Responsibilities as a Reviewer

I wrote a blog post a while back about the responsibilities of a writer and whether or not we need an Author Code of Conduct. With the news that some authors are giving their books incredible reviews under false names, buying good reviews, and the wave of nasty one-star reviews by troll reviewers, I’m wondering if new now need a Reviewer Code of Conduct. Don’t believe me that it’s bad? I saw a post by an Amazon Top Reviewer on a Facebook group, who was upset at the fact her five-star review was labelled fake, just because it was a five star.

I have been leery of reviews for years now, but that was aimed at the movie industry. Too many times I’ve read or heard a bad review about a movie, only to learn the movie wasn’t as bad as it was made out to be. When reader reviews appeared on books, I saw it as a breath of fresh air. Honest opinions from those who actually read the book. Sure, not everyone was going to like it, but it would be honest.

How disappointed am I?

I don’t understand the mentality of these people who see it as ethical to give glowing reviews to their own work. Do they have such little confidence in their writing that they feel it’s required? And ego boost? Are they so desperate for a good word that honestly doesn’t figure in to the equation? The fact that some ‘big name’ authors then go and give other authors bad reviews under false names is disgusting. Sure, he apologised, but that’s just because he GOT CAUGHT.

Too bad there wasn’t a way we could revoke their author or reviewer privileges for a while. Maybe then they’d see, that like many things in life, writing and reviewing is a privilege, not a right.


About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

7 Responses to Responsibilities as a Reviewer

  1. I like the idea of suspending a reviewer’s reviewing privilege if he were caught doing something unethical. The only problem with it is that now you need a monitoring body to review and try each case of probable wrongdoing.

    • That would be a good idea, but I could see problems with that. People feeling they were ‘un-justly’ suspended. It would all be easier if people just acted like adults.

      • E.b. Black says:

        I’ve already been accused by Amazon of writing a fake review for a book that I legitimately bought outside of my Amazon account, even though the review wasn’t a hundred percent positive or negative. I wouldn’t trust them to try those cases fairly because Amazon already deletes reviews regularly and often deletes legitimate reviews, which is also wrong in my opinion. It’s a huge mess right now.

  2. E.b. Black says:

    We need a site for writing like Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the only site I trust when I’m trying to find reviews for movies.

  3. BigBear85 says:

    I don’t see why good or bad reviews bother people. I blog and now podcast and my podcast got a 1 star review noting bad sound quality as why I got the review.

    To be totally honest the fact the person to the time to review meant they listened and are still listening for improvement which to me is a compliment in it self.

    The same things applies to book because if a bad review comes in with a true an real criticism then that means your getting out there and people are listen or in this case reading. So why the unethical behavior for good reviews Idont know because you learn from bag reviews just like you do the good and it takes both to grown an develope.

    • I agree, there’s nothing wrong with bad reviews as long as it’s in the right context. It isn’t so much whether the review is good or bad, but the intent behind it. If you bash a book for no good reason (which many of them are), you reduce the entire rating system to something along the lines of a school-yard tantrum. l

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