December 24, 2012

How does Amazon know that author you're reviewing is a member of your family?

It's easy to see why Amazon would want to edit out biased reviews, but how can it know who is biased? And then there's that lady who has published an average of 7 reviews a day for over a decade, 99.9% of them 4- or 5-star — can anything be done about her?

ADDED: One thing Amazon can see easily is where you ship packages, presumably presents. It has names and addresses, so if it has the author's name and home address, that would match up. 

8 comments:

Richard said...

One thing Amazon can see easily is where you ship packages, presumably presents. It has names and addresses, so if it has the author's name and home address, that would match up.

That's a very creep thought. Stop thinking creepy thoughts. It's Christmas Eve.

Richard said...

One thing Amazon can see easily is where you ship packages, presumably presents. It has names and addresses, so if it has the author's name and home address, that would match up.

That's a very creep thought. Stop thinking creepy thoughts. It's Christmas Eve.

Michael K said...

I've been an Amazon reviewer for years. What annoys me is, when a controversial book comes out, like Sarah Palin's, they publish all the fake reviews before the real ones. They know which are real because they have this "Amazon Vine" program and list how many reviews you've written. They do list the e-mail addresses of frequent reviewers so it's not that hard to find a fake.

edutcher said...

Something I never worried about.

I strain out the apparent fakes.

EDH said...

Am I the only one to come from a blood-line of backstabbing assholes who like nothing more than to tear one of their own down?

I like the Amazon policy.

FuzzyFace said...

The fake reviews are frequently the first out because they are often written by friends who received early copies, or who posted reviews without reading it. When all of the reviews on a book just published have five stars, that's a pretty good give-away, especially when most of the reviewers have never reviewed any other books.

Amazon wouldn't be able to figure this out by using shipping addresses, of course.

caseym54 said...

The problem with Klausner is that her reviews are often indistinguishable from the jacket blurb, and sometimes contain the same errors that the jacket copy does, and for the same reason: didn't read the book.

ErnieG said...

Fake Amazon reviews are an art form. For example, see "Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon", with its 1,373 hilarious reviews.

The master of the art was the late (I think) Henry Raddick. Here are three of his many reviews:


The Art of Flamenco by David George, et al

I bought this book for my wife. Flamenco is the dust of the bull-ring, the flounce of the gypsy's skirt and the crazy clatter of castanets. Flamenco swaggers. Flamenco pleads. Flamenco is the beating heart of Andalusia. Flamenco is NOT a tanked-up Englishwoman embarrassing her husband in a hotel bar in Seville.

The Bible Cure for Memory Loss (Bible Cure (Siloam))
by Don Colbert

A beautifully written book about the healing power of that nice bearded young man.

Bigotry (Issues in Focus)
by Kathlyn Gay

With my Uncle Sandy's intemperate public outbursts becoming more and more needlessly graphic, I bought this book to help him address his homophobia. But it's a sad day when a supposedly intelligent 74 year old man dismisses a book as worthless solely on the strength of the author's name. I told him not to judge a book from its cover, but that's hardly an argument to persuade a man who to this day refuses even to shake hands with a man if he is wearing corduroy.