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Should Amazon Abolish the Negative Vote Altogether?


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In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2014 20:15:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 May 2014 20:15:42 BDT
Crookedmouth says:
Every negative vote that ye cast henceforth shall be visited threefold upon your children and their fields shall be sown with salt and brimstone shall rain upon their heads, yea unto the fifth generation. Proceed?

In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2014 19:37:29 BDT
NeuroSplicer says:
Trolling and massive abuse of the negative vote explained: >>> http://goo.gl/KAGS6l
In a nutshell: some people are so overcome with envy against any outliers that they will willingly burn their own time and money in order to bring everyone to their own level.

And no excuse for Amazon, they have known this for over a decade.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 May 2014 23:17:22 BDT
Ivan says:
D'ya think that maybe the helpful/unhelpful choice is too simplistic and is attracting feedback that ought to go on a different button?
I'm convinced that most people can't differentiate between "helpful" and "I agree" or "unhelpful" and "I don't agree."

There's also the problem of form vs. content.. Useful information badly written - how do you rank it?

Maybe a full checkboxed list would be more productive (or time-wastingly pointless)?
Entertaining/Boring
Helpful/Unhelpful
Witty/Dullard
Concise/Waffling-Idiot
Honest/Shill-plant-astroturf...
...just off the top of my head. It's a minefield anyway. I wouldn't have a clue how to fix it.
Simply removing the negative vote would be a step forward, or rationing the number that could be applied in a given period or to a given reviewer would probably clear up the heavy-duty mindless trolling.

You have exceeded your number of negative feedback in this four day period. Please try again later
[O.K.]

As yu have exceeded the threshold of eight negative votes for this particular reviewer, your name will appear next to any further negative votes for this person. Proceed?
[O.K.] [Cancel]

Just thoughts but not very thought out.

Meanwhile, this may amuse some of you:

WowWowWow.cs.uic.edu/~liub/FBS/fake-reviews.html

Posted on 28 May 2014 11:02:41 BDT
Bonemonkey says:
Someone posted (and deleted, because I assume they didn't want a link to their profile left up) asking Sonia why she is so bothered seeing as she hasn't written any reviews.

You don't have to have written any reviews to be bothered. Any customer who reads reviews and uses them to decide whether to buy something or not, can be bothered.
If an item is poor, and all the low star reviews are being voted down, customers may be inclined to not trust them, that's if they even read them. And end up purchasing something awful. Or the other way round, or various examples inbetween.

Reviews do not exist in order to make the reviewer happy. O.K some are funny like the hair removal one, and no serious customer would find it helpful, but on the whole their sole purpose is to give other customers an honest opinion of an item, from someone who has used it.

"Maybe the ones who take it too seriously are those that dish out negative votes just to move their own reviews up the page."

Yes they do. But in fairness nobody here has said that they do that.

Posted on 27 May 2014 15:30:45 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 27 May 2014 15:30:53 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 26 May 2014 19:45:15 BDT
Maybe the ones who take it too seriously are those that dish out negative votes just to move their own reviews up the page.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 May 2014 19:05:36 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 May 2014 19:27:37 BDT
Bonemonkey says:
"I don't see the difference in giving positive votes to reviews of stuff I've also reviewed & stuff I haven't."

I agree with Sonia on this one. Once you have reviewed something (one would assume that you already purchased it, or at least have personal experience of it) then what possible reason is there to vote either way on someone else's review for that item?
Enjoying or agreeing with their review (or not) is not the same as finding it helpful in terms of whether to purchase or not.

"Perhaps our profile page should list the number of both positive & negative votes we dish out."

I like that idea, a lot. It could even show on the ranking page. A helpful/ unhelpful percentage of votes dished out.

I also think that personal voting habits should be kept under wraps on discussions. Whenever someone comes out and talks about theirs, it doesn't ever seem to go down too well :)

Edit - just to add, people keep saying about taking reviewing too seriously. I don't think that discussing it, is taking it too seriously. Reviewers who ONLY care about their rank, are the ones taking it too seriously IMO.
If I was one of them, I wouldn't be discussing it, and getting negged all the time as a result :)

In reply to an earlier post on 26 May 2014 12:38:47 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 May 2014 13:43:15 BDT
Spear-Carrier - I'm so sorry I'm not as virtuous as you portray yourself to be. As for "annoy people like ..." You flatter yourself. Can you take part in discussions without attacking others?
Sonia - some good points. However, I don't see the difference in giving positive votes to reviews of stuff I've also reviewed & stuff I haven't. I also add that the number of positive votes I give is greater by orders of magnitude more than the number of negative ones! As for our collective reasons for wanting to climb the rankings - you are correct - the Vine program isn't the only incentive.
I would be fine justifying my negative votes if everyone else did!
Perhaps our profile page should list the number of both positive & negative votes we dish out.
My involvement on flickr for a number of years has taught me to be very circumspect regarding criticising other's work & just don't anymore. I prefer to state that I like a particular image, sometimes going into detail why I like it but sometimes just leaving it as a compliment.
Bonemonkey's idea of partially revealing voter's ID has some mileage, IMO.
Maybe we are all taking reviewing a little too seriously as well - some don't consider reviewing items not bought off Amazon to be valid - I don't agree here.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 May 2014 11:05:32 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 May 2014 11:05:59 BDT
"...revenge voting would possibly happen but the number would reduce if anonymity was lost is my view. It would also be helpful if negative votes had to be justified."

I trust you give a reason why you give a review a negative vote. Also, you would then have to give a reason why you voted positively. What Amazon could and should implement is software that stops someone voting on a review if they have already reviewed it. Okay, it wouldn't make much of a dent but it's a start.

