Thursday, August 30, 2012

Internet Reviews Are About as Fake as . . . Something REALLY Fake

The New York Times published an article a few days ago called "The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy," in which a "data mining expert" estimated "that about one-third of all consumer reviews on the Internet are fake." My first thought was, DUH. My second thought was, actually, that number sounds a little low.

One-third? Riiiiiiiiiiiight. Source.

While I'd love to tell you that I'm just naturally cynical and inherently brilliant, those facts aren't really relevant to how I already knew this shocking information about internet reviews.  How did I know?  Easy, I'm a freelancer.


As most of you know (being that my primary readership is made of of friends who would do just about anything to keep from having to hear me whine about no one ever reading my blog--including reading said blog), I don't write this shit to pay the bills. The random topics and mediocre humor you get here? I do that for free . . . FREE. Blogger keeps trying to be like, "Hey, why don't you monetize your blog?" And I'm like, "Hey, then I'll REALLY never have any readers. I'm convinced half my readers don't mind coming here purely because there ARE no ads. Go push your money-making space-taker-uppers elsewhere, bub."

Or else he and the rest of the X-men will fuck your shit up.  Source.

So to help "contribute" to the family finances, I pass myself off as a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader on a couple of sites.

Plus, I just like saying I'm a freelance writer.

You're only a best-selling fiction writer?  How limiting. Source.

So far, the best places for me to acquire freelance jobs have been freelance sites (PLEASE TRY TO REFRAIN FROM EXPRESSING YOUR SHOCK).  And while I am able to pick up the odd, appropriate job that doesn't pay peanut shells, there are far more jobs on these sites that I wouldn't touch with a dried elephant dick.

"I suggest you stick to your 10-foot poles unless you want to get shit-stomped." Source.

Mainly, I ignore jobs because of the ridiculously low pay rates. (My skills are worth more than $0.50 for every 500 words, thanks.)  Besides, there are plenty of contractors--often residing in other countries--who will take on those jobs.  (Though they rarely have the "perfect English" those ads require.  Sorry guys, you want perfect English?  You're going to have to pay a "perfect" rate.  Seriously, cliches like "you get what you pay for" become cliches for a REASON.  I guess cliches don't translate well into every language, culture, etc.)

Sometimes, however, I ignore jobs for different reasons.  Ethical ones.  (Just because I'm a total twat sometimes, doesn't mean I don't have them.)  You see, some of those "unethical jobs" (hell, most of them) concern writing fake reviews.  (Aaaaand let's round the curve back to the original focus of this post)

I love it when a blog post comes togetherSource.

Those freelancing sites I mentioned?  Fake review opportunities are EVERYWHERE; some of them could pay pretty well too (considering the minimal effort required).  Perhaps the most disturbing fact (continuing in the vein of the Times article) is that most of them are for everything but books.

Here are some examples of what you might see in one of these opportunity ads (I've amalgamated several of the typical ads so you can get the gist).

Reviews must be unique and different from one another. Pay is $0.70-$1 per 500 words and up; rate depends on quality of writing. Must be able to write 150-200 reviews of at least 20 words, per day. 
Artist's rendition of job poster. Source.

Need someone to write good reviews about our business on yelp , Local business , white page , ziplocal, etc. We've chosen 35 review websites and we need someone to post at at least 2-4 reviews a day, per site.
Please avoid words like "rat-trap," "shithole," and "tetanus-town." Source.

I need reviews for hundreds of sports related home training equipment products.You’ll be given a keyword or product name and you’ll have to research the topic.  Write original, keyword heavy product reviews that will pass Copyscape. 


I need someone to complete game reviews from the perspective of someone who has played the game. You can achieve this perspective from research - but the reader needs to have the impression that the author has played them. 78 articles in total. 

Don't just judge a game by its co- . . . well, maybe this one time. Source.

Looking for individuals to write product reviews on Amazon. Looking for high quality English writing. Each review should be 250-300 words and original.

It goodest toilet lighthouse ever I uses.  Source.

And finally, because all you book lovers know you want your hearts broken:

I need about 220 separate reviews on my book. They need to be of different lengths and written in different styles.  Some can be critical, but only 3 stars and above. 

"Burns great!"  "Excellent kindling."  "Meh, I've had better, but it gets the job done." Source.

So there you have it.  Welcome to the dark, seedy underbelly of internet shopping; you can't trust a damn thing except the negative comments.

And porn; you can always trust porn.

1 comment:

  1. Well damn, guess checking reviews isn't worth it.