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When a review isn't one

Those who have accessed Amazon in order to buy a book will have seen reviews of the particular book.  But are those reviews kosher?   In many cases it would seem not.

"After several well-publicized cases involving writers buying or manipulating their reviews, Amazon is cracking down. Writers say thousands of reviews have been deleted from the shopping site in recent months.

Amazon has not said how many reviews it has killed, nor has it offered any public explanation. So its sweeping but hazy purge has generated an uproar about what it means to review in an era when everyone is an author and everyone is a reviewer.

Is a review merely a gesture of enthusiasm or should it be held to a higher standard? Should writers be allowed to pass judgment on peers the way they have always done offline or are they competitors whose reviews should be banned? Does a grou
ndswell of raves for a new book mean anything if the author is soliciting the comments?"

Read the full report "Giving Mom’s Book Five Stars? Amazon May Cull Your Review" in The New York Times.


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