Before we return to the topic, I think I should point out something that occurred last week on Rice’s FB page. On March 17th, the discussion kicked off with yet another rehash of Rice’s jihad against the evils of anonymity (she actually means pseudonymity, but why would an author quibble over using the correct word to get their message across? More on that another time.)
Note how towards the end, she urges authors not to sign the petition… because then the public would know who agrees with this crap and might actually decide not to buy their books. You know- owning your shit… accepting responsibility… freedom of choice and expression? All that stuff she claims to be defending? So anonymity isn’t a bad thing unless the “wrong people” (non-authors) decide to use it to protect themselves. Ok.
Rice once again hits all the catchphrases: anti-freedom expression, anti-free speech, bullies, repression. Except they’re only aimed in one direction.
Steve Grillot offers up a clear picture of exactly what’s wrong here. He admits to having family members posting positive reviews for his books (… they’re honest reviews, I swear!), which I’ll remind you that unless they openly stated exactly what their ties to him are this could be a violation of both FTC and Amazon guidelines. Rice doesn’t think so, though; in fact, this is wholly acceptable to her.
This is followed by posing the question that the Amazon Discussion Forums should be abolished altogether. Why? Because this is about freedom of expression, remember? How a person could ever think to conflate these two concepts is mind-boggling to start with. Don’t like anonymous reviews? Let’s ban all forms of discussion- that’ll teach those reviewing jerks! So what if every other consumer can’t have a conversation- this is about justice for all! Or… something.
It’s mentioned that the petition has almost 7000 signatures at this point… which is utterly lame given all the exposure it got. I’ll take that as a good sign. Plus not only have no truly famous or notable authors come anywhere near it, some of the ones who have signed claimed to have done so more than once- under pseudonyms, naturally- so besides trying to game the system, it means the actual numbers are even less than reported. Brilliant job all around.
One attempt at reason tries to come through when a poster points out that phony 5-star reviews are just a big a problem as 1-stars. You can guess how Rice responded to that. Actually, you don’t- you can see for yourself.
In plain sight, Rice flatly dismisses the idea of bad 5-star reviews. Why? Because it’s all about authenticity- and all 5-star reviews are CLEARLY legit! And right after someone just told her his family members all gave him reviews. And no, she can’t believe that anyone’s EVER been deceived by a bunch of false positives into buying something. Nope. Not a chance. Even when it’s explained with the patience of a pre-school teacher, she completely ignores the issue.
I’m telling y’all: you really, really, really can’t make this shit up. P.T. Barnum is busting a gut.