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The (lack of) integrity of reviewers in general...


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Showing 401-425 of 513 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 13:53:02 BDT
Damaskcat says:
Calling me dense isn't rude? I'm sure you will say you are just stating facts and in which case that is what I am doing - many of your posts are very silly.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 15:05:57 BDT
J. Forbes says:
Good grief. Have you noticed the title of this thread? And have you noticed that I didn't start it?

Everybody has questioned the integrity of (some) reviewers, and those questions have been going on since long before I arrived. Currently I am not saying anything about reviewers, I am just questioning Vine's operations.

You have been more rude to me than I to you, so I suggest you leave that subject alone.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 15:08:00 BDT
J. Forbes says:
Yes, indeed. I am aware of that.

Few things escape my eagle eye! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 15:16:35 BDT
J. Forbes says:
Anything you say, Cat.

To avoid boring everybody to tears by prolonging this little lovers' tiff, I have decided to agree with everything you say from now on.

So, you're not dense, you're never rude or argumentative or snide, and your questions are always intelligent.

In fact, you're a real charmer and an asset to the forum.

Have a really lovely day.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 15:21:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Apr 2013 15:22:52 BDT
Quiverbow says:
Maybe you should contact Vine and ask them? I'm guessing all they would do is tell you that products are sent out to people for review and the content of that review is up to them, providing that content is within Amazon's guidelines.

You read the reviews of something that interests you and you either find it helpful or not. Whether you think there is anything underhand going on and any of those reviews have been 'manipulated' by Vine is for you to decide. If you think there is, you're at liberty to disregard them.

You seem to think there is 'something going on', I don't and neither does Damasckat and nor do plenty of others within Vine. And if Vine is 'manipulating' reviews by offering certain items to certain people, none of us care. (There's no guarantee the item will be reviewed anyway.)

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 15:35:06 BDT
J. Forbes says:
I am not sure what you think I should ask them, and I am not sure that they would reply anyway, and I am not sure that I would believe them if they did. :-)

Obviously Vine members are happy with the system, or they wouldn't be Vine members. I am, as always, speaking from the point of view of an ordinary customer who uses reviews and likes to think that there is nothing untoward about them, and especially about Vine reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 16:03:52 BDT
Damaskcat says:
What lovers tiff? I disagree with you and you think we're lovers?? How bizarre is that? To coin a phrase I'd have to be desperate.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 16:07:23 BDT
Damaskcat says:
Q - asking Vine would be too sensible :-) If he did he wouldn't be able to carry on the 'discussion' which I grant he didn't start but he has been most vociferous in continuing to question everyone's integrity but his own.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 16:12:45 BDT
J. Forbes says:
You fall into the most obvious traps, old girl!

I will have to rethink my statement that you aren't dense. If you thought I was serious you must be completely round the bend. Not to mention flattering yourself!

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 16:14:01 BDT
Quiverbow says:
You ask them what you want clarified. "I have a problem with people getting free stuff from Vine, as I think you manipulate the reviews and what is offered to whom. I realise it's only me that has a problem with people getting free items to review (unless they're fully employed and salaried professionals) but it would put my mind at rest."

Try that.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 16:14:17 BDT
J. Forbes says:
So what question should I ask?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 16:15:32 BDT
J. Forbes says:
It's OK, QB, I know you have a sense of humour.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 16:54:03 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Apr 2013 16:55:21 BDT
Damaskcat says:
Why assume I was serious? Maybe you fell into a trap? Shame you can only appreciate humour when it's yours.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 16:54:28 BDT
Damaskcat says:
See Quiverbow's reply above.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Apr 2013 22:43:33 BDT
J. Forbes says:
When you are in a hole, Cat, stop digging.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2013 08:14:33 BDT
Damaskcat says:
I'm not in a hole. I try and have a sensible discussion - clearly a triumph of hope over experience with you - but you just dish out stupid comments as though you know what's going on and everyone else doesn't.

You want people to discuss issues with you which you regard as important but anyone who says anything you don't agree with is ridiculed or told you were only joking. That to me is the last resort of someone who has lost the argument.

