When I posted on Friday about publishing news updates, techcrunch followed up with a very interesting article about fake reviewers and Amazon’s efforts to put an end to the illegal practice. Yes, illegal practice. It is in their terms of service that users may not post fake reviews; by using their site, authors and readers alike agree to submit to the legal ramifications of those conditions. Please take a moment to click the link about: It shows a screenshot of a job description highlighting one of the major issues with the practice of purchasing fake reviews. (It will open in a new window.)
In short, you give Amazon the right to file legitimate lawsuits against you for posting fake reviews–and potentially for hiring someone to post fake reviews on your behalf. With the help of fivrr, Amazon has begun tracking down individual reviewers and pursuing them in court for attempting to rig the book purchasing system.
Not too long ago, I discussed how readers can check for fake reviews and filter them out of purchasing decisions. Amazon’s move to pursue lawsuits against fake reviewers is good news for everyone–except the cheaters. It is important to note that this lawsuit won’t affect book bloggers, who receive copies of the book for free in exchange for an honest review, often coordinated by a third party. Many of these tour group coordinators do accept payments for the work involved with matching authors and bloggers. This is an allowed practice.
Once again, combating fake reviewers is everyone’s job, but to see Amazon stepping up aggressively to deal with this issue is good news for everyone–especially customers. By working to put an end to the practice of fake reviews, authors who deserve attention will have an easier time being seen.
Best of all, these reviewers will likely have all of their falsified reviews removed from Amazon, which will ensure legitimate reviews float to the top–and give customers a better idea of what they’re purchasing.
If you want to help combat fake reviews, when you read a title, leave an honest review–even if you disliked the book. Just try to say why you didn’t like it, even if it’s just a few sentences. It may not seem like much, but it’s important for everyone. If you can spare the time, list the redeeming factors of the title, too. After all, what you may not like in a book may appeal to someone else, and that’s what reviews are for: to help readers just like you find a book they’ll enjoy reading.