Kathy Baldock is an evangelical Christian who also happens to support LGBTQ rights. As she explains on her personal ministry’s website, that required a major shift in her thinking a while back, but she’s been trying to make amends for it ever since.
One of the ways she’s done that is by offering honest, thorough reviews of anti-LGBTQ books written by fellow Christians on Amazon. She knows their tricks. She knows how they misuse the Clobber Verses. She knows that a lot of these authors “lack personal experience” with Christians who are LGBTQ. So she points out all these flaws in their books — in a place where their potential readers can see them.
The reviews are never just rants. She purchases the books herself, reads them carefully, then highlights the problems in great detail. It’s exactly what you would want from a review. As she told me yesterday, “I counter the misinformation with truth and research. Then I write and rewrite.”
And then, a month ago, on Christmas, all of her reviews were taken down from Amazon.
She was also told she would not be permitted to post any reviews in the future, either. The reason? The company told her via email that she had repeatedly violated their guidelines… without explaining what rule(s) she violated.
She explained the situation in this video:
While most of the reviews still sit on her website, the loss of those reviews on Amazon is a huge blow to what she was trying to do. If a casual reader stumbled onto those books on Amazon because they were genuinely interested in them, they might see her review and think twice before making a purchase. But it’s not like those same people would seek out her opinion without prompting.
For the past month, Baldock has been trying to get in touch with Amazon to get an explanation or reversal… with no luck. The email address Amazon told her to contact if she had questions generated no response. She only made that video after weeks of trying to fix the problem herself.
So yesterday, I got in touch with a representative from Amazon to get to the bottom of this situation. After two separate calls lasting about 45 minutes, I was told the ban would be formally appealed and that a further investigation would take place. The representative also said Kathy would receive an email explaining what she did that supposedly crossed a line — and be given a chance to rectify the situation.
Here’s hoping her reviews are reinstated immediately. While it’s not clear if this was some sort of coordinated effort by those anti-LGBTQ authors to remove her popular reviews from their book’s pages, it’s hard to think of another reasonable explanation for the ban — especially since it had been several months since Baldock posted an Amazon review. For it to happen out of nowhere seems more malicious than accidental. Baldock explained in the video that it’s happened before for an individual review, but never for all of them at once.
The service she’s providing is invaluable. What she’s doing is well within Amazon’s policies. Those reviews need to go back up.
(Thanks to @CriticalDragon1 for the link)