Someone I know who's a successful fiction author once told me that the first five or so reviews of his latest book on Amazon all came from family and friends. Since then, I've been a bit more careful when reading the various Amazon reviews. Last week, though, Amazon's Canadian site had a bit of a glitch that revealed a little more than was expected in the reviews. Any anonymous reviewer was suddenly shown with their full name - which meant that authors who reviewed their own books were suddenly unmasked. Not surprisingly, they seemed to give themselves high marks. It seems like this should be fairly simple to prevent. While Amazon does keep the names anonymous, they obviously know who they are. Therefore, if the (hidden) name matches the name of the author, the review should be disallowed. Of course, that just means reviewers will do their reviews under other names...
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