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Do you rate other reviewers honestly?

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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Jun 2010, 10:25:11 BST
If I notice a negative vote on a new review I sometimes jump back to the item to have a scan through the other reviews to see how mine is ranked. (A little vain I know, but so what :).

I have noticed on more than one occasion that the negative vote will coincide with a new review and, oddly enough, all but that review will have negative feedback, even if it's only "0 of 1 found this review helpful".

Obviously tactical voting must exist but I wondered if anyone would admit to doing it? And why is it even possible.

Also I have come across many very good reviews that have been mauled by negative feedback, usually a low rating on a popular product.

So in general do you vote honestly on the helpfulness itself or do you mark it down if you disagree with the opinion given?

Posted on 24 Jun 2010, 11:27:17 BST
Damaskcat says:
I endeavour to vote honestly on whether the review was helpful to me in making a decision about whether to buy the product or not. I do vote one line reviews as unhelpful - because they usually are! I don't vote a review as unhelpful because I don't agree with the reviewer's opinion - or vice versa.

I wouldn't vote tactically and I can't see why anyone would do so. I presume you're talking about the supposed voting down the other reviews on the product in order to supposedly push your own review into first place on the product page.

Posted on 24 Jun 2010, 11:43:16 BST
Last edited by the author on 24 Jun 2010, 11:44:27 BST
JJG says:
In answer to the question, yes, I do rate other reviewers honestly. I've also got a set of rules that I won't vote on reviews that I come across artificially through this forum. I've given one person on this forum a positive vote, because I actually came across the review while looking at that product as a customer.

I do hand out negative votes, but only for gross stupidity (note, not holding a different opinion to me) or for very erroneous information in a review. But I always leave a comment if I do so.

The good reviews voted down are usually people who disagree with the opinion held in the view, not a reflection on the overall content of the review. I read an extremely helpful review of an item, that highlight problems with the edition of a book and that was voted down a lot, simply because it gave the item a low star rating.

Posted on 24 Jun 2010, 13:43:09 BST
O E J says:
'Tactical voting' is a polite term for being pathetic and childish. It's more prevalent on Vine products, but in any event it goes on and those that contribute to it are sad, insecure losers.

But to answer the question: of course, I'm honest. If I vote for a review, pos or neg, it's what I feel personally. I'll often vote positively for reviews/opinions that oppose my own, because I believe they make a useful contribution. I must admit I post negative votes more often out of the two, that's usually because there are countless hundreds of utterly useless reviews on Amazon, ones that don't really offer anything other than such one-liners as "I liked it" or "I didn't like it". Those are not helpful.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2010, 14:48:23 BST
Damaskcat says:
Pundit - I agree with you. The 'Tactical Voting' which can take place now since the new system came in is in any case trivial when compared with what used to happen, but as you say it is pathetic and childish

Posted on 24 Jun 2010, 16:23:06 BST
Danny says:
I think the one good idea that came from the negative vote thread was the idea that reviewers should be prevented from leaving positive or negative votes for anybody reviewing the same product. If Amazon implemented that then this would end at a stroke.

Posted on 24 Jun 2010, 16:37:17 BST
Last edited by the author on 24 Jun 2010, 17:14:35 BST
O E J says:
I hadn't noticed that (but then, I haven't read all 500+ posts) - yes, that would be a good idea.

Here's an example. A while ago I posted a review of something, and mine was the fourth to be posted. So there were three others already there. Within hours I had two negs, and I suspected that they came from two of the other three reviewers. Then a fifth person posted a review, and within a short time I received another neg. The following day, a sixth review was posted, and guess what, I got another neg. It even happened again the next time a review was posted. So I received a total of five neg votes (one pos), and I'm 99% certain that everyone who voted was an existing reviewer of that product.

Needless to add, everyone was negging each other, not just me. It's just childish beyond words. And no, I didn't neg any of the other reviews because to be honest they were all pretty good and in spite of all this nonsense everyone gave the product the thumbs-up.

Posted on 24 Jun 2010, 17:08:52 BST
J. Lesley says:
Hollie---if someone is involved in "tactical voting" they will most likely only admit that here under an account which doesn't reveal their usual Amazon personality, but I will admit it would be fascinating to have someone fess up and give some reasons for such behavior. Naturally I'm going to say that I am honest in my rating of other reviews because it is the truth, although you only have my word for that. I decided many years ago that my personal rule is that I will only leave a negative vote on any review if I'm prepared to explain why I gave the vote. It causes me to stop and decide exactly what I would be voting against. Most often it turns out that something about the review has pushed one or more of my hot buttons and that's not a good enough reason.

