Last month there was yet another Amazon review kerfuffle, as it was revealed that Amazon has been undergoing a review purge aimed at friend-and-family rating manipulation and sockpuppetry.
On the one hand, like many others I cringed at the revelation that some well-respected authors have unabashedly paid for sockpuppet reviews.
At the same time, isn’t it pretty easy to tell the difference between a critical review or a true rave from a fake one? Haven’t we all honed our BS-detection skills to the extent that we find a representative review that we implicitly trust and manage to filter out the others?
What do you think? Are online reviews due for a necessary correction or should Amazon and others let us be the filter?
Art: The Puppet Show by Albert Rosenboom
Jackie G Mills says
The whole review saga is pretty depressing. And even though many readers say they don't look at reviews the problem is that without them the author's book lays dormant in a flood of other books. I can't even find mine unless I type my name in. As another commentator said, some websites don't allow you to list your book unless you have at least 5 positive reviews on Amazon. An Amazon says none of those can be friends or family even if they did love the book. Even though everyone else seems to know the review system on Amazon is flawed, the book advertising websites seemed to have not caught on.