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


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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 16:13:06 GMT
J. Forbes says:
He was christened Peter Durward. Both are correct, but "Durward" leaves no room for doubt as to whom I am referring. Furthermore, he has raised no objection to my using it, and finally, I would suggest that he doesn't need you to take up the cudgels on his behalf.

When some of the lesser lights of the forum started attacking me and (in a couple of cases) leaving negs on my few reviews, I began to use slightly derogatory nicknames for them. Now that they have ceased their games, I have ceased using their nicknames.

In the case of Durward, however, it IS his real name, and my use of it was never intended to be disrespectful. I have therefore continued to use it. Although he and I usually manage to disagree, we generally do so in a reasonably civilised and rancourless manner.

If all top reviewers behaved like Durward (and TT and a few others), this thread wouldn't exist.

Posted on 12 Mar 2013 16:33:20 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Mar 2013 16:39:50 GMT
Crookedmouth says:
"I would suggest that he doesn't need you to take up the cudgels on his behalf."

You're more than free to suggest that although I didn't think I HAD picked up any "cudgels". I merely asked, politely, why you couldn't use his first name. Calling him Durward simply makes you sound like a pompous, arrogant prig. I do beg your pardon. I shall put down my "cudgels" forthwith.

Edit: and if it helps you to distinguish him from all the other Peters on this forum, well, "Durward" it is.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 17:08:43 GMT
J. Forbes says:
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Posted on 12 Mar 2013 17:15:00 GMT
Crookedmouth says:
Does this mean you will start using a slightly derogatory nickname for me? Can I choose it?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 17:36:56 GMT
J. Forbes says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 17:51:37 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Mar 2013 17:52:38 GMT
Crookedmouth says:
OK - I'll leave it to you. You're clearly "the man" when it comes to choosing slightly derogatory nicknames.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 18:04:04 GMT
Quiverbow says:
Let it go Crookedmouth.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 18:15:22 GMT
J. Forbes says:
Upon reflection, I don't think a special nickname is necessary in your case. "Crooked" and "mouth" are descriptive enough.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 18:18:37 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Mar 2013 18:20:08 GMT
Crookedmouth says:
OK - in a minute.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 18:19:54 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Mar 2013 18:20:36 GMT
Crookedmouth says:
And you accused ME of a lack of imagination.

Bless you.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 18:26:11 GMT
J. Forbes says:
Imagination played no part in it. I have simply accepted your own self-description, which is remarkably candid.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 19:34:27 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Mar 2013 19:35:01 GMT
What the HELL happened to this thread guys? Let's all be on the same side for crying out loud!

(although it has made me laugh quite a few times - BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT!)

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 21:25:12 GMT
monica says:
There's at least one side in this thread I wouldn't want to be on . . . But the Yanks do this sort of thing with style and real conviction--check out TRF in US, the thread whose title is a very long one & that was started by self-published person. She's disingenuous & unpleasant but doesn't achieve the nastiness shown to great effect by her husband, who came on line to threaten the posters there with his friends in the New Jersey mafia . . . . Fascinating reading.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 22:06:29 GMT
J. Forbes says:
The "top reviewers" are a house divided. Many are guilty of all sorts of shenanigans to increase their ratings, and to reduce those of their competitors.

Such people are extremely sensitive to perceived criticism of any sort, and the baser kind will retaliate with depressingly puerile nonsense of the sort we have just seen from Crooked Mouth.

All this places Durward in an invidious position. As top reviewer since the early Middle Ages, he feels a need and a duty to defend the institution.

But in defending reviewing, he is by implication defending reviewers, and some of them are decidedly insalubrious persons. If they were not, the many threads on reviewer integrity would never have been started.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Mar 2013 10:14:04 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Mar 2013 10:50:06 GMT
Even if you know one or two people who have been lucky (and you later said you made it up), they are not typical of Vine. To get such stuff, it not only has to be offered, but somebody has to be online at exactly the right time and trust to luck that they hit the button at exactly the right time. As I don't bother with such craziness, I miss any chance of getting such stuff, but I am rarely offered anything expensive anyway. I don't mind. I just don't think it's worth the effort.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Mar 2013 10:29:56 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Mar 2013 10:52:25 GMT
"You couldn't be more wrong, as far as I am concerned at least."

I don't care what you think. I care what customers who read and use my reviews think. Feedback of various types give me plenty of reasons to keep going, albeit I've not done much this year (yet).

"I don't want to read War and Peace by some dunderhead who can barely spell his own name. "

You don't have to, but I rarely come across reviews that fit such a description.

"I think pertinent one-line reviews are great."

You are in a minority then, because those reviews don't get votes - or if you aren't in a minority, it's because people who like such reviews (too lazy to read?) are too lazy to vote.

"many reviews by "top reviewers" are actually pretty bad."

Never place too much reliance on rankings. I've seen two markedly different ranking systems on Amazon, both seriously flawed. Before my time and only in the USA, Amazon had a "three stripes" system that didn't last long. If that were still around, thousands, perhaps millions, would have maximum points.

Maybe Amazon's fourth system - assuming there is one eventually - will get it right, but I doubt it. There is only so much a computer can do.

And getting rid of votes won't stop the fake reviews anyway. These are the result of authors cheating or (as in the case at the start of this thread) reviewers being persuaded or bribed by authors to cheat.

