Is a poorly written positive review preferable to one a negative one that’s well-written?
Logic would tell you that it’s better to have someone singing your praises, even if they’re singing them a bit off-key. But as Slate reports
, NYU professor Panos Ipeirotis has discovered that “well-written reviews help sell products, even when the write-ups are negative.”
This changes everything. Or does it?
Online shoe seller Zappos has been using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to fix the grammar and spelling in the site’s reviews. As the Slate
article points out, Ipeirotis estimates that Zappos has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars correcting the spelling and grammar of more than a million reviews.
This brings up two slightly disturbing points:
• Why are lousy writers seemingly so eager to write online reviews?
• How ethical is it for companies to be doing this?
Slate seems to think this could open the door for companies to plant their own reviews with manufactured spelling and grammar mistakes to make them appear more human.
What’s your take?