Amazon Banning Reviews From Paid Publicity Websites
Amazon has banned reviews from a more than a dozen websites that offer paid reviews for books and other products. Let the battle of the First Amendment rights begin!
Okay, it's not that serious. But some people are still upset. Mostly the people who work for the publicity companies. Irene Watson, the founder of one of the targeted companies, Reader Views, defended her company to Galleycat, and said this was Amazon's attempt to squash competition, as the online retailer sells reviews in Kirkus for $379 to $529. She also warned that what started with a ban on sites like Reader Views has since spread to reviews from rank-and-file members.
But fake reviews are a controversial topic in the land of internet sales portals. As detailed in the New York Times, a research team from Cornell published a paper about creating a computer algorithm for detecting fake reviews, and were immediately approached by a dozen companies, including Amazon, Hilton and TripAdvisor. All of them want to stem the tide of false assessments. Customers don't take too kindly to them, either.
Reader Views is just another company that offers this kind of service--writing a kind review on a site like Amazon so your product (in this case, your book) looks a little better. From their site:
Book buyers don’t believe publisher’s book descriptions; they believe what other readers like them say about the book. Great reader reviews sell books - and that’s what we provide: lots of great reader reviews.
They do some reviews for free, but caution that due to the amount of submissions they get, those are limited. The only way to guarantee a review is the purchase a "budget friendly" Publicity Package, ranging from $199 to $499.
So, LitReactors, tell us:
How much do reviews play into your purchase of a book/movie/product? Is it easy to sort the fake reviews from the real ones?
And, was it right for Amazon to ban Reader Views?
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