Houston, we have a stalker

It was interesting to see Camestros Felapton was stalking my profile on LinkedIn yesterday. It looks like he created a profile just for that purpose. Meanwhile, another File 770 denizen, ex-Amazon Principle Research Scientist Greg Hullender, is instructing SJWs on how they can attempt to interfere with Castalia House and other publishers who sell through Amazon in the future.

Greg Hullender on February 1, 2019 at 4:59 pm said:

I was a senior manager at Amazon in the division that managed the catalog. I can guarantee you that no one outside that team can really delete anything from the catalog. The programs that others run only mark things deleted, but they don’t really go away.

Likewise, accounts don’t really get erased. They get frozen and the money put on hold until someone can figure out whom it really belongs to. (This was an IP theft accusation, if you believe VD’s account, so of course they held the money.)

Once it was straightened out, they quickly put everything back the way it was. (Considering that the database had over 2 billion records in it when I left the company 5 years ago, it’s pretty impressive how well it works, if I do say so myself.)

He may be telling the truth about what was told to him. It’s possible he got someone who just didn’t know how to reinstate a deleted account. (Or someone without the privilege to do so.) Someone new enough to simply not know that whatever was done can be undone. (With just a few caveats.)

As I think about it, if you wanted to make this happen to him again, the way to do it (assuming he created another “misleading” book like this) is as follows:

1. Purchase the book yourself.
2. A few days later, submit a return request to Amazon, alleging that you received a counterfeit. (I forget the exact code, but it’s a checkbox that indicates you got something other than what you thought you ordered.)
3. In the comments, mention the book you wanted to get and include a link to VD’s own words explaining what he did. Make it clear that “this was a deliberate fraud. Amazon shouldn’t tolerate this.”

Any customer service rep would refund you at once and kick it straight up to Fraud. Fraud would look at the info, see that the account has been suspended repeatedly, and instantly suspend it pending further investigation. Or so I believe, since I’ve seen the same thing happen to other merchants who skirted the line a lot. (E.g. gray-market sellers whose ads make it look too much like the original product. Or refurbished-product sellers who aren’t clear enough it’s not new.)

It’s fascinating to observe such an influential ex-Amazon employee providing instructions on monkey-wrenching Amazon’s core business. Needless to say, we’ve archived this post and forwarded screenshots of Mr. Hullender’s advice to our contacts at Amazon so they are aware that Mr. Hullender and his associates may attempt to interfere with Amazon’s attempts to sell books to their customers in the future.

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