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aruna
09-07-2014, 08:56 PM
A Facebook writer friend posted about this reviewer, who today posted over 50 1-star book reviews, all of which, including hers, are titled "I hate it". The review itself always consists of one word: Dreadful.

Mind you, s/he also posted one or two "I like it" book reviews, the review itself being just "OK".

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2E2EJUXCLPKB4?ie=UTF8&display=public&page=1&sort_by=MostRecentReview

There are reviews of other very random articles as well, all of which are titled either I love it, I like it, or I hate it. The reviews are, respectively, either Dreadful, OK, or Great.

I didn't see any books s/he loved. They are mostly women's fiction or romance books.

Ten pages of such reviews. Then one page of earlier reviews, with a little more substance to them.

Some people are just -- weird.

Edited to add: read some more of pages, and a few more detailed reviews, such as:

Great for wearing over the coconut bra lol, and other "lol" remarks. Seems to be a she.
This is a case where I think a report to Amazon would be justified.

slhuang
09-07-2014, 09:13 PM
This is a case where I think a report to Amazon would be justified.

Why? If they were ALL 1-star "hate it" reviews, then maybe there's a case for saying this person's on a scorched earth crusade. But why should a person's opinion be banned just because that person chooses not to elaborate? *confused*

jjdebenedictis
09-07-2014, 09:15 PM
Are...you trying to drum up a witchhunt? I'm not so comfortable with you highlighting a single reviewer who has NOT said anything offensive and then making a sorta-suggestion that people should complain.

People have a right to their opinions. They have a right to speak them. I don't see why you feel you've the right to try to erase someone's words because you don't like what they said.

NRoach
09-07-2014, 09:23 PM
This is indeed, pretty bizarre. I suppose there's the (very) vague possibility that it's some kind of paid-review robot, which would explain the reviews being quite so short and random, but it could just as likely be someone who really enjoys making tiny reviews.

aruna
09-07-2014, 09:29 PM
Hey, don't put motives or words into my mouth! Witchhunt, indeed! I found it rather amusing, actually; though rather unfair to the books "reviewed". I'm not sure it was really the person's honest opinion. But drumming up a witchhunt? I assure you, I do not ever indulge in such pastimes! Life is far too precious to waste o witchhunts of any kind. It was merely a point for discussion; bringing it to Amazon's attention might be justified (OK, I said would).

To me, it seems that the reviewer herself is on some sort of campaign, and it's rather unfair on the authors; more than that I have utterly no opinion on the matter, apart from finding it curious.

Kallithrix
09-07-2014, 09:29 PM
I don't think this person is unique. If you want to try and stamp out this sort of practice... well, good luck on your crusade. I prefer to just say 'meh' and move on.

aruna
09-07-2014, 09:34 PM
Look, please, please don't jump to all these conclusions. I never said anything about "stomping out" anything, nor am I on a "crusade"!!!!! Please, please read my first post again. I said some people are "weird" -- and this is indeed weird -- and at the end commented that this might be a case for reporting.

I have never, ever been on any kind of crusade in my life. So please chill. There is no reason here to attack the messenger.

I think it is merely weird, and I had a good chuckle at the coconut bra review! I think of her as coconut bra lady.

ShaunHorton
09-07-2014, 09:39 PM
It is certainly interesting. 50 reviews in a day, all verified purchase, on a whole lot of seemingly random items. It's not just books, but Classic Monopoly, Watch Batteries, Car headlights, and a cocktail shaker. All under an account which simply says "Amazon Customer".

There are a lot more comments on things than simply "Great", "Okay", and "Dreadful" though.

Honestly, if I had to guess from the items reviewed and the comments made, I would think this was an older guy who went with his family on a trip to Hawaii, got bored, and had nothing but his wife's kindle and whatever was already on it to keep him busy while she and the kids went shopping. :partyguy:

While a quick glance might raise some eyebrows, I see nothing here that I would consider worth reporting.

aruna
09-07-2014, 09:47 PM
I count this in the realm of reviews that say THIS SUX!!!!! or THIS ROX!!!!!; annoying for the authors concerned, of course, as it lowers their star count, but again, the type of review most people dismiss. Is it Goodreads that has a minimum word count for reviews? That's a sensible policy, I think.

