In what I've begun to think of as the Sock-Puppet Saga, thoughtful people are presenting ideas to help authors overcome the reprehensible practice that has become known as sock puppetry—the posting of fraudulent, negative reviews on rivals' books on online marketing and sales sites through fake identities to destroy the prospects of the rival, while at the same time posting fraudulent positive reviews through fake identities of a chosen book.
Here's an article from Forbes Magazine in which the author has come forward with practical, useful ideas for fighting back effectively. There are common-sense suggestions, like not allowing anonymous reviews and requiring reviewers to show proof that they've purchased the book they are posting a review on. And there's an intriguing idea picked up from the way Craigslist is intervening to stop people from posting fraudulent information on that site. Finally, there's the bottom-line issue of everyone involved (including all authors) acting with integrity to stop the frenzy of scrambling for reviews in order to qualify for marketing opportunities on the sites.
Given the way the system's set up, that last one sounds a little like asking authors to take the hit for poor site set-up in some ways, but the point it important, nonetheless.
Thanks for sharing this. Sad that we even have to think of this.ReplyDelete
Yes, but there's always something, isn't there, Natalie? Gives us writers some great ideas for antagonists!Delete
Unfortunately this happens. I wish people would do more of the positive, instead of tearing down those have done. Thanks for sharing this article.ReplyDelete
Yup. Let's do it, Karlene! Positive needs to happen.Delete
Thanks for the link to the Forbes article, which I read. I've seen a number of negative reviews which had nothing to do with the books, but were due to the writers venting over other things (delivery time, for example), which brought down the books' overall ratings. Some of those could be fraudulent as well, and just sad attempts to wreck a book's rating.ReplyDelete
Yes, Lin, I so agree. There's just so much hot air and wasted energy out there. It's a reminder to all of us to pay attention to what counts--the work.Delete
I can't believe people can be so brutish and low. Good for those who want to help get rid of this crud. Thanks for posting, Linda!ReplyDelete
You're welcome, Lorelei. I wish it didn't have to be posted about, but these things need to stay in the public eye so we can not only be aware, but vigilant. As always, we need to fight the good fight. :)Delete