Posted on 24 Jun 2010, 17:47:09 BST
JJG says:
LOL, actually yes, I doubt anyone is going to admit to any improper behaviour on their part.

What's with the negative votes on the opening comments? We all seem to be agreeing, so someone can't be bothered to formulate an argument, am I right?

Posted on 24 Jun 2010, 17:59:46 BST
O E J says:
This isn't the right room for an argument. This is abuse.

(Stupid git)

Please can we have smiley emoticons on these forums, please please, Mr Bezos?

Posted on 24 Jun 2010, 19:07:00 BST
I didn't imagine anyone would own up to it. But at least I know I'm not the only one that suspects they've been voted down by 'the competition'. I was mostly just curious.

I agree that votes against other reviews for things you've reviewed yourself should be voided/not acknowledged.

Posted on 24 Jun 2010, 20:25:20 BST
M. Dowden says:
I have seen 'tactical voting' against myself, I am a Vine member and was getting loads of negative votes, but when the new system was brought in a lot of these suddenly disappeared. Also you do notice fom time to time that everyone gets a negative vote except for the new review that has just appeared.

I do give loads of helpful votes, but also the odd occasional unhelpful one. There are some reviews on this site where the reviewer seems to admit that they haven't read a book they are reviewing, but there friend says it is good. There are other stupid things like that, and at times you can see that the person has no idea what they are reviewing. As to tactically voting myself, whats the point? Surely to get higher in the rankings you would have to know who is in front of you and start voting against all their reviews, and you would also have to be able to create numerous accounts to do so.

Posted on 25 Jun 2010, 02:27:59 BST
Last edited by the author on 25 Jun 2010, 02:30:17 BST
Molly Brown says:
For obvious reasons I am STILL only receiving negative votes, no positive, around 2 a night on quite good reviews imo. In my case with only 5 reviews, it is glaringly obvious. With most of you it must be quite hard to work out which reviews they are even on.

Posted on 25 Jun 2010, 03:39:08 BST
J. Lesley says:
NJ---I'm a compulsive type personality and always kept a monthly record of the votes on my reviews. When a program was written by the husband of an American Vine member to track reviews I got the download. Now I've gotten ALL the updates - that hubby of hers is one hard working programmer! Instead of having to scroll through each individual review I simply open the program, ask for an update, and there are all the reviews with details. I can check my reviews and instantly find which one has received a vote. It shows positive/negative votes, rankings both old and new, and does about a thousand other things I cannot even begin to understand. It is an incredible program and according to conversations I've read on the American Vine Forum I'm using about .005% of the capability. This all makes it very easy for me to know which review has received a vote and whether it was positive or negative. I try very hard to only check on the votes once or twice a week, going for a little control and moderation there! It also does both UK and US accounts for me.

Posted on 25 Jun 2010, 05:27:21 BST
Molly Brown says:
J.L. That is a very interesting method, sounds simple once you have worked out how it to use it. I don't think I would go that far, not too bright with computers, and as I have said I only have 5 reviews now. So it is very easy for me to see new negatives posted. Can't work out the two negative votes on my review of Bernstein conducts Gershwin though. It was a download MP3, with Rhapsody in Blue AND American in Paris, at £1.38!!! (and I praised it very highly), mine was the only review at the time. Even if my review was terrible? and I don't think it is, it just seems strange to me. I keep getting these strange negs. on items. I had an account which I closed, but the reviews stayed there, I thought they would be deleted. Not sure whose interllectual property they are, mine or Amazon's? I would obviously now like to delete them all. I check everyday now, but I never used to until this started happening. Previously I accepted all votes as genuine.

In around one week or so, on my previous 42 reviews my rating has gone from 70% to 59%. Strange again I think. I can't delete these reviews or edit them or access them at all. Just have to see if it carries on? As an aside, I particularly noticed the reviews on African Queen, and all 22 reviews on the DVD restoration, which when I wrote my review was awaiting release, have been copied by Amazon onto a previous DVD version and also to the Blu Ray Version. Well I don't have a Blu Ray Player, so how could I review it as mine was regarding the quality of the DVD, as my old VHS copy is not good. But there it is along with the other 21 other old reviews. I now wonder if this adds to your negative votes on all three items?

