I've been thinking this through, and the thing is, I can't see any benefit to GRAmazon from driving away the particular reviewers they have targeted. I just can't come up with a likely motivation that benefits their bottom line. These are the possible motives that I can come up with, but none of them benefit Amazon as far as I can see.1) The "trouble-makers" shape up or ship out.
Perhaps this is what they initially thought would happen when they threatened reviewers. That they would either start "behaving" or if not, Amazon would be better off without them. They may have been culling the "dead wood". If they honestly thought this, they would have to have been incredibly naive. Of course those people were going to kick back. And of course it was going to be epic. Just look at the popularity rankings of some of the people on that list. Surely they took that into account?2) They want GR to be left with Amazon-style reviews
which are all gushy unicorns and cupcakes, and which nobody trusts. Perhaps they think that the reviewers they have targeted aren't their key demographic, and aren't driving book sales. This may be true, but there are plenty of popular reviewers who ARE in that demographic and who seem to be walking now in protest.3) They want to deliberately shut down GR,
or more likely merge it into Amazon. Again, the Amazon site doesn't have the trusting relationships that drive book recommendations (& hence sales) like GR does. They would have a service which makes it easier for people to buy books they "like" on GR, but nobody driving anybody to "like" them. Perhaps they think their key demographic will buy whatever Amazon tells them to. Perhaps they are betting on docile consumerism. That's quite the gamble - plus they would be missing a trick in not keeping around the people who create the word of mouth "buzz". There's no actual benefit to this scenario. What do they gain by losing those reviewers?
Can anyone else think of what their plan might have been? Hard as I try, I just can't see this mess as anything other than a bungle on the part of GRAmazon. I think it's a poorly considered bunch of ad hoc decisions which have gotten away from them. If so, all they can do is try to salvage what they can. The question is, how? Delete accounts or say sorry?