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From: New York Times
In a Race to Out-Rave, 5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5
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. Few want to risk being left behind.
Sandra Parker, a freelance writer who was hired by a review factory this spring to pump out Amazon reviews for $10 each, said her instructions were simple. “We were not asked to provide a five-star review, but would be asked to turn down an assignment if we could not give one,” said Ms. Parker, whose brief notices for a dozen memoirs are stuffed with superlatives like “a must-read” and “a lifetime’s worth of wisdom.” …
“Everyone’s trying to do something to make themselves look better,” he said. “Some of them, if they cannot generate authentic reviews, may hire somebody to do it.” …
Negative reviews also abound on the Web; they are often posted on restaurant and hotel sites by business rivals.