Steven Hedge is about to be torn to pieces and burnt on high fire. :-)

Malleus said...

We received an email from a person who says that it was Amazon who deleted all the comments. Did we assert the opposite? I don't think so. The question remains: why did they (Amazon) do it? I hope they haven't acquired a habit of randomly wiping out reviews' commentary wholesale. Did the reviewer contact Amazon and ask for it? If so, why?


This is also a good time for a reminder to all readers here: you are welcome to email to us. When doing so:
1. Please let us know if it's OK to use your note directly (quote from or maybe post in its entirety; mention your name -- stuff like that; by default, if we use your note, we will paraphrase from it, but otherwise we'll protect the sender's privacy).

2. If you want your message to be used, please read it twice and think it through: garbage it will not be paid attention to. Even if we decide that your email has some value, we may edit it so as to keep the nonsense out -- this blog is moderated so as to prevent the quality of discussion from falling below a certain level; trolling will not make it; purveyors of nonsense will end up in the killfile: we welcome neither fools not knaves. We do welcome everyone else.

Malleus said...

To our email correspondent: please re-read the second addition above: I explicitely state that it doesn't look like a delete-and-repost. What's your beef?

I'm not saying Steve once more deleted/reposted a review so as to wipe out comments. I say, there appears to be a new method (on Amazon) to do that w/o deleting a review. I gladly believe you that it's done by Amazon, in fact I myself think so too. The only question (if you want to go on quibbling) is, if such a new form of deletion is done by Amazon on request, why was this requested? That is the question. There was nothing in the third version of the thread that was unacceptable that came from someone other than Steve's ostensible friends, and they surely could delete their own comments w/o help from Amazon. The rest was civil and, imo, intelligent: why was it deleted? I'm not talking about the specific method of wipeout this time... only that it's likely that the deletion came from the reviewer, even if indirectly, via Amazon, but not as a random act of violence. Is it true? If it is, then where's the problem?