back to article Buh bye fakers? Amazon tweaks customer product reviews system

Amazon has rejigged its product reviews systems for customers in the US, in an apparent move to mute fake ratings on the retail giant's service. The company said it was now using machine-learning tech that it had developed to try to flush out old and crappy reviews, according to Cnet. Amazon's Julie Law was quoted as saying …

  1. Mike Flugennock

    Kind of a shame, really...

    ...because I always thought that the fake reviews were the most fun to read.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Wow... Ooooh... Ah...

      "Amazon's overhauled system will rank newer reviews higher and give more weight to its verified buyers."

      So, about six lines of changed code then, eh? Or two adjusted values in a weighting table. What did Amazon's crack team of coder drones do after accomplishing this 'rocket science' feat of coding subtlety and rewarding themselves with an extended morning coffee break? There's at least another six hours in a typical work day. Geesh...

      (Note: Actually the Amazon coder drones are some of the best. Their website coding is sublime. I'd award them about 9.995 out of ten on most days. I expect that they have very good managers with extremely good attention to tiny customer focused details, based on my experiences as a book buying customer. My compliments to the chef.)

      1. Graham Marsden

        @JeffyPoooh - Re: Wow... Ooooh... Ah...

        Thank you for that very helpful review of Amazon coders. I would up vote you a thousand times if I could...

        .

        .

        .

        .

        (but I can't be bothered to create 1000 sock puppet accounts)

        1. elDog

          Re: @JeffyPoooh - Wow... Ooooh... Ah...

          Only voting you (Graham Marsden) down since I can, and since you already have tons of points. Besides, your name seems so proper - it must be a troll.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wow... Ooooh... Ah...

        "Actually the Amazon coder drones are some of the best. Their website coding is sublime"

        They are not and no it isn't. amazon.co.uk has got to be one of the *THE WORST* pages for taking ages to load and bringing a PC to its knees with JS bullcrap.

        It used to be good, but now it stinks.

      3. BillG
        Flame

        Re: Wow... Ooooh... Ah...

        Note: Actually the Amazon coder drones are some of the best

        I agree. Meanwhile, LinkedIn coder drones are the worst.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kind of a shame, really...

      If you're an author, and someone gives your novel a one star review because they don't like Amazon and fully admit that they never even bothered to READ the book you sweated and bled to write, you might be a bit more appreciative that Amazon is weeding out such dreck.

      1. fajensen Silver badge

        Re: Kind of a shame, really...

        OTOH - If I buy something based on glowing 5-star reviews and it's crap, then I am going to be disappointed and UN-appreciative of Amazon juicing the reviews further to boost sales.

        The negative reviews just seem much more truthful, because they often provide details and humour and ironi. Contrarily, the "positive, very helpful" review are very often bland and generic, with no specific things the "purchaser" liked, and did not like so much, about the product, book, whatever : "This product(sic!) is absolutely wonderful blah, blah", so this we don't trust, of course. If a product have no negative, cranky, reviews, then nobody living bought it - is my hypothesis.

        PS:

        Even I can write a Selenium bot to "upvote" reviews, so I would guess that everyone on the planet is already doing it.

        PPS:

        If you are an author and give a shit about what someone random on the internet write about your work, then you need to do a lot more writing and less posing; even your mum doesn't like everything you do!

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Kind of a shame, really...

        If you're an author, and someone gives your novel a one star review because they don't like Amazon and fully admit that they never even bothered to READ the book you sweated and bled to write, you might be a bit more appreciative that Amazon is weeding out such dreck.

        As opposed to the people hornswoggled by the two dozen of your close friends who gave your illiterate direct-to-kindle blither five stars and rated it a "truly great read" and "the most exciting/frightening story they'd read this year".

        Authors: if you were any good you'd be unworried by what the aspberger-riddled amazon reviewers had to say. Your stories will sell themselves if they are good reads. If not, you reap what you have sown.

        And although I can't speak for everyone, personally I can parse a review as understand the difference between one that is on-target and helpful and one that is insane. I don't need your condescending yelling that one-starring a poorly marked up Kindle version of a beloved favorite is somehow going to "hurt" the author more than people buying the cheaply-as-possible engineered e-book itself, especially when I don't agree that Amazon reviews are Literaary reviews (wherein the lofty questions of whether the book succeeds as art are asked) as opposed to product reviews (wherein the questions of missing pages, godawful proof reading and bindings made from spit are more apposite).

