As Amazon prepares to start winding down DPReview, the publication’s founder Phil Askey has publicly spoken out against the decision and put Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy on blast, calling the choice to shut down the site a “waste.”
Askey, who founded DPReview in 1998, stayed on with the company even after its acquisition by Amazon in 2007 for three years until he eventually left in 2010. Despite the news that DPReview would be closed breaking in mid-March, Askey did not immediately provide his opinion regarding the decision outside of a tweet he published indicating his surprise.
— Phil Askey (@philask) March 22, 2023
That changed this past weekend when he took to LinkedIn to share his dissatisfaction with the decision to close arguably the biggest photography resource on the planet.
“DPReview has 8,800 news articles, 1,300 reviews (including 180+ video reviews), 160 opinion pieces, 160 interviews, 1,700+ sample galleries almost all created by DPReview staff stretching back to 1998,” he writes on LinkedIn.
“From the community, easily the most active and passionate in any category there are over 47 million forum posts and the challenges system has over 1.1 million photographs. It is the number one result for any photography related search (and has been for almost its entire life),” he continues.
“I truly hope that Andy Jassy can see what a waste tearing this team apart and burning all this content will be, and what a huge loss it would be to the photography community and the Internet as a whole.”
Askey tags Jassy, Amazon’s current CEO, in the statement, clearly indicating that he expects him to read it.
While not officially mentioned in the announcement of the impending closure, PetaPixel learned early on that Amazon’s plan was to first lock the site for an indeterminate amount of time before deleting it altogether.
“The site will be locked, with no further updates made after April 10th 2023. The site will be available in read-only mode for a limited period afterwards,” DPReview’s notice reads. “You can request a download of all the photos and text you’ve uploaded to the site. This will be available until April 6th, after which we will not be able to complete the request.”
While the company’s plan appears to still involve locking the site on April 10, it’s not clear if Amazon still intends to delete all the content. Even without staff, DPReview‘s server costs are likely quite high given the huge amount of image data that has been accumulated over the years. That said, it’s all stored on servers that Amazon owns, which has led many to question why the company can’t just continue to let the content live on.
Amazon has not made a public statement on the matter.