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Jan 12, 2014 Court Orders Yelp To Identify Anonymous Reviewers

QUOTE: The Court of Appeals of Virginia ruled on Tuesday that Yelp has to reveal the names of seven reviewers who left anonymous, negative reviews of a business, which maintains that the names are critical in pursuing a defamation case against the reviewers over what it claims were false reviews from non-customers....from a Yelp spokesperson: “We are disappointed that the Virginia Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that fails to adequately protect free speech rights on the internet, and which allows businesses to seek personal details about website users — without any evidence of wrongdoing — in efforts to silence online critics,”

Dec 08, 2012 Court Orders Yelp User To Change Review. Slippery Slope?

QUOTE: Have you ever left a negative review of a business? Depending on what you say and how the business in question reacts, that freedom of speech thing you’ve grown so fond of may not be enough to hold up in a court of law.

Aug 26, 2012 The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy

QUOTE: "The wheels of online commerce run on positive reviews," said Bing Liu, a data-mining expert at the University of Illinois, Chicago, whose 2008 research showed that 60 percent of the millions of product reviews on Amazon are five stars and an additional 20 percent are four stars. "But almost no one wants to write five-star reviews, so many of them have to be created."

New York Times
Aug 04, 2012 Against Enthusiasm: The epidemic of niceness in online book culture.

QUOTE: The problem with Liking is that it’s a critical dead-end, a conversation nonstarter. It’s opinion without evidence—or, really, posture without opinion....A better literary culture would be one that's not so dependent on personal esteem and mutual reinforcement. It would not treat offense or disagreement as toxic.

Feb 16, 2012 Discounting Bad Reviews

QUOTE: “If you would like to keep this item, we could refund you $7.99 and offer 1 year warranty. but could you please change the feedback rate to 4?..."...It is hard not to suspect that across the Internet, a lot of unhappy customers are being bought off this way.

New York Times
Jan 26, 2012 For $2 a Star, an Online Retailer Gets 5-Star Product Reviews

QUOTE: As the collective wisdom of the crowd displaces traditional advertising, the roaring engines of e-commerce are being stoked by favorable reviews. The VIP deal reflects the importance merchants place on these evaluations — and the lengths to which they go to game the system. Fake reviews are drawing the attention of regulators. They have cracked down on a few firms for deceitful hyping and suspect these are far from isolated instances.

New York Times
Dec 11, 2011 How to Fix Fact-Checking

QUOTE: The Standard piece offers up some genuine examples of faulty fact-checking in service of its tendentious argument. The problem with fact-checking is not that it’s a liberal media plot. The problem is that fact-checking – like everything – is sometimes a lazy, half-assed business.

Dec 06, 2011 Crystal Cox, Oregon Blogger, Isn't a Journalist, Concludes U.S. Court--Imposes $2.5 Million Judgement on Her

QUOTE: A U.S. District Court judge in Portland has drawn a line in the sand between "journalist" and "blogger." And for Crystal Cox, a woman on the latter end of that comparison, the distinction has cost her $2.5 million....was sued by investment firm Obsidian Finance Group in January for defamation, to the tune of $10 million...

Seattle Weekly
Nov 30, 2011 Patient sues dentist over gag order, gets Medical Justice to backtrack

QUOTE: A patient has filed a class-action lawsuit against his New York dentist over her attempts to use copyright law to gag the patient's online reviews of her services. Robert Lee, who recently moved to Maryland, has asked a New York federal court to declare that his comments are protected under copyright's fair use doctrine, that the dentist's attempts to gag him breach dental ethics, and that the "privacy agreement" the patient was forced to sign is invalid and illegal under New York law.

Ars Technica
Nov 26, 2011 Sure, Post a Review. But the Last Word Won’t Be Yours (The Haggler)

QUOTE: All the revenue comes from transport companies! With that in mind, should anyone trust the reviews on the site?

