Should Amazon continue to allow reviewers to remain anonymous?

rooibos tea
rooibos tea

Recently, a petition was created (link) that asked for the revocation of Amazon’s current anonymity policy  for reviewers.  Major Authors like Anne Rice have added their support for this petition.

Their argument is that certain anonymous reviewers have participated in cruelty, vitriol, and bullying.  They seem to believe that everything will be puppies and rainbows if reviewers only used their real names.

To be clear, I use my real name with Amazon (all) reviews. Authors, PR, and Publishers know me by my real name and that of my website. In fact, I get a little upset if someone emails me as Mr. Gnostalgia.  I have been verbally attacked by fans of an Author and I have had an Author contact me and ask me to take a critical review down.  I have been down-voted by anonymous commentators. Having said that, I stand by my reviews and I slap my name on them and let the chips fall where they may.

Saying reviewers will act responsibly if they were forced to use their real name would be like saying that Authors will right quality work if they didn’t use a “nom de plume”. Would an Author lose the right/ability to reply to a comment if he used a pen name?

The only thing that should be in a teapot is tea and not a tempest.  Sorry folks, I don’t support this petition.


3 thoughts on “Should Amazon continue to allow reviewers to remain anonymous?

Add yours

  1. There is a problem: people can still make up fake names, can’t they? How would one know if it was the reviewer’s actual name?

    I have other issues with Amazon’s review system as well. Some of us Amazonians (is that really a world?) have caught an author getting her friends to post numerous 5 star reviews for her godawful book. Ditto for rivals who want to vote someone down.

    I think Amazon should be concerned about reviewers who vote an item down because the shipping was late, it arrived in poor condition etc. This brings down the ratings on the actual book in question. Such a rating has nothing to do with the material and Amazon should remove any such remarks. Shipping and other problems are for the complaint department, not a means to one star a book!

    Amazon needs to take a closer look at its whole policy on reviews. Since to my knowledge most reviews are never actually moderated, it will make no difference if real names are used or not. I think their entire review system needs to be revamped. Some reviewers sound like 10 year olds who are trying to act “smart”. Lately, only YouTube seems to outdo Amazon when it comes to reviews ranging from the inane to the ridiculous.

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