looking at many reviews on amazon it seems to me that most people use the do you find this review helpful button to say no if they do not agree with the reviewers opinion not as it is intended as a mark of helpfulness
Really, people should only click "no" when a review is poorly written, ill-informed or there is a basic lack of information about the product. Eg: This album is great - my wife loved it! (Without saying why it's great.)
However, sadly, some people do take offence if they disagree with a well-written review!
Clearly a lot of people do click NO when someone writes a review critical of an act they like. But the better argued the review, the more YES votes it will get along with the NO votes - and that's the useful criterion. So if a negative review of a popular act gets more than about 40% YES votes then I'll tend to take it seriously - especially if it has some brain-dead "how dare you criticise x" comments under it, which presumably account for some of the NO votes. While the feature is far from perfect, I think we're better off with it than without it. On top of that, I'd say that if you find the phenomenon of unthinking NO votes annoying, make sure you bother to click YES when someone's taken the trouble to write a well-argued review that helps you to assess the item - dilute the idiots. ff
Yes they do ByeKitty and Heather is correct both about how people should use the button and how they actually use it. I've seen threads about negative voters and trolls which describe how, if you dare to criticise someone's favourite band or movie, they will not only give you a negative vote but go to your profile, seek out all your other reviews and give those negative votes too! I have to say I disagree a bit with Freewheeling Frankie; I think if we only had the one 'helpful' button for 'yes it was', the best reviews would still rise to the top and trolls or 'neggies' would have to go and play elsewhere as they wouldn't have a 'no' button to slag people off with anymore. FF is, of course, right about making sure you counteract those spiteful sorts by remembering to vote yes whenever a review is helpful.
Emily, I don't think I've had significant numbers of people offended by my occasional negative reviews giving me negative votes for other reviews ... not saying it doesn't happen, mind, there are some pretty sad and/or unthinking people out there. But I do strongly stand by my earlier comment re the value of the No button - I think you've just got to grin and bear the idiots - let's face it, they WRITE reviews too and we wouldn't want to take that away. I do also think it's important to let people who write pointless reviews know why their review doesn't help anyone by posting comments, and that would partly make up for the loss of the No button were it to be taken away. But life's unfortunately way too short to do that every time you see a badly written or uninformative review.
Yep, I find this with reviews on Amazon.com as well - it doesn't matter how well written or earnest a review is, if it says something contrary to what a person thinks, he/she may vote "No" just out of spite. That's how mature they are. Let's do away with the No button and just ask if the review as helpful, Yes being the only option. Problem solved.
I continue to think that simply taking away the no button doesn't solve anything - many no votes are entirely valid. How about if you click no it automatically opens a message field like the one I'm typing in now to start a discussion or enter an existing one? Of course you can't force people to write anything - but if you don't your no vote doesn't get counted.
Well, if you feel a review is not representative of a product, or overly critical, then surely it is by definition not a helpful review [in your opinion of course]. example "I feel that this review is unfairly biased or casts an overly negative light on [the product] and will not help the customer make their own decision". Even the most detailed review can still be biased or just plain mean, or seen that way by a fan.
I don't have the remotest problem with people criticising the work of an artist or author that I like if it's purely a matter of taste, rather than utility - I just try to read between the lines. If I know the work already, by definition I'm unlikely to stop liking/disliking it because of someone else's opinion on its artistic quality and I'm not going to click a no vote just because I disagree with them - if some people are too immature to cope with others having different taste to them, that's their problem. I use the No button when the review doesn't help me to decide whether the product is worth buying - e.g. someone reviews the service they've received but not the product, or posts a completely uninformative review, even a positive one - just saying "this product is completely brilliant" is no more helpful than "this product is rubbish".
Particularly where people review the service or packaging rather than the product, I will often post a comment explaining why the review is unhelpful as well, but not everyone has time to check out the discussion as well as the review - that's why I think doing away with the No button is wrong - despite the kneejerk "how dare you criticise my favourite band" brigade, I think it's too useful to lose - and particularly so for non-creative products. I'm starting to repeat myself here, but I really don't think the NO button should be done away with just because immature idiots misuse it in a minority of cases. And of course, if you took it away and relied totally on comments, you have to click on the comments link as well - you can't just read the review and assess the YES vs NO votes because any criticism of the review is through another link