When you want something on Amazon that you’re not too familiar with, reviews are usually your best bet to help you with your decision. And on Amazon, that’s as easy as just scrolling down the page to its user reviews. The one problem with that is, what if those reviews are fake?
It’s not uncommon anymore to find books with reviews written by friends or family of the author filled with nothing but praise for what is sometimes a mediocre piece of literature that you would end up disappointed with. Sometimes it might even be people paid to boost the overall score of the product!
Luckily, The New York Times is reporting that Amazon has been culling its reviews as of late. The company hasn’t been public about it or the process behind selecting which reviews to eliminate, but the evidence is there with the steadily shrinking number of reviews. What’s interesting is that many of the deleted reviews tend to be those of friends or family of the authors, which tend to be biased. I know it’s possible that they won’t be biased, but as a consumer, I think I would rather read reviews of people who have no affiliation with the product in question.
It’s great that Amazon has finally started doing this, but they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble if they started much earlier — there are a ton of reviews on the site, and fakes might be hard to distinguish from the legitimate. Good luck Amazon, you’re going to need it.