You have said previously that you use professional reviews, and that you prefer these to what you find on Amazon. The professionals not only get free stuff worth thousands of pounds (as your fellow troll might put it) but also gets paid to write those reviews. So the idea that mere amateurs should have their reviews discredited on the basis that they might want reward in the form of votes or whatever is laughable. Your use of professional reviews shows the idea that the quality of reviews suffers because reviewers are rewarded is nonsense.

The London marathon is popular because it also covers a wide range, catering for all runners from the serious professionals to those who just want to have fun. In between, there are those who aren't good enough to challenge the professionals, but who are aiming for whatever targets they have set themselves. Occasionally, one of these beats their fellow Brits and qualifies for international selection.

It is the various contrasts built into one race that makes the London marathon what it is. If you take away the fun runners, it would become just another race for international professionals, only of interest to committed fans of such races. If you go to the opposite extreme and only have the fun runners, the race would become a parody. It's difficult to guess at the popularity of such an event, but I suspect the media coverage would be cut dramatically so that would kill it anyway.

The appeal of the Amazon reviewing system is that it has something for everybody at whatever level, except that it does not allow payment in any form except in the form of the product to be reviewed. At the serious end are reviewers who put a lot of thought into their reviews, maybe spending several hours to write just one review. At the other end are the masses who post quickie reviews that take hardly any time to write. In between, there are people who don't expect (or maybe don't want) to make the top 1,000, but who have their own objectives. The result of all this diversity is that customers get a range of review styles and they can read whatever they want. If they think my reviews are too long, they can ignore them. So, just like the London marathon, the Amazon reviewing system is popular because of the contrasts it provides.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Mar 2013 10:33:23 GMT
If all one needs to know is that it works, it's a waste of time reviewing it unless it is faulty. People who review light bulbs, gift cards, etc., show themselves as desperate souls who either can't review (if they have reviewed little else) or wish to boost their ranking (if they have reviewed stuff that people need reviews for).

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Mar 2013 10:37:33 GMT
Maybe I should read that thread. Thus far I've ignored it.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Mar 2013 10:49:17 GMT
"The "top reviewers" are a house divided. Many are guilty of all sorts of shenanigans to increase their ratings, and to reduce those of their competitors."

Rubbish. You'd be more accurate to say "Some" rather than "Many" or to omit the word "top" (assuming you are using it to mean high-ranking).

There is plenty of cheating, but most of it is by authors. For the rest, people notice high-ranking reviewers more, but plenty of cheating happens in the lower ranks. For example, when T T Rogers didn't like the forum responses he got, he disappeared and started washing his reviews.

"All this places Durward in an invidious position. As top reviewer since the early Middle Ages, he feels a need and a duty to defend the institution."

Rubbish again. I never defend cheating. I defend the reviewing system as it stands, but it is up to Amazon to deal with the cheating. Unfortunately, they don't always take action even when a watertight case is presented to them.

It is of course impossible to eradicate cheating by authors or reviewing, just as it is impossible to eradicate cheating elsewhere in life. However, nobody has been murdered as a result of any cheating on Amazon (although one reviewer's body was found floating in the Thames a few years ago - nothing to do with his reviewing activities). The worst that is likely to happen is that somebody buys a dud product, after which they become more discriminating in their use of reviews.

Posted on 13 Mar 2013 11:10:13 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Mar 2013 11:12:01 GMT
Crookedmouth says:
"Many are guilty of all sorts of shenanigans to increase their ratings, and to reduce those of their competitors."

The perception that cheating is rife among "top reviewers" may stem from the fact that there are long lists of recent reviews by those reviewers all of which have a 1-1 vote.

While it is quite likely that some reviewers do indeed vote for themselves, concluding that he /must/ therefore have voted for himself is as supportable as the suggestion (for instance) that the person who brings the 1-1 pattern to the attention of other forum users voted the reviewer up in order to make him/her look "suspicious".

Equally supportable is that the Top Reviewers have "fan voters" who regularly drop by and vote indiscriminately.

I occasionally wonder if Az engineer the table by voting for certain reviewers.

I have swathes of reviews with precisely that pattern.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Mar 2013 11:16:33 GMT
Quiverbow says:
That, Sir, is one of the best posts I have ever read on these threads. Complete sense in all aspects.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Mar 2013 11:17:00 GMT
Crookedmouth says:
"one reviewer's body was found floating in the Thames a few years ago "

Pray tell...

Posted on 13 Mar 2013 11:23:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Mar 2013 11:25:35 GMT
Quiverbow says:
"The perception that cheating is rife among "top reviewers" may stem from the fact that there are long lists of recent reviews by those reviewers all of which have a 1-1 vote."

If you were going to cheat and vote for yourself, wouldn't it be better to do so on a review that already has votes? (I'm assuming it's the number of votes that move you up and down the table, and not how many reviews have a vote.)

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Mar 2013 11:26:53 GMT
Crookedmouth says:
I certainly wouldn't vote against all of my ten most recent reviews. I rather like the "spiteful pozzer" conspiracy theory myself. All we need now is a grassy knoll...

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Mar 2013 11:41:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Mar 2013 13:09:32 GMT
Bob says:
People who review light bulbs

Actually no I reviewed a light bulb that should not have been sold in the UK as the labelling was not in accordance with current legislation. I copied the review to the supplier, who had sent me it for review and they withdrew the light bulb. It was a slightly specialist led bulb.

EDIT
Also the colour temperature and lumen output was wrongly quoted when I measure both they were about 20% out which is well outside the parameters for the standard they were quoting.
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