ShaunHorton
09-07-2014, 09:54 PM
I count this in the realm of reviews that say THIS SUX!!!!! or THIS ROX!!!!!; annoying for the authors concerned, of course, as it lowers their star count, but again, the type of review most people dismiss. Is it Goodreads that has a minimum word count for reviews? That's a sensible policy, I think.

Is that why in the OP you said it would be justified to report it? Just saying, that might be what brought people down on you about a witch-hunt.

One thing to also remember about Goodreads is that they don't require a review to rate a book. You can mark 1,2,5 stars and never give a reason. Amazon requires something in the review box, or you can't even rate things, which explains a lot of these succinct reviews.

jjdebenedictis
09-07-2014, 09:59 PM
Aruna,

My apologies if you were not trying to highlight the reviewer for the sake of finding allies in getting their reviews removed, but that seemed like a distinct possibility to me. Here is my reasoning:

Your writer-friend got a review she didn't like and investigated the reviewer's history. My opinion is she shouldn't have started stalking a reviewer like that, although I understand the temptation to. Still, reviewers are allowed to say whatever they want about books, and I believe it's a type of financial fraud when an author attempts to game the public record of what the public thinks of their product. Thus, I don't believe authors should follow reviews (or reviewers.)

Next, your friend posted about the reviewer on social media. Again, my opinion is she shouldn't have engaged in 'the author's big mistake' because the reception of your friend's book is a public discussion she has no right to try to manipulate. If she wants to commiserate with others about how bad it feels to get a bad review, that's fine, but I think it is petty for her to do it in public where it might launch a public vendetta against a private citizen who has done nothing wrong.

Finally, you essentially signal-boosted your friend's opinion here on AW and suggested a course of action which people reading this thread probably could have thought up on their own. To me, it seems like an attempt at manipulation -- a public invitation to act against this reviewer.

As Kallithrix said, one-line reviews aren't an unknown phenomenon, so this set of them is probably only of moderate interest to most of AW. So it's not outlandish for me to wonder if you had other motives for posting about it than just for interest's sake.

aruna
09-07-2014, 10:09 PM
Well, maybe it was the ABM, though I always thought of that more as interacting/arguing with actual reviewers; my guess is she just wanted to get it off her chest, and the fact that it was so many writers targeted made it feel more like a group thing, nothing personal. I did not comment to her post, as I do not really "know" her as a FB friend -- we have never interacted, but I've read, and liked, a few of her more well-known books. She is a best-selling British writer.

aruna
09-07-2014, 10:12 PM
Is that why in the OP you said it would be justified to report it? Just saying, that might be what brought people down on you about a witch-hunt.



Let it be known that I am so laid-back I am supine! I never get offended, angry, or hurt by anything said on the internets --- except when I am accused of getting offended, angry, or hurt! So there! :)

Samsonet
09-07-2014, 10:15 PM
It looks weird to me too. If I came across one of the reviews for books and didn't look at far as Aruna did, I'd probably end up reporting it as suspicious too.

A.P.M.
09-07-2014, 10:16 PM
Honestly, if I had to guess from the items reviewed and the comments made, I would think this was an older guy who went with his family on a trip to Hawaii, got bored, and had nothing but his wife's kindle and whatever was already on it to keep him busy while she and she kids went shopping. :partyguy:



LoL. The thought of this is just amusing.

Not every reviewer is going to take the time to write out detailed reasons as to why they hated (or loved) something. I wouldn't worry about it.

Dennis E. Taylor
09-07-2014, 10:22 PM
When reading the reviews, I would simply dismiss this reviewer as irrelevant. Without some indication of why the reviewer is giving their rating, the rating has no credibility IMO.

Speaking as a reader, BTW.

ShaunHorton
09-07-2014, 10:24 PM
LoL. The thought of this is just amusing.

Not every reviewer is going to take the time to write out detailed reasons as to why they hated (or loved) something. I wouldn't worry about it.