    3. cray74

      Re: Kind of a shame, really...

      After Mad Max: Fury Road, any silver food spray on Amazon has awesome reviews, many voted as very helpful.

    4. PrivateCitizen

      Re: Kind of a shame, really...

      ...because I always thought that the fake reviews were the most fun to read.

      Some still will be. Amazon isnt really getting rid of fake reviews, it is getting rid of "unhelpful" ones. There are some out there with genuinely hilarious fake reviews which have been marked helpful dozens of times. These will stay.

      If Amazon really wants to overhaul, it should limit the reviews to "verified buyers" only - this will reduce the overall number but cut out the marketing shills who post gushing reviews of tat and the angry people who seem to object to things they "bought elsewhere."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about fake products?

    I'd be more impressed if they showed any signs of being willing to tackle the issue of fake products being peddled on their site. It doesn't seem to make any difference if customer reviews flag the issue up, the junk stays listed. "GENUINE" [insert name of famous OEM here] phone chargers, batteries, memory cards, ... The list is endless.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Flame

      Re: What about fake products?

      Not forgetting those products with "Genuine Leather" in the title which then say (PU Leather) somewhere at the bottom of the description.

      1. John Tserkezis

        Re: What about fake products?

        "Not forgetting those products with "Genuine Leather"

        I remember reading about someone who bought a wallet that was labelled "Genuine Vinyl". Seems some are more honest than others.

    2. Mike Flugennock

      Re: What about fake products?

      Point well taken, but the Banana Slicer was hilarious.

  3. denzil
    FAIL

    trustworthy i think not

    i left a bad review after buying a pile of c^^^ replacement iphone screen via amazon , after refusing to remove it myself ( even after the supplier tried to bribe me (and yes i did forward the email containing the "offer" to amazon )) , amazon just deleted it them self and refused to reinstate it even after countless emails and phone calls . so why would anyone trust there reviews ? .

    note:

    it was meant to be a iphone 5s replacement digitizer/screen , turned up cracked ( wasnt too bothered about that ,accidents happen ) but it turned out to be a iphone 5s screen with a iphone 5 digitizer ( wasn't too bothered about that either, production faults happen ) so i asked the supplier to replace it and they returned the same unit back to me ( after 3 weeks !) saying they had tested it and were unable to find a fault ! ( still have it at home complete with the company's anti tramper stickers on it ,)

    1. Roq D. Kasba

      c^^^

      rap? ock? unt?

      I find when I see swears self-censored, I tend to think the worst!

    2. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: trustworthy i think not

      I treat reviews on Amazon with a pinch of salt. I bought a HP camera a few years ago and it was crap. Had to get it replaced straight away as it was faulty. The replacement "worked" but had some nasty problems. My polite but negative Amazon review disappeared after a few days, leaving only a handful of glowing reviews; one of which looked like it had been written by someone from the HP marketing dept.

      1. Kevin Fairhurst

        Re: trustworthy i think not

        Likewise... I ordered an iPod Touch for my partner's birthday present, and in instead received a shitty old film on DVD. I complained and another iPod Touch was sent out, and this time I received some crappy CD. I remember filming myself opening the second one, showing that there was no way the wrong item had been substituted in the supply chain... those items had been wrapped in the cardboard packaging at source. So I imagined it was someone at the warehouse pulling a scam (order something for themselves, make sure they picked their own order, swap labels so I get the dross they ordered, and they get the high value electronics I ordered) and asked for my money back.

        I complained to Amazon about the whole scam and heard nothing back, so I posted a review warning other potential purchasers.... sadly, the review didn't last long before it got pulled :(

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: trustworthy i think not

      I give this rant 2.5 stars. Lots of mistakes, lacking caps, and spaces between parenthesis? Read Alfred X. Fooberhamster rant instead.

  4. Banksy
    FAIL

    Doesn't solve the problem

    With this approach all a company would have to do to bury negative reviews is mark them as 'not helpful' and mark any shill reviews as helpful. This isn't 'helpful' to anyone.

  5. Banksy

    And...

    They should also only allow reviews from people who have actually made a purchase through Amazon that they can verify (there is an option to show 'verified purchase' on reviews currently).

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: And...

      But then the scammers would just put a load of products on for a penny, immediataly buy them with their sock-puppet accounts and mark them as "shipped"...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And...

