Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Crack down on rave reviews…what about fake one stars?

CNN recently ran an article about the crackdown of fake business reviews. While I’m all for protecting the consumer, what about protecting the business from fake slam reviews written by competitors or someone with a grudge?

One of my friends recently told me about one of his friends who had to go after a customer for bounced checks. The customer retaliated by bombing the business with fake negative reviews.

Amazon has its own crackdown on suspicious five star reviews, which they remove. But what about the suspicious one stars? Some bloggers, obsessed with ridding the world of potentially false five star reviews, believe reviews by anyone the author knows is suspect.  In some ways Amazon believes that too, because they have been known to remove five star reviews if they suspect the author and reviewer have a connection.

Of course, that is not necessarily true for negative reviews left by a person who has a connection to the author. Case in point – one of my author friends belongs to a writing group and one of her “friends” from the group left a review – but not a very nice one. I suspect that reviewer a personal issue with the author, because what type of reviewer leave his friend a bad review? 

If I read a friend’s book and I don’t like it, I simply don’t review it. While I might tell the author in private what I thought the problem was with the book, I would not do it on a public forum. In my opinion, a friend does not do that. Yet, don’t misunderstand me – I would not leave a friend a fake good review.  That helps no one, and if someone happens to follow my reviews, how would he be able to trust me if handed out careless five stars.

But what do I think about authors buying reviews? Ask me that question tomorrow.

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