New York Times
Sep 02, 2011 AOL Says Arrington No Longer Works at TechCrunch

QUOTE: AOL said on Friday that Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of its TechCrunch blog and one of the most prominent voices in Silicon Valley, no longer had an editorial role at the company because he also invested in tech companies.

New York Times
Aug 19, 2011 In a Race to Out-Rave, 5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5

QUOTE: The boundless demand for positive reviews has made the review system an arms race of sorts. As more five-star reviews are handed out, even more five-star reviews are needed....Determining the number of fake reviews on the Web is difficult. But it is enough of a problem to attract a team of Cornell researchers, who recently published a paper about creating a computer algorithm for detecting fake reviewers.

New York Times
May 21, 2011 A Rave, a Pan, or Just a Fake? (The Haggler)

QUOTE: As a consumer review Web site, Yelp is so big and influential that it has given rise to a small, semi-underground group of entrepreneurs who, for a fee, will post a rave about your company. Others will post a negative review about your rivals. Yes, this is very sneaky, and it’s a continuing problem for Yelp, which is locked in a “Spy vs. Spy”-style contest with fake reviewers.

New York Times
May 27, 2010 The Magic Behind Rating Apps

QUOTE: The customer-review process isn’t perfect. Occasionally, it can be abused, or manipulated. But this week, I came across something I’d never seen before: an app that had earned dozens of one-star (terrible) ratings — yet the written reviews were ecstatic.

New York Times
May 03, 2010 Tear away the web's veil of anonymity

QUOTE: Respectable newspapers, for example, have long been reluctant to publish anonymous letters in their print publications, allowing writers to withhold their names only if it is necessary for their protection, and, even then, only after establishing that the writers are who they say they are. But on newspaper websites, pseudonyms are allowed and are widely used.

Financial Times (FT)
Apr 08, 2010 Complicating Relationships in Media: Apple, NY Times Dealings Raise Questions

QUOTE: By appearing on stage at the Apple event and by launching an iPad app that the Times wants to monetize in every possible way — an app from which Apple will likely make money as well — the Times is becoming more of a business partner with a company it covers incessantly.

Mar 29, 2010 Reputations at stake, companies try to alter word of mouth online

QUOTE: Liu said Yelp's salespeople phoned repeatedly, telling her that if she advertised on the site, negative reviews would move lower on Scion's page and positive reviews would move up. Liu decided to fight back, joining nine other businesses this month in a class-action lawsuit against Yelp alleging similar tactics -- claims that Yelp executives deny.

Washington Post
Jul 16, 2009 A Hollywood Blogger Feared by Executives

QUOTE: In the three years since she [Nikki Finke] started Deadline Hollywood Daily, a daily blog about the entertainment business, her combination of old-school skills — she is a relentless reporter — and new-media immediacy has made her a must-click look into the ragingly insecure id of Hollywood.

New York Times
Sep 15, 2008 Universal Cancels Metallica Interview over Torrent Mention

QUOTE: '"The reviewer explains exactly where one should go in order to download the file that totally infringes on a copyright. It's not only an illegal file, but an altered file. The reviewer also writes that this is how the album should have sounded."'

Jul 24, 2008 What Product Reviewers Never Tell You

QUOTE: When a product is great, my reviews are on point. When it sucks, I'm honest about that. But what if the product I receive is great, but the one you get sucks?

PC Magazine
Dec 04, 2007 Critical Condition

QUOTE: Faint Praise begins. "They have been frustrating people ever since.... For two centuries reviews have been lambasted by critics, often reviewers themselves, who have complained that reviews are profligate in their praise, hostile in their criticism, cravenly noncommittal, biased, inaccurate, illiterate, or dull. Generally, the argument runs, American reviewing has never been worse." Pool cites a well-known essay by Elizabeth Hardwick published in Harper's in 1959 titled "The Decline of Book Reviewing," which read like a requiem then; and yet here we are, almost a half-century later, still crabbing and singing the same old blues.

