the candler blog

Paid Reviews

Criticism, Link

David Streitfeld for The New York Times, reporting on the dubious dealings of one Todd Rutherford:

Suddenly it hit him. Instead of trying to cajole others to review a client’s work, why not cut out the middleman and write the review himself? Then it would say exactly what the client wanted — that it was a terrific book. A shattering novel. A classic memoir. Will change your life. Lyrical and gripping, Stunning and compelling. Or words to that effect.

Disgusting.

Folks are putting more and more stock in customer reviews which, as we know, are bullshit. These systems will always be gamed. As long as there are fewer outlets to distribute digital wares, we’re stuck in this uphill battle against robots, hucksters and thieves.

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