It was bad enough when R.J. Ellroy posted fake-user reviews aggrandizing his own books (and trashing his competitiors’), but now the power of fake (or at least unethical) reviews has grown exponentially: according to Patrick Coffee on PR Newser, a group of anti-circumcision activists flooded the Amazon page of best-selling book “Tinderbox” with bad reviews, sinking its average rating, despite not having actually read the book.
As reported by Coffee, Amazon can’t do anything because of its “hands-off” review policy. However, this is only the most recent in a pattern of unethical, if not outright fraudulent, use of this feature. What can be done about it? Should anything be done at all? It’s troubling, to say the least.