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The New York Times on Amazon.com Fraud

Posted by monsonhaefel on February 15, 2004 at 8:22 PM PST

The New York Times recently published a story about authors anonymously posting bogus five star reviews on their own books. I was not mentioned in the article, but I was interviewed by the reporter, Ann Harman – she had read a blog I posted previously about fraud in the Amazon.com review process.Anyway, I think the reporter missed the main point. The issue is not anonymous reviews, it’s the use of fake identities to post bogus reviews.

There is, in my opinion, only one solution to Amazon.com's fraud-ridden book review system: Only customers who purchased the book from Amazon.com should be able to post a review on that book. Reviewers should be allowed anonymity, as long as Amazon.com keeps track of the reviewer's real identity. Amazon.com should not allow any Tom, Dick or Harry with a Yahoo! Or HotMail Email address to post reviews on any books they want – that's the system they have now and it has resulted in a review process that cannot be trusted. If you buy the book from Amazon.com, then you can review it.

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