Well, when you have little gems like this on a Hula Skirt...


needed 2 to cover my pot - we had a great evening though

eparadysz
09-07-2014, 11:05 PM
Sounds to me like someone got fed up with all the reminder e-mails from Amazon. I can picture someone going through their inbox: Bam, bam, bam. There, you happy now Amazon?

I just delete them myself, but I can understand the temptation.

Polenth
09-07-2014, 11:08 PM
My guess would be what they actually want to do is rate the products. But Amazon makes you put text in the box, hence a short and generic comment. It's also easy to leave a lot in one hit if you're having a slow day and going through all past purchases to review.

It's nice to get reviews with a bit more substance, but I don't see it as a huge deal if some readers just want to rate. It's certainly not something I'd report a reviewer for. Sparse it may be, but it is still a review.

RedWombat
09-07-2014, 11:11 PM
Sounds to me like someone got fed up with all the reminder e-mails from Amazon. I can picture someone going through their inbox: Bam, bam, bam. There, you happy now Amazon?

I just delete them myself, but I can understand the temptation.

That was my thought, too!

aruna
09-07-2014, 11:29 PM
I can't wrap my head around someone who keeps buying books of a similar category, when she apparently absolutely hates this kind of book -- by default! But, as they say -- someone with a lot of time on their hands.

Amadan
09-07-2014, 11:52 PM
I agree with previous commenters - who knows what's going through this reviewer's head, but there's no evidence here of foul play, and complaints that a review isn't "fair" to the author always sets off alarm bells in my mind.

Amazon already has a feedback mechanism - reviews can be rated helpful or unhelpful (and I do rate terse reviews that say nothing about why the book was good or bad as unhelpful).

ishtar'sgate
09-08-2014, 12:12 AM
Why? If they were ALL 1-star "hate it" reviews, then maybe there's a case for saying this person's on a scorched earth crusade. But why should a person's opinion be banned just because that person chooses not to elaborate? *confused*

To be perfectly frank, when deciding on books to buy on Amazon I eliminate 5-star reviews written by reviewers whose only other reviews are for 'toasters' and products, as I'm suspicious of their source. I also eliminate all 1-star reviews, not because I don't think the reviewer's opinion is valid but because such an extreme dislike probably doesn't reflect the majority of readers.
I'd never ban anyone for giving their opinion. Everyone is entitled to an opinion even if they have a nasty little axe to grind. I can choose to consider their opinion when making my reading selections, or ignore them.

slhuang
09-08-2014, 01:07 AM
To be perfectly frank, when deciding on books to buy on Amazon I eliminate 5-star reviews written by reviewers whose only other reviews are for 'toasters' and products, as I'm suspicious of their source. I also eliminate all 1-star reviews, not because I don't think the reviewer's opinion is valid but because such an extreme dislike probably doesn't reflect the majority of readers.
I'd never ban anyone for giving their opinion. Everyone is entitled to an opinion even if they have a nasty little axe to grind. I can choose to consider their opinion when making my reading selections, or ignore them.

Oh, sure, I wasn't suggesting that anyone must find these reviews helpful to their own purchasing! Just questioning why one would want to report them, which is quite a different thing. :)

ishtar'sgate
09-08-2014, 02:18 AM
Oh, sure, I wasn't suggesting that anyone must find these reviews helpful to their own purchasing! Just questioning why one would want to report them, which is quite a different thing. :)

I simply meant I don't see the point in reporting them either. If they don't want to elaborate on their reasons for the single star, that's their prerogative and it's my prerogative to ignore them. Live and let live and all that.

veinglory
09-08-2014, 02:47 AM
If you post only a rating Amazon auto-populates those terms. Real reviews are always over 20 words these days.

brainstorm77
09-08-2014, 02:52 AM
I've also seen this on Goodreads. Page after page of one star ratings. I like to think they only rate the books they hate. It's that or they make really bad reading choices for themselves. :)

I went back and clicked on the link. They're verified purchases. Maybe it's just a case of making bad reading choices? I know I certainly have.

What happened to the 25 word review minimum on Amazon? Wasn't that a rule?

Carrie in PA
09-08-2014, 03:08 AM
Sounds to me like someone got fed up with all the reminder e-mails from Amazon. I can picture someone going through their inbox: Bam, bam, bam. There, you happy now Amazon?

