Thursday, February 12, 2009

Punish the Victim, Once More (S.Tepper's Untimely Demise)

Have you noticed that the prolific Amazon poster S.Tepper has apparently been banished and all his comments wiped out ('deleted-by-Amazon')? On, whenever it comes to a shill vs a guy with enough civic spirit to complain about it, it's the guy who will lose.

Another telling nuance is that when such a total-wipeout event happens, all posts marked as 'deleted by Amazon' show different dates, usually the date of original posting of the deleted comment — despite the fact that they have all been deleted in one shot on a date that has nothing to do with the original posting date; in fact it can be years later. Obviously this is incorrect, but let's speculate why Amazon would be doing it this way?

Perhaps to create an impression that every post was deleted individually, upon a human inspection, for something being legitimately wrong with it? Maybe the idea was to hide the fact that a lot of such deletions are a gigantic one-blow event, maybe even faceless, triggered automatically, say, by gangs of shills in cahoots clicking with gleeful abandon on the 'report this' button or something similar? Or by one of them operating a bunch of sock-puppet accounts (once more: setting up a voting account is exceptionally easy (amazing that it is so, no?) — all you need is to type a bit of text (any text: gibberish, anything) into a couple of fields on the login page — you won't be able to comment or review (gotta buy something for that), but you will for some reason be given the right to vote).
Unrelately — or rather only somewhat on topic: check out this new post about Amazon reviews system: Amazon: Customers Fight Back Over Fake Amazon Reviews.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Harriet in Turbo Mode

The Bernie Madoff of Amazon reviewing -- I'm talking of Harriet Klausner of course -- has posted no less than 108 reviews today (the day's not over yet). No, you haven't misread: it is one hundred and eight. Somewhat redundantly, I'm sure, let me add that it was not after a couple of years' silence that she did this: her previous batch is but a couple of days old.

One of the blurbs is titled suburb romantic fantasy (meaning "superb" I think), which gives extra weight to the theory Mr Fleisig proposed a while ago: that Harriet reviews are really dictated on tape and then sent to be transcribed to the Third World somewhere, where the transcribers make these phonetically plausible intepretation errors. The resulting "reviews" are then posted directly, without human oversight (a spell checker would let the "suburb" through since it's a valid word... well, I mean to say, spell-checker would, if Harriet used it, which it is obvious from her usual style that she doesn't.

Anyway, I think a 108-review batch is something of a rarity: I do remember a 98 one, but going over a hundred is an achievement even for such a great reviewer as Harriet Klausner (who, let me remind the reader, herself claims to read only (ahem) two books a day...

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Belkin Saga (hiring shills on Amazon)

I'm somewhat late with this, but it's worth checking out. Apparently a product manager working for Belkin was at some point hiring shills to praise their inferior products (on Amazon, of course). A few links to check out: Exclusive: Belkin’s Development Rep is Hiring People to Write Fake Positive Amazon Reviews (courtesy of The Daily Background), Belkin Employee Sheds Light On Belkin's Supposedly Dirty Practices, and finally a relevant thread from the Amazon discussion board.

Just to whet your appetite, here's a snapshot of the original job request (click on the image to see the better-quality full-size version):

Unrelatedly: Visit this interesting page and search on what? on "klausner" of course.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

243 Phoney Reviews in January 2009

In the event anyone might have thought 2009 would bring about a change in Harriet Klausner's conduct, sorry no kewpie doll.

The Queen of Frauds posted -- no, make that excreted -- 243 abominably written phoney reviews on Amazon. Since she regularly dumps her reviews on at least 17 other sites, who knows how many of her reviews were actually inflicted on the human race during the first month of the year.

Harriet is not slowing down. Speeding up is more like it. She averaged 7.7 reviews a day in 2008 and for 2009 she's up to about 8 a day. For someone who claims to read "only" 2 books a day, that's quite an accomplishment. It also means she is admittedly a fake.

One of Harriet's reviews on Amazon was removed in mid-January after complaints that it included the f-bomb word. But another one of her reviews is still floating at the top of the pool like a turd with the f-bomb word gratuitously used. Amazon has it standards, and they seem to be to allow the shill that is Klausner to help Amazon flog books to an unsuspecting public.

The only good thing is that as of this writing Harriet has slipped to no. 523 on the "new" reviewing system. However, her badge still proclaims her to be "No. 1 Reviewer." As if quantity means anything.