New Republic, The (TNR)
Nov 11, 2007 Faking It

QUOTE: It seems hard to believe that a book called “How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read” would hit the best-seller lists in France, where books are still regarded as sacred objects....emphasizes the reader’s role in creating meaning. He wants to show us how much we lie about the way we read, to ourselves as well as to others, and to assuage our guilt about the way we actually read and talk about books.

New York Times
Dec 23, 2005 On Opinion Page, a Lobby's Hand Is Often Unseen

QUOTE: But organizations like the institute...are facing new and uncomfortable scrutiny over their links to special interest groups after...Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff had paid at least two outside writers for opinion articles promoting the work of his clients.

New York Times
Nov 22, 2005 Cancer Institute to Drop Newsletter: Online Publication Printed Criticisms About Group, Director

QUOTE: Officials at the $4.8 billion institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, said the action was a cost-cutting move...But others interpreted the decision as an attempt at information control.

Washington Post
Jan 31, 2005 Law Cautions Against Outside PR Spending -- Sort Of: Rarely Applied Provision Has Been Interpreted in a Way That Condones Many Agency Public Relations Efforts

QUOTE: The outcry over the Education Department contract -- coming on the heels of the CMS flap and a similar violation involving prepackaged news reports at the Office of National Drug Control Policy -- has stoked interest in Congress for reviewing all federal agencies' PR efforts.

Washington Post
Jul 29, 2004 Amazon halts tit-for-tat critics: Authors and publishers face credit card barrier to anonymously puffing their books

QUOTE: After mounting concern about abuse of its open door policy regarding feedback, Amazon has begun a new system, Real Names, which requires reviewers to provide their credit card details before posting a comment.

Guardian Unlimited
Oct 02, 2003 Filmmakers Criticize Move to Curb Piracy

QUOTE: Independent filmmakers strongly criticized...a decision by the Motion Picture Association of America to stop sending out copies of new movies in advance of the awards season in an effort to halt piracy.

New York Times
Jan 22, 2003 Wealth of Opinions: Economist and Columnist Paul Krugman Has Emerged as Bush's Harshest Critic

QUOTE: It's a very uncomfortable thing to question the honesty and motives of your leaders...I'm saying that the men who are controlling our destiny are lying. Not many journalists or many people want to confront them. . . . I probably have a bloody-mindedness that a longtime journalist wouldn't.

Washington Post
Jan 18, 2003 Court Rules Against Network Associates' Software Review Policy

QUOTE: A New York court has ruled that Network Associates, a maker of popular antivirus and computer security software, may not require people who buy the software to get permission from the company before publishing reviews of its products.

New York Times
May 05, 2002 Checking It Twice

QUOTE: Cate Paterson faced a familiar publishing problem: Her work was locked out of the bestseller lists...Or so it was until December 2000, when a new high-tech service called Booktrack launched in Australia.

Washington Post
Aug 26, 2001 The Failure of Tech Journalism

QUOTE: [Information Technology reporters] filled their magazines and web sites with completely unaggressive, pathetic coverage of some of the biggest criminals of the last decade.
Jul 19, 2001 CBS Finally Finds An Entree Into Intern Story

QUOTE: The "CBS Evening News," the only newscast...that has studiously ignored the Chandra Levy story, finally got in the game last night.

Washington Post
Jun 20, 2001 Hated It! a Travesty! No Stars! What a Mess!: Hollywood Rethinks Its Ads After Faked Blurbs

QUOTE: ...the Sony-owned studio admitted that its advertising department had invented a critic named David Manning at the real-life Ridgefield Press in Connecticut

Washington Post
May 08, 2001 Pay to Publish, Pay for Review

QUOTE: ...the purchased professional review [from] seems to be as much a contradiction in terms as those "free gifts"....As a reviewer and board member of the National Book Critics Circle, Weber won't take such reviews very seriously...

May 01, 2001 The New Culture of Criticism Is Hurting You and Your Company

QUOTE: ...the three criticism curses that make companies put the breaks on innovation (and worse, put their best employees -- the innovators -- on the defensive):

Fast Company