        "But then the scammers would just put a load of products on for a penny, [...]"

        That's an nice twist. So Amazon need to show the price that a buyer paid - and not include cancelled orders? Which doesn't stop someone scamming by returning the product to stock - but they will have paid Amazon a commission which raises the threshold somewhat.

  6. Roq D. Kasba

    Link to 2000 Reg article...

    ...namechecks NTK

    Oh, those were the days!

  7. jonathanb Silver badge

    What about cable reviews?

    I rather enjoy reading the reviews for $10,000 audiophile grade ethernet cables, before buying the cheapest available cable in the length/colour I'm looking for.

    1. khisanth

      Re: What about cable reviews?

      I had to review a usb cable for Vine. Not much you can say with cables other than if it works and its build quality.

      When you get people reviewing hdmi, ethernet, usb and optical audio cables and they say things like "its faster, its so much better" then you know its utter rubbish.

    2. Lyndon Hills 1

      Re: What about cable reviews?

      takes all kinds to make a world.

      Tis true.

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Least of their 'issues'

    When I see FOSS products advertised for sale, and even non-existent ones that just happen to be the search term I entered...

    1. Anonymous C0ward

      You're allowed to sell FOSS products

      as long as you include (or offer) the source code.

  9. thomas k

    noooooo!!!!

    Does this mean the reviews of Haribo Sugar-free Gummie Bears' explosive after effects will disappear? I haven't laughed so hard in quite some time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: noooooo!!!!

      You can't leave us hanging like that! Next time, post a link*.

      * That one is just a starting point - there are loads of good ones. They are IMHO not quite on the level of the Veet for men reviews, but that's a matter of taste.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: noooooo!!!!

        Here's an Amazon book that attracted many, many spoof reviews.

        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Avoid-Huge-Ships-John-Trimmer/dp/0870334336

    2. Wibble
      Happy

      Re: noooooo!!!!

      Some more lunchtime reading...

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Story-about-Reading-Railroad-Books/dp/0448421658/

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Veet-Men-Hair-Removal-Cream/dp/B000KKNQBK/ref=cm_rdp_product

      http://www.amazon.com/Parents-Open-Carry-Brian-Jeffs/dp/1618081012/ref=sr_1_1

  10. W Donelson

    Will be gamed within months....

    Will be gamed within months....

    "Machine intelligence" - ha!

  11. JLV Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    BS, there is no will at Amazon, tech won't help.

    Amazon has lots of good tech to analyze posting history already. For example, they started un-counting reviewers who too-frequently up-vote, or downvote, the same other reviewers years ago. To avoid fanboi effects.

    But they have a serious problem with dodgy merchandise reviews and they are doing very little to correct it. 6 months ago, I would have said "sure there are fake reviews, but it's hard to spot reliably". After all, it will be pretty difficult to know if a review was brokered somewhere, right?

    Then I bought a book by this guy which totally blew my mind on fraud. The patterns are right there, in Amazon's review system and blindingly obvious. And Amazon does nada.

    Sam Keys, he of 52 "programming in a day" books since... Sept 2014. Including, I kid you not "C++ In a Day" and "Android Programming in a Day".

    http://www.amazon.com/Sam-Key/e/B00QUBQWQ4/ref=la_B00QUBQWQ4_pg_5?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_82%3AB00QUBQWQ4&page=5&sort=date-desc-rank&ie=UTF8&qid=1434904593

    Pattern is always the same:

    - book comes out. gets 30-40 reviews in a day or two, right after publication. All 5 star reviews "gosh I am starting to program, this book was a big help".

    - 30-50 page book, about $3 typically. Low enough for you to walk away. Contents are amazingly shamefully lightweight - things like no sample app on an Android book.

    - If you look at the "customers also purchased" link you will see those reviewers typically have reviewed 4-5 other books by Sam.

    - Those reviewers have odd posting patterns (often in the dietary supplement field too). They will nearly always post 5 stars ratings, except for the odd 1 star (slag a competitor for pay?). They won't post for months but then they'll do 3-5 reviews in a day.

    - Some time later real reviews start coming. "All those upvotes must be fake. Didn't even have a sample program/conditional logic/example". So now the book has 95% 5 stars, 5% of 1 star reviews, nothing in between.

    But here's the clincher. I, and other reviewers, have contacted Amazon customer support about Mr Keys and notified them of this abuse. They did get back to me, told me they would investigate but could not comment and ... left things just as they were.

