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CD Richards

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Sham reviews

   Thread Started October 9 at 8:00PM

<< Thread Modifed October 9 at 8:02PM >>

I rarely promote anything with enough coinage to reach the front page these days, mostly I just slap a treasure chest on, so people who take the trouble to read and comment on my work get some reward (I think it's 37 cents, or something like that) for their efforts. This generally lands me somewhere on page 3 or 4 of the review page.

I made an exception recently, and put a few member cent pumps on , enough to reach the bottom half of page 1.

Today I received a review, which in spite of being somewhat lengthy, clearly indicated the "reviewer" had not read a single word of my submission. There was not one word which referred to anything it contained. Instead, the whole rant was pretty much an excuse for why they hadn't bothered to read it.

They even had the audacity to say their comment wasn't the usual thorough review they normally gave my work! This in spite of the fact that so far as I can recall, they have never before reviewed anything I've written.

Unsurprisingly, I happened to be reviewing the work of someone on my fan list, and decided to check out a couple of reviews they had received. And there, to my complete non-surprise, was exactly the same copy & pasted "review" - word for word.

When I think of the obvious time and effort some reviewers take to give helpful feedback, for often only mediocre reward, this sort of selfish scamming makes me angry. People who ONLY open works listed on the front page to get maximum payment for their review, and haven't even got the decency to read the piece.

I suppose there is not much that can be done to stop this sort of selfish behaviour, but I for one am going to start a list of "reviewers" like this, and make damn sure I never review anything they write. Or, perhaps if their stuff appears on the front page, I'll take the 70 cents to a dollar and leave a cut & paste response. I'm pretty sure if that happens, they won't be getting a five or six star review from me, because I don't think someone who has so little appreciation for what the site is about is going to be producing outstanding work.



AnnaLinda
AnnaLinda (SweetLinda)

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RE: Sham reviews

Reply on November 6, 2017 10:34 PM
Honest review?
Ha!

This is a game and you all know it..
They are just playing the game better
than you...It's not real...get it?

Just write!

nor84


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RE: Sham reviews
Reply on November 6, 2017 11:39 PM
A game? I've been here since 2006, and I don't consider it a game. SOME people want honest reviews so they can improve their craft, and that's what they should get! Reviewers who cut and paste should be reported. I know for a fact that Tom has on occasion booted someone off the site for it.

mrsmajor
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RE: Sham reviews
Reply on November 7, 2017 02:39 PM


Well, I don't think reviewing is a game, not at all...there may be some that take it as such, but most of us do not...There's been no games in what I've seen in my work...corrections are made, when needed and pleasantries between members make for a nice relationships...and I don't think I'm alone with these thoughts..


damommy
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RE: Sham reviews
Reply on November 8, 2017 12:58 PM
I hope the reviewer gets a warning. I don't think it's serious enough to get him/her kicked off. At least, I hope not.

Jannypan (Jan)
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RE: Sham reviews
Reply on November 8, 2017 01:18 PM << Modifed November 8 at 4:01PM >>
To say writing a review is a 'game' is incorrect.

Some honest reviewers write honest reviews. To them
it isn't a game. It is a facet of their desire to
help, share, & encourage other writers. It makes no
difference if those writers [those that receive reviews]
are amateur or professional.

They [reviewers] believe in what they are doing.

AnnaLinda--would you say what you wrote to some of the
renowned reviewers on FS? If you do, they will not believe you.
Well you said it & you can & you did. I heard it & don't believe it.


Writing reviews isn't a 'game.' I do not appreciate being
included in your thin, worn-out blanket of despair. I am here to learn
from others & I believe the reviews I have received are helpful &
meaningful.


If you choose not to say it aloud, then that 'speaks'.


So you believe those that review your works only do it for 'game'?
Maybe you can go play tiddlywinks & enjoy that game more than
writing reviews of other's work since it is all a 'game' to you.
Maybe any reviews you receive will be 'trashed' by you since they
mean nothing.

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO BELIEVE WRITING REVIEWS IS PART OF THE PROCESS
NOT A GAME. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AS I SUPPORT FS WRITERS/REVIEWERS.

WRITE ON!





giraffmang
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2017&16 #3 2015 #5 short story

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RE: Sham reviews
Reply on November 8, 2017 02:43 PM

Reviewing isn't a game to everyone. I'm sure some folk review purely for the funny money but there are a large number of folk who review well. Hell, there are two recognised reviewers in this thread.

I work hard at reviewing and don't take the easy route. I could review 15-20 poems for what it takes me to review one bit of decent length prose.

Sure some people copy & paste, some even rip off other peoples' reviews (it happens), but there are enough people wanting real reviews and more and more people offering real reviews as far as I can see.

let's hope it continues...


MercurySeven


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RE: Sham reviews
Reply on March 1, 2018 10:36 PM << Modifed March 1 at 10:52PM >>
I wanted to give this thread a bump because it raises an issue that's clearly fundamental to this site: is Fanstory a rankings game or a writing site?

The answer's most definitely a bit of both, to varying degrees one way or the other depending on the individual member. But reviews are the life-blood of Fanstory. Without them, very few of us would be here. They connect us intimately through our mutual sharing of art and feedback, hopefully raising not only our writing standards but our well-being as well. Those of us who don't promote much (or can't, due to time or money constraints) do not see many reviews for their work. So their feedback is limited, their opportunities to improve, grow, connect as writers are limited to a handful of comments. If they receive genuine reviews, some of those will be constructive and supportive. If they don't, they might think, "What's the point of posting?"

