Over the last two days, I have covered a number of issues with the book, “To Siri With Love” and Judith Newman its New York based author. There are a number of concerns with the book, which mostly deals with her son Gus Newman and which are set out elsewhere, in my first article as well as by third party authors ,  and . Now it has been revealed that Newman has enlisted her friends in writing positive reviews and reporting negative ones to have them deleted, apparently contrary to Amazon rules.
After the controversy erupted, a whistleblower approached a disability rights website, “International Badass Activists” with alleged screenshots of discussions (archive) between Newman and her friends.
In the discussion, Newman seems to engage in getting her friends to write reviews and asking them to report adverse reviews.
It seems that to some extent her concerns are legitimate. As a customer I expect reviewers to have read the book and it is reasonable and proportionate that Amazon restrict reviews to purchasers. Whilst that will exclude some people who might have read the book elsewhere, it will certainly exclude abusive reviews by people who have not even read the book.
I decided to see if I could verify the comments. One thing that concerned me was this screenshot. A person called Dean Parker claimed that they were a clinical psychologist and had used that title in representations to Amazon. I decided to see if the allegations were true.
Tracing Dr Parker did not take long. He is a New York State licensed psychologist, number 008022. (confirmed here). I asked him if the statement was accurate. He responded (amongst other things), “[…] She gave permission for my commentary on the page […]”. So the context appears to be correct.
At no time during our correspondence did he deny that the screenshot was real, although he did at one point threaten that he has no less than two licensed attorneys he is related to willing to sue me. The reason I was concerned though, was the content of the book he was endorsing and the appropriateness of a licensed professional doing so.