You have no evidence that Vine involves skulduggery by Amazon and you won't accept that the majority of Vine reviewers - and non-Vine reviewers - do have integrity and are proud of their reviews. I'm surprised, as others have said, that anyone bothers to debate with you about any of these 'weighty issues'.

All you do is insult people who disagree with you and tell them they are rude when the person who is actually being rude is you. Yes I know you didn't start the thread but you soon jumped on the bandwagon to insult anyone who dared to say that there is nothing wrong with Vine and that most top reviewers take a pride in their reviews and make them as good as they can.

You haven't produced any evidence to back up your assertions and merely keep repeating that Vine must be in some way underhand - presumably because you haven't been honoured with an invitation to join. I think this sums you up pretty well - 'Moral indignation is just jealousy with a halo.'

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2013 08:43:00 BDT
J. Forbes says:
Cat, thank you for your contribution.

It's such a pleasure having you around.

Now, do you have anything pertinent to say? If not, please feel free to continue with the personal attacks. It seems to be the area where you feel most at home.

Posted on 5 Apr 2013 09:20:25 BDT
J. Forbes says:
Having had my views misrepresented, either through malice or incompetence, by the local feline, I should like to take the opportunity to summarise them:

I formed an initially poor impression of "top reviewers" when I first stumbled across threads like this, in which accusations and counter-accusations were flying around.

TT and others took the trouble to educate me about the ins and outs of top reviewing, and as a consequence I modified my initial views. It is a long time since I have voiced criticisms of top reviewers as a body.

However, I retain the opinion that reviews by top reviewers are coloured by the reviewers' desire to tell me what is likely to cause me to award a vote. One consequence of this is that the review is quite likely to be longer than necessary. This is unfortunate because I prefer short reviews.

I have always, since I became aware of Vine, been interested in the dynamics of reviewing things in return for getting freebies. I feel that there must often be a difference in the reviewer's perception of an item, depending upon whether he had had to pay for it or not.

I also feel that there is scope for Amazon to attempt to manipulate the reviews of Vine items, perhaps by selecting carefully those whom it invites to be Vine reviewers, and perhaps by more nefarious means. I have no evidence that Amazon are in fact doing anything untoward (yet!), but it is only by asking questions that one can hope to obtain answers.

Why does all this matter? Simple. I buy things on Amazon and I like to feel that reviews represent a person's honest and, as far as possible, objective opinion of an item.

Finally, it is obvious and entirely reasonable that Amazon should employ some selection criteria for making Vine invitations. Nothing I have said is intended as an attack on, or criticism of, Viners.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2013 09:42:39 BDT
J. Forbes says:
Cat, I must just take you up on this:

"You haven't produced any evidence to back up your assertions and merely keep repeating that Vine must be in some way underhand - presumably because you haven't been honoured with an invitation to join. I think this sums you up pretty well - 'Moral indignation is just jealousy with a halo.'"

I have submitted eight (very short) reviews in as many years. I had never heard of Vine until very recently. I have NO ambitions to be a "top reviewer", nor to be invited to join Vine. My motivations for posting here I have explained in another post.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2013 11:53:26 BDT
'Moral indignation is just jealousy with a halo.'

That's a good one and could apply to many posts/posters on Amazon forums.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2013 11:55:55 BDT
"However, I retain the opinion that reviews by top reviewers are coloured by the reviewers' desire to tell me what is likely to cause me to award a vote."

I think you have confused reviewers with politicians.

Posted on 5 Apr 2013 13:42:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Apr 2013 14:07:19 BDT
Quiverbow says:
"Finally, it is obvious and entirely reasonable that Amazon should employ some selection criteria for making Vine invitations."

There are Viners in the top ten and there are Viners languishing at number 2,978,000. Some were invited after 20 reviews on Amazon, others after 130. Some had lots of positives, others had very few. Some had lots of negatives, others had very few. Some are youthful, others are in receipt of the state pension. Some are male, some are female.

When all that is taken into account, the invitation could be completely random. However, if there is certain criteria that has to be satisfied, it's still irrelevant.

Once again, as it seems to consume your every waking hour, why don't you write to them and ask nicely if they would explain how and why people are sent invites. They may reply with an explanation, or they may say it's got nothing to do with you.