With that in mind, why is the site tolerating the likes of the following:

This is a good entry for the [fill in the blank] writing contest. 
Your [fill in the blank] has a clear story in blah-blah-blah. 
Well done, and good luck to you with blah-blah-blah.

Rinse. Repeat. Not exactly cut and paste, but for all intents and purposes it is. Change up a few words to prove you've skimmed through the poem and then voila! You can post review after review giving five stars and saying almost nothing about their work. The first and third lines are almost identical in every review.

Here's another:

This speaks a question of the [insert few brief choppy phrases of an overview to prove skim-reading]; well worded, well done. Thank you for [blah blah blah].

Everything outside the ellipses is pretty much cut and paste. Every time. But presumably because "enough" content is tailored to each piece to prevent it qualifying as a total cut an paste job, it's allowed.

Here's a scenario that isn't as unlikely as it sounds. You join the site and pluck up the courage to post a few dear-to-your-heart poems you've always wanted to share. But because no one knows you yet, you only receive two reviews for each poem. And those same "reviewers" mentioned above are the only ones you hear from on all three pieces. Not as unlikely as it sounds, given the sheer volume of reviews those reviewers can toss off.

What are you going to make of Fanstory? You see there's something fishy about the repeated comments, so you check out the reviewers and find they're high-ranking on the site. Encouraged yet? Inspired? Or are you going to look elsewhere?

There are fantastic reviewers here, always have been. But there have always been these cheap fly-by reviewers as well (what's worse is they're so easy to spot!), who rob members of precious feedback. The former make Fanstory special; the latter are a disgrace: both know who they are.


nor84


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RE: Sham reviews
Reply on March 2, 2018 01:19 AM << Modifed March 2 at 1:21AM >>
I joined in 2006, and things were different. For one thing there were more prose writers than there are now. Then, we were all on an honor system with regard to how we reviewed, and it still is an honor system. There's no way the site can monitor all the reviews to identify cheaters. We have to monitor them ourselves and report the offenders.

I have won several of the little statues given out at the end of the year, but soon learned chasing the top ranks isn't worth the effort or the money spent. There's no value outside fanstory itself.

Four prose writers, it doesn't matter that you have paid money to push your book chapter or 1200 word story to the top of the listing, you won't get many reviews except from people who have read your work before and feel attached to the character. That's good enough for me.

In short, fanstory is what you make of it. You can go after the statues, or after the friendships you'll find with like-minded writers.

If you want to do something about the sham reviews, click on the profile of the reviewer and look under comments. You can see the wording in the reviews that he or she has given. If the wording is almost exactly the same, send an note to Tom and ask him to look into it. People are removed from the site for rudeness and for faking reviews, but Tom has to have the evidence.

mrsmajor
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RE: Sham reviews
Reply on March 2, 2018 10:04 AM


There is no prerequisite needed to join this site, only a desire to be part of the site, and the ability to pay for that privilege.

So we will find writers here that will include members of a wide rage of writing ability and expertise.

I've been on this site for over 13 years (2004), having won just 1 or 2 contests, but through these years I have enjoyed the ability to present to the writers what I have turned into my own voice.

Perhaps not acceptable to some writer, but clearly it has been a pleasant experience for me...that's why I remain...and its been the encouragement of many of the writers here that I'll always appreciate.

The only way to separate those that are here to better their writing from those that are here simply to enjoy the experience would be for Tom to step in.

Yes this is a writing site, and there is a list of the responsibilities for members...and when we see anything that does not seem in compliance, we have the right to present that to Tom...where we see reviews that are cut and paste, Tom would like to know about that.

Not every writer is an especially good reviewer, I know I'm not one of those that happen to be good at reviewing prose, and so I do not review prose, but I do review poetry.

I believe people join for various reasons, and eventually we will find those that enjoy informed reviews, and those that do not.

This is a conversation that has been discussed many times here on the forum, and for me, I deal with those that seem receptive of the comments I make, but have no problem with those that do not.

Tom will answer any questions we ask, and also takes into consideration our suggestions but in the end he makes the decisions as to what is allowed and what is not.

Just Some Thoughts!




MercurySeven


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RE: Sham reviews
Reply on March 2, 2018 12:54 PM << Modifed March 2 at 1:22PM >>
"If you want to do something about the sham reviews, click on the profile of the reviewer and look under comments. You can see the wording in the reviews that he or she has given. If the wording is almost exactly the same, send an note to Tom and ask him to look into it. People are removed from the site for rudeness and for faking reviews, but Tom has to have the evidence."

Done.

I'm normally very understanding when it comes to members' varying reviewing abilities. Sometimes they struggle for things to say (as do I), which is fine because the vast majority of us at least put the effort in. But the members I've flagged are doing harm to the site, it seems to me, especially for those writers who don't have the resources to promote their work often and have to rely on the handful of comments they receive.

A friend of mine on Fanstory, who is one of the best writers the site has ever had, rarely posts here any more precisely because of greedy reviewers like (see previous post) who snap up any and all bonus reviewing opportunities and leave these generic fly-by comments in their wake.

I would urge other members here to either report or block anyone they believe is littering the site with such "reviews." They often cheat the minimum word count by copying and pasting a few lines and then altering them just enough to achieve the Barnum effect--short descriptions that seem specific to the work you've written but are in fact so vague and generic that they could apply to any number of similar works.


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