COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN
Well, it is about time.
The review facility on Amazon is quite valuable. I’ve always applauded Amazon for allowing reviews and making them virtually uncensored.
But it has been clear for quite some time that it is being abused.
Books or films of no merit get great praise – undoubtedly, coming from the author’s friends or colleagues or publisher.
These are not only of no help to any one, they crowd up the job of sorting through reviews to find meaningful ones.
I’ve written a good number myself, always making an effort to have them be genuinely helpful, so it is quite off-putting to see the flood of dishonest, unhelpful ones.
Go get ’em, Amazon.
Response to a comment about Amazon not running critical reviews:
Haven’t experienced this at all. I’ve given the lowest ratings to both some books and some films. They were all published. The fact is one of the reasons I admire Amazon.
Response to a comment about Amazon prices and a suggestion people not shop there:
Yes, but the selection on Amazon is unparalleled, and generally they deliver quickly. I also very much appreciate and use the offers for independent sellers, both in books and films whose prices sometimes much undercut Amazon’s. That’s also a rather brave approach.
Fake reviews generally are fairly easily spotted (although not always), but it takes time and effort to read through a number of them, making the whole facility less valuable.
We do now also very much have on Wikipedia the same business going on.
Articles stuffed with bias are deliberately posted by folks like the good old CIA or by the press agents for celebrities.
It is a little sad that the world has so many people who like to abuse and destroy. It’s why we have all those malicious codes on the Internet, and why in the end we have so many wars and conflicts.