I only noticed this the other day, and I wonder if Amazon do this on all reviews as quite often they are many versions of an item, but not the one you have reviewed, as the versions might be completely different, and often are. CD's for instance and MP3 quite often have completely different tracks even though they look like the same item?

A thought to ponder I think? I even, added up manually all my positive votes on the 42 reviews, and there was a difference of 6 missing positive votes to the sum Amazon are quoting. The negatives however added up to Amazon's figures. It is not important really as I think it wouldn't affect my percentage anyway. Can you do this with your programme? Or is it really important, not really I suppose in the wider scheme of things, just a little baffling and rather annoying.

Posted on 25 Jun 2010, 10:36:10 BST
O E J says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jun 2010, 11:57:32 BST
Molly Brown says:
I think I just said that?

Posted on 25 Jun 2010, 12:22:59 BST
NJ, do you rate other reviewers honestly?

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jun 2010, 13:17:26 BST
Molly Brown says:
I don't place votes that much either way, unless it really helps me with information I need to know on the item that isn't listed on details. I don't get any pleasure in negging anybodies harmless review just for the sake of it. As I am not a "career" reviewer, I am not in a position to manipulate my rankings, nor would I want to do so.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jun 2010, 15:58:28 BST
M. Dowden says:
NJ, it is interesting about what you are saying about a review being put down for blu-ray, when it was for the dvd version. There is a discussion somewhere on this site about such a thing. As one person pointed out, Amazon keep doing this but they should be kept seperate. The details of the film are the same but if you are buying blu-ray you want to know what the picture quality is like, which obviously when you review a dvd you can't say. I didn't realise, not having blu-ray that there are massive differences on the HD picture quality throughout the range of films available.

My sister who has got all the HD gadgets says that when you first watch a film it looks really good, but after about 5 minutes you don't even notice the quality any more, and she is wondering now whether it is really worth it.

Posted on 25 Jun 2010, 18:06:05 BST
O E J says:
M Dowden said : "if you are buying blu-ray you want to know what the picture quality is like, which obviously when you review a dvd you can't say"

Obviously? I don't agree with that, and in fact if I'm watching a standard-def DVD then I most certainly can talk about the picture quality. Just as not all Blu-rays are the same as far as picture quality is concerned, the same applies to DVDs. The only issue is that people don't normally buy DVDs specifically for the picture quality, whereas that is the main benefit of Blu-ray.

On this same subject, there are really no standard criteria for measuring picture quality. Reviewers tend to say things like 'it was excellent' and other adjectives, but unless that reviewer has seen a lot of Blu-ray films - say, over 100 - how well-placed are they to judge? Everybody has to see a Blu-ray film for the first time, and if they post a review of their one-and-only experience, what value is that judgement?

But for me, story content is always more important than picture quality. Apart from Avatar, maybe....

Posted on 25 Jun 2010, 18:19:33 BST
Last edited by the author on 25 Jun 2010, 18:20:03 BST
JJG says:
The folding of reviews isn't just linked to DVD/Blu-Ray reviews, if anything this is a minor problem compared to what I regularly see happen with comic book series. Preludes and Nocturnes is the first in the Sandman series, of which there are ten parts, however all three of the highlighted reviews are from further on in the series. The chance of spoilers is very high, as it happens only one of them contains a spoiler and if you know your mythology you'd have an idea already.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jun 2010, 20:43:06 BST
Danny says:
Pundit says:
M Dowden said : "if you are buying blu-ray you want to know what the picture quality is like, which obviously when you review a dvd you can't say"

Obviously? I don't agree with that, and in fact if I'm watching a standard-def DVD then I most certainly can talk about the picture quality. Just as not all Blu-rays are the same as far as picture quality is concerned, the same applies to DVDs. The only issue is that people don't normally buy DVDs specifically for the picture quality, whereas that is the main benefit of Blu-ray.


Pundit, I think M Dowden meant that somebody viewing a DVD won't be able to comment on the quality of the Bluray release.

Posted on 26 Jun 2010, 18:44:07 BST
M. Dowden says:
Mark Twain, thanks you have expressed what I meant. Perhaps the actual film companies should be more open and Amazon could publsih whether the film was originally filmed in HD or has just been 'played around' with, we also need such clarification if 3D takes off. Like the image quality differing on bluray films the same applies to the 3d quality, apparently there are some massive differences between how these films are produced, especially with newer technologies that allow the film to be filmed in 3d from the start, to others that are processed.
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