I, and probably many others, are still at a loss as to why you have decided to wear the cloak as the seeker of truth and justice on a shopping site. If you doubt the legitimacy of Vine reviews because of possible 'manipulation', then don't read them. There are book reviews inserted by publishers that I take no notice of, so maybe you ought to do the same with anything Vine. Take it from me, if those in Vine don't know, you sure as hell aren't going to.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2013 16:37:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Apr 2013 16:40:56 BDT
The Truth says:
Hello Forbes (et al), wow - seems like I've been away for ages, I probably have, but I've been ill - not once but twice - been very busy at work and job hunting too. So I haven't been on Amazon much recently and missing all the fun it seems:

Forbes, if I may address a few points you make:

"I retain the opinion that reviews by top reviewers are coloured by the reviewers' desire to tell me what is likely to cause me to award a vote."

Personally, I have no doubt that this is true of some reviewers. But I don't think it's true of all. What the ratio of the two types is, I have no idea, but I do think that reviewers who give an honest opinion are in the majority.

"One consequence of this is that the review is quite likely to be longer than necessary."

I don't see the two [review integrity and review length] really being connected, though I too favour concise reviews over lengthy ones. But then, given what I do for a living, that's not really a surprise and just a matter of personal taste. I also think that review length should fit and vary with the product.

"I have always...been interested in the dynamics of reviewing things in return for getting freebies."

I see your point but this is probably down to the integrity of the individual and, I doubt, an issue solely with Vine. In the end, if it concerns you, all you can probably do is take Vine reviews with a pinch of salt (if that's the right expression; it's not but you know what I mean) and take into account the majority of reviews rather than one single Vine review.

"I feel that there must often be a difference in the reviewer's perception of an item, depending upon whether he had had to pay for it or not."

I think, maybe, you could be right. But I don't think it's significant enough to sway a reviewers opinion that much. If an item I get on Vine is rubbish, the fact I got it free isn't going to make me say otherwise, I assure you.

"I also feel that there is scope for Amazon to attempt to manipulate the reviews of Vine items"

There probably is scope, but honestly, I don't think they do. I don't think they could be bothered and I don't think Vine is that important. Most people don't even know it exists... plus it would be a hell of a risk on their part to take. It would be a PR disaster if they were rigging reviews and word got out.

"Amazon to attempt to manipulate the reviews of Vine items perhaps by selecting carefully those whom it invites to be Vine reviewers"

This, actually, is laughable. Not being rude, but there are some total cretins on Vine. I have seen Vine reviewers who can't even string sentences together. Amazon may 'say' that their reviewers are carefully selected - but the evidence suggests otherwise.

"I buy things on Amazon and I like to feel that reviews represent a person's honest and, as far as possible, objective opinion of an item."

Wherever a review crops up and whoever writes it, you can probably, 9 times out of 10, bank on it being an honest opinion - but objective? Not so much. In fact, I think you stand a better chance of a review being objective if it's written by someone on Vine (or who takes an interest in reviewing) as they will have (one would have thought) learnt to at least try and enter that mindset in order to improve their reviewing. A lot of punters and housewives who leave reviews will just leave rants etc or see things only from their perspective. Either way, and as I said before, you shouldn't buy stuff based solely on one review.

"Finally, it is obvious and entirely reasonable that Amazon should employ some selection criteria for making Vine invitations."

It is reasonable to assume this and according to Amazon themselves true - although, again, one wonders what the hell this criteria might be. If there truly is a selection process in place, it's crude and rudimentary at best.

Vine isn't perfect (from either side of the fence) but I don't think the problems are huge and I do think that you and your buying decisions are better informed with it rather than without.

Posted on 5 Apr 2013 18:25:10 BDT
J. Forbes says:
TT, thank you for a thorough and carefully thought out post. I don't think there is much in it that I can disagree with, and, as I said earlier, I haven't found any evidence that Amazon are up to any monkey business with Vine.

"Not being rude, but there are some total cretins on Vine." I am glad you said that. I will make no comment. :-)

BTW, I trust you are well on the road to recovery, and that the job hunting is going OK.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Apr 2013 18:27:26 BDT
J. Forbes says:
Thank you for your contribution, QB.

As ever, I am grateful to you for taking the time to respond to my posts, despite being at a loss.
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