Saturday, March 02, 2019

Faking Reviews Matters

Every author wants 5-Star reviews, on Amazon, on EBay, and elsewhere. Amazon tries to remove reviews that it deems to be fake (often in the process unfairly removing legitimate reviews), and sometimes it gets faked out, even by its verified purchasers/reviewers.

Two legal blogs reported on the first shot across the bows:

"Thinking of Purchasing 5 Star Reviews? Think Again!"advises legal bloggers Phyllis H. Marcus and Emily K. Bolles for law firm Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.

Also, legal blogger David O. Klein for law firm Klein Moyniham Turco LLP   discusses the same potential of a $12.8 million dollar settlement.

The FTC investigates fake reviews by an allegedly verified Amazon reviewer who was  allegedly paid to counter negative reviews posted by fans of a rival product by posting postive reviews of the product in question.

The stakes were high because the alleged work of fiction in question concerned the efficacy or otherwise of a weight loss supplement.

Soliciting "likes" is not much different from soliciting dishonest reviews.

Writing for law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP, legal blogger Aaron P. Rubin discusses the declaration that fake "likes" are illegal.  It is unlawful to sell fake followers, fake likes, or fake views... (and presumably fake reviews).

Part of the fault for dishonest reviews lies with the companies or buinesses that put such stock in a "Like" or its equivalent on Facebook or  Google or Ebay that they pressure their vendors and salespersons to pester customers for likes or 5 star reviews (but nothing less than a 5 Star).

A certain Doors and Windows company does this to my knowledge, so one cannot trust reviews of at least one doors and windows company's products or salesmen.

Many authors use Pinterest, so may be interested to know that an IPO is in the offing.

Also, social media extortion is "a thing", so if anyone asks you for money or property in return for removing negative misinformation about you (or your works) that they have posted on social media, they may be punished by 5 years in prison or a maximum fine of $10,000.  Good to know!

Another link of interest for newbie authors wishing to avoid being exploited:

All the best
Rowena Cherry

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