I just delete them myself, but I can understand the temptation.

My first thought exactly.

Roxxsmom
09-08-2014, 03:19 AM
I can't wrap my head around someone who keeps buying books of a similar category, when she apparently absolutely hates this kind of book -- by default! But, as they say -- someone with a lot of time on their hands.

You're assuming she's buying, or even reading them. Amazon allows you to post reviews of books you didn't buy on their site. This is cool when you've actually read the book but purchased it somewhere else. Not so cool when people are trolling.

Though I'll admit I sometimes read and laugh at funny reviews for products or books that are so awful in concept (Bic for her pens, or My Parents Open Carry book, anyone), yet these are really trolling too. So where does one draw the line?

It's hard to imagine that someone would actually read so many books she or he hates, though. Still, it's the system Amazon allows, and it's best not to engage reviewers or spend too much time wondering about their motivations.

Jorshington
09-08-2014, 03:23 AM
I really want to make a post in this thread just saying "ok" now. .

Buffysquirrel
09-08-2014, 04:00 AM
I used to write a lot of lengthy, considered reviews on Goodreads, thinking I was part of a community of readers, but then I discovered I was just a dumbass whose contributions were serving only to make the site valuable to Amazon. So now I don't review at all.

Amadan
09-08-2014, 04:02 AM
I used to write a lot of lengthy, considered reviews on Goodreads, thinking I was part of a community of readers, but then I discovered I was just a dumbass whose contributions were serving only to make the site valuable to Amazon. So now I don't review at all.


I'm still part of a community of readers on Goodreads.

Buffysquirrel
09-08-2014, 04:03 AM
I'm still part of a community of readers on Goodreads.

I made a different choice :). If anyone's going to make money out of my reviews, I can't help feeling it should be me. Altho I was perfectly happy with a situation where (I foolishly imagined) nobody was.

William Haskins
09-08-2014, 04:59 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWqKiqTfXuA

poetinahat
09-08-2014, 05:14 AM
Are...you trying to drum up a witchhunt? I'm not so comfortable with you highlighting a single reviewer who has NOT said anything offensive and then making a sorta-suggestion that people should complain.

People have a right to their opinions. They have a right to speak them. I don't see why you feel you've the right to try to erase someone's words because you don't like what they said.
The OP said "reporting might be justified". How that became censorship, or a witch hunt, I don't understand.

veinglory
09-08-2014, 05:17 AM
One would be reporting to Amazon terms that Amazon populated in the review field.

ShaunHorton
09-08-2014, 05:31 AM
If you post only a rating Amazon auto-populates those terms. Real reviews are always over 20 words these days.

This. Is a very nice and rather important thing to know. :e2salute:

Liosse de Velishaf
09-08-2014, 05:44 AM
I'm still part of a community of readers on Goodreads.


If an idea is good enough, it never stays a free independent service for long. Some asshat company comes and buys it up and ruins it.

poetinahat
09-08-2014, 05:50 AM
Present company excepted, one hopes

Liosse de Velishaf
09-08-2014, 07:46 AM
Present company excepted, one hopes


One hopes.

aruna
09-08-2014, 08:16 AM
To be perfectly frank, when deciding on books to buy on Amazon I eliminate 5-star reviews written by reviewers whose only other reviews are for 'toasters' and products, as I'm suspicious of their source. I also eliminate all 1-star reviews, not because I don't think the reviewer's opinion is valid but because such an extreme dislike probably doesn't reflect the majority of readers.
I'd never ban anyone for giving their opinion. Everyone is entitled to an opinion even if they have a nasty little axe to grind. I can choose to consider their opinion when making my reading selections, or ignore them.

I love elaborate, well-written 1-star reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads, even for books I enjoyed. They help me to read and write (ie revise) with a more critical eye. There are some excellent reviewers out there. They help me to understand what discerning readers look out for.


You're assuming she's buying, or even reading them. Amazon allows you to post reviews of books you didn't buy on their site. This is cool when you've actually read the book but purchased it somewhere else. Not so cool when people are trolling.


Apparently they are all verified purchases. It seems she hates almost all books, but loves many gadgets. As far as the books are concerned, it was, in my view, a scorched earth campaign, though it will have little effect and will probably garner lots of unhelpful votes.