    So, bullshit on the idea that Amazon needs smarter algos to flag what they know already but don't want to clean up. Either because it ends up making them money or because their legal dept have told them it would constitute refusal of sale to the publisher and could not stand up in court.

    I still buy from Amazon, but they've definitely lost my trust. I noticed this pattern for this publisher, sure, but once you are aware of it, you notice how pervasive it is. His reviewers, and others just like them, are touching many, many products and those are only the really obvious cases. And I really can't forgive Amazon for knowingly looking the other way.

    1. JLV Silver badge

      Re: BS, there is no will at Amazon, tech won't help.

      Sorry, that link leads back here :(

      Google

      Sam Keys amazon.com

      instead. Eye opening.

    2. Notas Badoff
      FAIL

      Re: BS, there is no will at Amazon, tech won't help.

      How about 183 reviews since Apr 8 2015 from one 'person'?

      http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A3HKMMD7KTT97W/ref=pdp_new

      And that was just picking one Keys book and then one reviewer at random. That's 2+ reviews a day. Scanning I saw 5-6+ 'reviews' done in one day. They can't really have spent hours laughing with their kids over the 400 Yo Mamma jokes book, they were too busy stuffing reviews into Amazon.

      Amazon is so pwned. They need to hire some former Wikipedia editors to give them ideas how to fight fraud. Which hours editing in a day, which identical IPs, throw out proxied IPs, look for common text patterns, look for 'buddy' systems, etc. Thing is, you figure out one, you will usually identify 10's - 100's of bad edits/reviews in one whack.

      Wow, Amazon just isn't trying at all.

      1. MrRtd

        Re: BS, there is no will at Amazon, tech won't help.

        Followed the link you provided, and was not disappointed. Based on a quick look over the reviews by the reviewer Alex, I've deduced that Alex is either a man or a woman, has children which at least one is a daughter, is over-weight, buys many life changing books, has an iphone because s/he buys lots of accessories, into photography, has a dog, into programming with Python, and every review is 4 or 5 stars. A total of 183 reviews since April 2015. Is Alex an amazonian-shopaholic or something else?

      2. gerdesj Silver badge

        Re: BS, there is no will at Amazon, tech won't help.

        "How about 183 reviews since Apr 8 2015 from one 'person'?"

        Supreme Eye Treatment Cream by DIVA Fit & Sexy - 5 stars, comment: Great Helpful

        Wild Willie's Beard Elixir - 5 stars, comment: Really, really great

        Alex is certainly a person of few words. Still I'm sure that rejuvenated beard looks great whilst following the advice from "Deer Hunting For Beginners" ("Great Guide")

        This stuff: "FLUSH By Pursue Nutrition" frankly scares me but it must be OK, Alex says it's ......... "Great".

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: BS, there is no will at Amazon, tech won't help.

        Amazon is so pwned. They need to hire some former Wikipedia editors to give them ideas how to fight fraud.

        No need. Fraudulent online product reviews - whether created by people or software - is a widely-studied area. There's plenty of extant work that Amazon could be making use of to detect and remove some of the fraudulent reviews.

        They don't because, as other posters have pointed out, the economic incentives are against it. Fraudulent reviews mostly work to increase sales, either directly (fraudulent positive reviews) or indirectly (for example, by getting people emotionally invested in a product category). Improving the quality of reviews is almost entirely a cost center for Amazon, because their own reputation doesn't suffer significantly from the low quality of reviews. Until a significant subset of their customers start blaming Amazon for review issues and shopping elsewhere, they won't be motivated to make any real improvements.

    3. rob miller

      Re: BS, there is no will at Amazon, tech won't help.

      > Then I bought a book by this guy which totally blew my mind on fraud.

      what is that book or author?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. JLV Silver badge

    "Ruby Programming Professional Made Easy 2nd Edition: Expert Ruby Programming Language Success in a Day for any Computer User (Ruby, HTML, C Programming, ... C++. C, C++ Programming, Computer Program) "

    Sam Key - author

    Mouthful, eh? Gotta get all those keywords in.

    Basically, this guy (and others) are gaming the review system. Put a lot of fake lipstick on your pig and watch the suckers bite because they are buying a 4.5 star, 60+ review jewel (they are "legit" reviews, confirmed purchase and all that).

