Amazon Book Review Problems

Amazon Book Review Problems

I know this article on Amazon Book Reviews is from a few weeks ago but I’ve been unplugged for a while.  I just came across it this morning while prepping for a class discussion on the ways that technology has changed reading and writing.  Apparently Amazon has started deleting what it sees as dubious reviews.  This has included reviews from family members, close friends, and competitors (other authors).  There’s some debate as to how Amazon decides whether or not a review is legitimate or even if they should be getting involved at all.  Either way, it got me thinking about how often I rely on the opinions of people I have never met, and I know next to nothing about, to help me decide what to read.  I certainly give more weight to the real-life recommendations of trusted friends but if I go online and see that I book has a outpouring of 5 star reviews, I’m likely to put it on my queue at the library without much thought.

I wonder how this might change if I knew that these 5 star reviews were solicited.   I wonder what I would think if I knew that the reviews were submitted almost exclusively by close friends of the author, or by people who had never read the book.  I wonder if it would be possible for someone to crush a competitors book with an onslaught of negative reviews.  Do I want Amazon intervening to try and make the review process more legitimate? I’m not sure.

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About Mr. Zerwas

Passionate about Family, Health, Fitness, Nutrition and Multimedia - Teaching Video and Broadcasting and Del Oro High School in Loomis, CA

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