"An alternative would be to scrap voting altogether & hence ranking - leaving the only motive to reviewing being to help others rather than dangling the carrot of the Vine program to entice people to do so."

Ranking has very little to do with being in Vine, as there are those in the top 200 who aren't in Vine, and those below 3,000,000 that are.

"I do dish out negative votes but also positive ones for the products I review."

Unless you give negative votes before you buy the item in question, why vote on any review of something you have reviewed, as in no way could any other review possibly be helpful or unhelpful in your buying decision. And that, after all, is the reason for voting.

Posted on 26 May 2014 10:35:09 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 26 May 2014 10:35:21 BDT]

Posted on 26 May 2014 09:24:44 BDT
Bonemonkey says:
I think the levels of revenge voting would go through the roof!
If reviewer A votes negative on reviewer B's review, the first thing reviewer B will probably do is post a comment to reviewer A along the lines of "why did you neg my review?". That question demands an answer. If they don't get one, the next step would naturally be to go out for revenge - the obvious way being a neg vote in return.

With my idea of only revealing part of the voters name (but not as a link) it would give a clue as to who voted, so if it was someone else who had reviewed the same item for instance, then it would become clear that they are voting down others reviews on the same page. Just the thought of having part of their name revealed, will probably be enough to put them off the idea in the first place.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 May 2014 09:18:48 BDT
I AlWAYS give a positive vote to the sort of people you give negative votes to, just to encourage them (and to annoy people like yourself). I hope you at least tell them why you are giving the negative vote, so that they can amend their ways in future to be more compatible with your criteria.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 May 2014 21:26:01 BDT
Bonemonkey - revenge voting would possibly happen but the number would reduce if anonymity was lost is my view. It would also be helpful if negative votes had to be justified. An alternative would be to scrap voting altogether & hence ranking - leaving the only motive to reviewing being to help others rather than dangling the carrot of the Vine program to entice people to do so. I do dish out negative votes but also positive ones for the products I review. The usual reason for my negative votes are short reviews devoid of usefulness, when someone is criticising the delivery & not the item or the style grates.

Posted on 25 May 2014 15:32:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 May 2014 16:48:40 BDT
Bonemonkey says:
"My favoured option would be to reveal the identity of negative voters"

The problem with that, is that revenge voting would happen. But I think you are on the right lines. I have been thinking that when voting it could reveal the last three letters (for example) of the name of the person voting - but not have it as a link to their profile. That way, a reviewer can see whether the same person is regularly voting on their reviews, and take it up with Amazon along with evidence to do so. Would also work for positive votes, and show up the vote for vote exchanges that I'm sure go on.

Posted on 25 May 2014 13:46:33 BDT
When we are being controversial, we expect some negative votes, however, I'm genuinely surprised by many of the negative votes I get on some of my reviews. Maybe they are too long for some people or just too detailed - I just don't know. I do sometimes wonder if they are not from other reviewers trying to climb the rankings! I don't take the whole process so seriously as some obviously do though. However, I do understand that a good review can take time & effort so is annoying when someone effectively rubbishes all that effort!
So why are we collectively so exercised by negative votes - ranked position? If the negative vote was scrapped, people could still either withhold a helpful vote (or score low if such a system was used) so all you would do is hide the negativity rather than remove it. My favoured option would be to reveal the identity of negative voters & let anyone vote positively whether or not they buy from Amazon.

Posted on 23 May 2014 09:33:50 BDT
I have not deleted any of my posts.

Posted on 22 May 2014 18:19:40 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 23 Jun 2014 04:56:40 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 22 May 2014 18:06:45 BDT
NeuroSplicer says:
Generally, I agree with this, Hennessy.

However, when someone systematically keeps sniping and deleting his comments (well knowing that only people who follow the discussion thread will see it), I think it was warranted.

Posted on 22 May 2014 15:11:07 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 22 May 2014 15:11:23 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 22 May 2014 13:44:17 BDT
L. Hennessy says:
Not good to repost what someone chose to delete.

Posted on 22 May 2014 13:35:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 May 2014 19:54:08 BDT
NeuroSplicer says:
Here is the deleted post:

"The Leveler Says:

POT ~ KETTLE ~ BLACK
NO unhelpful vote/NO rank/SIMPLES
Amazon should stop updating the Top Reviewer table twice a day and do it just once every 3 months. The cheats would soon find something else to do with their time, far more constructive than sitting about here all day, every day.
Some might even learn to spell and use proper grammar, especially those that claim to be in involved in the teaching world."

From the choice of his handle alone it is obvious that the negative vote is abused not only by disgruntled writers, company PR groups and reviewers elbowing each other for position but also by narcissists who consider themselves to be...sheriff's deputies for Amazon. Self-appointed and unauthorized, fixated and unwelcome individuals trying to give some meaning to their life by skewing reality to meet their own limited understanding of it.

Thank you for making this obvious once more, Leveler.
I agree, the negative vote has to go. The sooner, the better for everyone.

Posted on 22 May 2014 11:59:11 BDT
L. Hennessy says:
Agreed leveller. Get rid of the whole thing, actually

Posted on 22 May 2014 11:30:21 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 22 May 2014 11:30:34 BDT]

Posted on 21 May 2014 18:02:43 BDT
Bonemonkey says:
Ok sure, abolish the negative vote altogether, great plan...

...as long as nobody minds also - scrapping the current ranking system entirely, then washing all reviews of votes - putting everyone back to zero, ready to start the race of 'who can "like" their own reviews the quickest'.

Posted on 21 May 2014 13:15:49 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 21 May 2014 13:15:55 BDT]
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