    The first chapter is reasonably well-written. That's after all what will be in the sample download. Past that, it stops abruptly. In this case, book didn't even cover IF THEN logic in Ruby.

    Amazon knows this is a scam and does nothing. I don't expect or want them to police the fake reviews. I want them to ban the author entirely, he's just a clever 21st century snake oil salesman. If vendors were punished for using fake reviews, then it would stop pretty quickly (albeit perhaps with new games of spiking fake reviews onto your competitors to get them banned).

    This whole Amazon initiative smells like a whitewash exercise to my cynical self.

  13. pop_corn

    Just trundle over to fiverr dot com, you can by a handful of fake reviews for a.... fiver!

    1. Roq D. Kasba

      Better still, use Amazon's own Mechanical Turk service

  14. small and stupid

    For a start the review should have 2 marks, one for the product, and one for the purchase.

    So if a vendor sells you a perfectly good product and screws up the delivery you can put

    Product 4*

    The Ono-Sendai Fnord3000 is an excellent mid range widget fettler.

    Purchase 0*

    **** seller gave delivery job to Yodel... etc

    1. DanDanDan

      They do this already. The problem is that the "supplier" review is too difficult to find, so people leave the review next to the product. Then when a better supplier comes along and sells the good product, no-one buys it because of the stupid people.

      Then people complain about the supplier review next to the product and so the review gets removed and then people come onto the reg forums and moan about it like they're not the idiots. Ugh!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why would a reseller police positive reviews?

    Maybe a cynical question, but explain to me why a reseller should police fake positive reviews? As long as a good enough percentage doesn't bother to get their money back it is profit for them to just allow it.

    Don't start talking about "trust", please, that quaint idea disappears first when a company reaches enough volume.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why would a reseller police positive reviews?

      "explain to me why a reseller should police fake positive reviews?"

      Because the competition authorities regard this sort of thing as anti-competitive, and trading standards officials would regard it as fraud? In the UK, our competition authorities are investigating fake reviews at the moment. As breaches of competition law often attract eye-watering fines, you'd think that the companies hosting the reviews might conclude that they are at risk of collusion charges simply by knowing of the risk and doing little or nothing.

    2. JLV Silver badge

      Re: Why would a reseller police positive reviews?

      That's a fair question and I'll try to address it from the profit motive.

      Because Amazon has reached such high volumes. They are the top dog in online retailing so they have the furthest to fall.

      Because online retailing is all about trust and tolerating obvious leeches is a reputational risk.

      Because Amazon has a huge stock market valuation and even higher P/E ratio. That P/E is justified by the belief that Amazon can extend into more offerings. Few new Amazon ventures will be safe from a perception of sleaze tolerance.

      Amazon has been hit in the press before, from the perspective of how easy it is to conduct transactions to buy reviews. And they are taking the review brokers to court. But in this case, Amazon came off as the aggrieved party. They couldn't exactly know exactly what was fake and I will be the first to say that the risk of nuking real reviews by mistake is a good defense for not just going medieval on anything that smells like a rat (like the guy further down who says he disregards anything above or below a 3).

      However, with obvious, repeatedly reported upon, fakers that are still operational, Amazon is a lot more visibly in the know. The products in case are, objectively, scams. The reviewers are all shills and visibly so. Customers have complained about it, been acknowledged, posted about it and you still see the scammers. And Amazon's own cross-referencing system makes it easy to follow the sleaze. If you go to the "Customers Also Bought Items By" on the author's page, you can see the other vendors that are using this pool of the same reviewers and drilling into those products brings up the same disgruntled 1 star reviewers asking why this is allowed to go on.

      This is not in need of some fancy undercover investigation on Fiverr.com. Out of a court of law's burden of proof, this is damning evidence of neglect by Amazon.

      To put it differently, if, like your question is asking, the neglect is due to a profit motive, rather than say legal uncertainties about how to proceed, then this is a bit like Lenovo's recent problems. How much money are they making from low volume, but obvious scammers, versus how much do they have at risk if it blows up in their face?

      Benefit to risk ratio seems overwhelmingly to favor at least getting to plausible deniability, which means shutting down obviously cheating vendors. Purely from a tooth and claw capitalist point of view, not altruism in the least bit.

  16. Mike Brown

    Surely everyone has worked out amazon reviews by now? 1 to 3.5 stars: crap. 3.5 to 4: ok. 4 to 4.5: excellent. And finally 5 stars: lies.