I have never reported a review to Amazon and it was never my intention to encourage such an action.

poetinahat
09-08-2014, 09:21 AM
One would be reporting to Amazon terms that Amazon populated in the review field.
One would hope that's clear both to the person posting and the person reporting. Otherwise, fair play, I say.

frimble3
09-08-2014, 09:50 AM
Maybe she fell into a nest of the kind of authors that nag at readers for reviews? She got fed up, and this is the result: "You want reviews, here. You got reviews.":Shrug:

I leave 'Feedback' on E-bay, because there are a lot of factors, and if a buyer was accommodating, or did a good job of shipping, I think future buyers should know this random person seems reliable. But the equivalent with books would be a review of the store, not the book.

ShaunHorton
09-08-2014, 10:22 AM
Apparently they are all verified purchases. It seems she hates almost all books, but loves many gadgets. As far as the books are concerned, it was, in my view, a scorched earth campaign, though it will have little effect and will probably garner lots of unhelpful votes.


See, this bothers me that your inclination is to assume malicious intent as such. There's really no way to tell why or what the conditions are for the one-star ratings. (I'm going to say ratings at this point since we've found out the one-word reviews are part of amazon's system for when a review isn't actually given.) It could be that they honestly just really didn't like those books.

If an author obsesses over a 1-star rating, and wants to justify it by assuming the reader was just an asshole or some other level of evil, that's on them. Bringing that assumption out into public discussion is absolutely an ABM though.

I'm also more inclined to think this is either a father's or a family account as several comments make mention of a wife and a daughter. Were this a family account, it makes sense that a bored and irritated father, getting tons of requests for ratings on books his daughter may have ordered, would click through and dump poor ratings on them. That certainly doesn't make for a 'scorched earth' policy or any kind of malice toward the authors or their books though.

aruna
09-08-2014, 01:39 PM
See, this bothers me that your inclination is to assume malicious intent as such. There's really no way to tell why or what the conditions are for the one-star ratings. (I'm going to say ratings at this point since we've found out the one-word reviews are part of amazon's system for when a review isn't actually given.) It could be that they honestly just really didn't like those books.

.

Honestly, it doesn't bother me as much as you. I have read a few of these books and I would think that once you have read three or four, you know aprroximately what you are getting; because they are all marketed similarly. You will find them all on each other's "Also Bought" lists, and category lists, for instance. Meaning, if you like one you are likely to like the others, and same with hating them.

So if you hated those 3 or 4 and found them "dreadful", a sensible person would not go on to buy and read and then review 46 more. Surely that is a very logical assumption? So I find it weird that this person did so. She hated those books, and yet she kept on buying and reading them. I personally find this weird, in that I see no way to interpret good intentions. Maybe you can. Was she hoping to find, at some point, ONE book she enjoyed, and just kept on and on, ploughing through books she hated just to find that one jewel? Because I don't see any other justification.

But, you know, it's not a big deal for me. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had some time on my hands and so I wasted it looking up this person, had a laugh imagining her in a coconut bra, found her review behaviour weird, and posted it here, as one does. That's all. Human behaviour interests me; if I see someone behaving weirdly, I try to understand why. No witchhunt, no incitement for everyone to hate on her. Really just entertainment. Is that OK? Can we lay it to rest now?

(I also find it ironic the assumption of malice on MY part ironic!)

Amadan
09-08-2014, 03:33 PM
I have never reported a review to Amazon and it was never my intention to encourage such an action.

I think what gave the impression to the contrary was "This is a case where I think a report to Amazon would be justified."

Fruitbat
09-08-2014, 04:54 PM
I think Aruna is far too classy to go about stirring up "witch hunts," lol. Perhaps the purchase of the cocktail shaker explains this anonymous buyer's repeated purchases and one-star reviews of the same type of book. :p

Interesting that Amazon automatically fills in a word if you don't. I would think, by definition, one star means "hated it," five star means "loved it," etc. so it's really not adding anything.

Kylabelle
09-08-2014, 05:47 PM
AND... since aruna has asked that we lay it to rest, let's do that now.

:)