Anonymous Amazon critics revealed

by David A. Chappell

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CNN reports that there was a glitch in Amazon's Canadian web site, which revealed the identity of book reviewers for a whole week.

Apparently there were a fair amount of authors who were logging in anonymously and posting favorable reviews for their books.

I think that's a sad state of affairs. I don't agree with what they did. Although I can understand why the temptation is there. The problem with Amazon is that anyone can post a bad review of your book, and you really have no recourse. There's no threaded discussion aspect of it. A single bad review from someone who has an axe to grind with you can bring an otherwise 5 star rating down to a 3.5.

My hats off to O'Reilly for disallowing anonymous postings on this web site.

FYI - Richard Monson-Haefel's discovered this problem a few months ago. It seems some folks have taken this to a new level by impersonating well known public figures. His weblog has a good discussion thread on it.