Friday, March 25, 2011

Bill Cunningham... or Robert J. Rubel? More gems from Amazon

One Robert J. Rubel wrote a book that's been published by Nazca Plains Corp., and is sold on Amazon under the title of Squirms, Screams and Squirts: Going from Great Sex to Extraordinary Sex (looks like one of those books Harriet denominates as "heated"). The book has received a good number of reviews, most of them five-star (naturally; though it's got some one-starrers too). One of the positive reviews has been written by a certain Bill Cunningham (click on the image to see the full-size version):

What makes this review interesting is the comment under it, by C. B. Gurney who says that, in another review of his, Bill Cunningham claimed to be the author of the "Squirms" book (click on the image to see the full-size version):

And indeed, among other things, Bill Cunningham reviewed Cleopatra's Secret, Cool Mint, where he stated just that (the review can be found through Bill Cunningham's reviews collection; it's on the very first page there).

But if that's not enough, we can visit his profile page and discover that, yes indeed, it appears that "Bill Cunningham" is a non-real name assigned to an account set up by, um... yeah, Robert J. Rubel (click on the image to see the full-size version):

So here we have a smartass author setting up sock-puppet accounts (how many? we've just found one: is there more?) so as to post five-star reviews for his own books right under the watchful eye of Amazon — who does what? Nothing. Yet, clearly, they know the real name of the account owner — so why not compare it with the name of the author of the book under review and disallow posting (and maybe freeze the account altogether) if it's the same name? For a technological powerhouse that Amazon is this should not be too difficult, no? Yet this is not done. Why? (That was rhetorically.)

Btw, "Bill Cunningham" reviewed many books by Robert J. Rubel, not just this one (five stars, of course), just peruse his reviews. For example: Protocols: A Variety of Views: Power Exchange Books' Resource Series by Robert Rubel PhD (click to enlarge):

or Protocol Handbook for the Leather Slave: Theory and Practice by Robert J. Rubel

or more (and more, and then some):

So, once again, why does Amazon do nothing to prevent this sort of thing? It is not a difficult thing to do.

"Educational Sociologist, Author, Respected Leatherman
Robert J. (Bob) Rubel, PhD"
(whose respectability does not, apparently, prevent him from posting bullshit five-star reviews for his own books under an assumed name).
Unrelatedly: have you noticed that Harriet is 738 now? She was ~760 a couple of days ago, and 749 yesterday. Looks like "Team Harriet" found a way to push her back up somehow.

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