  17. RyanS2015

    Dont forget the Vine program

    Whenever someone reviews a product from the Vine program, it is exceedingly long and exceedingly positive. Rubbish!

  18. Sarahax

    It's about time

    Even though I know Amazon is infested with fake reviews, I continue to write reviews in the hope that a poor sod like me who scans the reviews before buying a product will be able to pick out an honest opinion from all of the sock puppet dreck. Scanning this stuff takes time, so I've worked out a few rules of thumb:

    Disregard all of the generic 5* reviews eg:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and could not put it down until I had finished.

    Pay attention to reviews around the 3* level. Usually (on fiction, at any rate) these are the real ones.

    Disregard all reviews written by someone who has only reviewed that author's work (assume it is his publicist or mother)

    Disregard any book with less than 16 reviews. If this seems a bit arbitary, I have noticed that many authors seem to 'seed' their reviews with 10 x 5*. After that, you start to get genuine ones.

    If as a reader and customer I can notice these trends, I would not have thought it was beyond Amazon's clever coders to spot these and a lot more too - and do something about it.

  19. GadgetViper

    Fake, but sometimes funny

    For the ultimate Amazon fake customer reviews, check out the The Wenger 16999 knife, it will have you in stitches: http://gadgetviper.com/wenger-16999-knife-amazon-reviews/

    1. jason 7 Silver badge

      Re: Fake, but sometimes funny

      More a fan of the Paul Ross and Sue Pollard pictures.

  20. jason 7 Silver badge

    I find amusing...

    ...is if you look at most bits of computer hardware you'll see 400+ 4-5 star reviews saying "Amazing! Did the job perfectly!" etc.

    Then you have one or two indignant sounding 1 star reviews that say -

    "Hurummph...it's pants! Didn't work with Mac!"

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But ...

    They'd be wise to focus their attention on the inaccuracy of reviews BECAUSE of their own system first.

    For example, any Blu-Ray disc of a film that has previously had multiple DVD and VHS releases will include reviews for those previous releases on its page. Even if the blu-ray is a spot on Criterion release, a 15 year old VHS review can drag its score down. Amazon has been aware of this issue for years and refuses to correct it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But ...

      Amazon often send me "can you answer this person's query" on a product which I have reviewed. Unfortunately the Bluetooth loudspeaker I bought and reviewed is no longer available. For some reason Amazon have moved the review to a page reviewing an entirely different manufacturer's Bluetooth speaker with almost no similar properties.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think Amazon should employ Stuart Ashens to create a reference review for every product on the site. Okay, so he couldn't complete the task in a lifetime but would give us all endless hours of entertainment.

  23. Ed_UK

    It's a sad day

    Amazon (UK) have wiped out all the reviews of the must-have book Penetrating Wagner's Ring (Digaetani). It's at least the second purge they've had, depriving me of of giggles. Fortunately, Amazon.com still has some er- useful reviews of this scholarly subject:

    http://www.amazon.com/Penetrating-Wagners-Ring-Anthology-Paperback/dp/0306804379/ref=sr_1_7

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's a sad day

      Try this book's reviews for some humour

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Avoid-Huge-Ships-John-Trimmer/dp/0870334336

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @It's a sad day

    wicked funny, so I'll share this one about Dance with Dragons. Somehow I don't think he's a paid shill.

    http://www.amazon.com/review/RQMHSVDEC80QE

  25. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    So. How are Amazon going to guard against the shil reviewer who clearly works for the manufacturer? They'll be verified purchasers, but will be just as bogus as they ever were.

    And how about those "Vine Reviews"? Like the ones for a Dremel 3D printer who raved and 5 starred it last Christmas. Shame abouy the reviews that came later from saps who paid a grand for the printer and found the issues the Vine Reviewers uaccountably overlooked.

  26. small and stupid

    Old hat no doubt but Henry Raddicks amazon reviews create an entire comic universe

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/AA9IP6AYACFK5/102-4649572-3084161?tag=viglink20265-20

  27. Maty

    my fave review

    ' Was most disappointed with the novel. The characters are ill-defined and one-dimensional. The plot had no unusual turns and was easily predictable.'

    This being the review for a technical non-fiction book on the Roman army. The problem being that any fool can write a review, and many fools do.

    http://www.amazon.com/Legionary-Roman-Soldiers-Unofficial-Manual/product-reviews/0500251517/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_one?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar&showViewpoints=0

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