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Shilling & False Reviews


Dustin Gilman
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I've spotted a number of items that have very obvious false reviews.  For example:

 

1.  After any negative review, on the same day or the subsequent day, two positive reviews pop up that push the negative review off of the main item page.

2.  A lot of reviews are identical, coming from avatars with similar sounding names.  Sometimes the same reviewers pop up under multiple identical products.

3.  The person appears to be gaming the marketplace search engine, listing under false keywords, and self-purchasing the item to build search ranking.

I can't see where to report issues like these.  Is there any recourse?

 

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Number one isnt illegel..number two is obvious...Ive recived offers to do the same, number three should be reported.  

 

Companies pay folks to blog, create false hype, and to do reviews all the times for movies, prodcuts and sidings. I use to do paied testomials, but I had a lil better ethics..I didnt do it unless I felt the product actualy was decent.  Shoppers are lazy...one negtive review, yet you get hundreds of buyers how like it and not say a thing.  That is not fair to the builder..and a further side effect of tell us what you think review sites like yelp.

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In ads, their suppose to say their payed testomonials...thats US law.....but how LL are not considered real money...not sure if that makes it ....not covered under the same law...even if someone pays with real money or it on marketpalce...its the lindens getting the money...not the seller....as its converted into L$ for them....

 

Keywords are wrong.....manipulating..them into leading folks into what they are not serching for..is what gets folks banned from google everyday.

 

Again I like to say under US law...if someone is paid to say somethign is good..they need to disclouse it..but as its in LIndens..may not cover it...

 

I no longer do it...so.....from a moral point of view...I hope you see that, I did grow and experince it myself, but then again ..marketplace is harsh..with fake flaggings...wrong DMCA's ..**bleep** customers...   can you blame someone trying to buffer against such bad effects?

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start a consurtium that is against hte practise and make it a peer pressure system..or a follwoing..that cusomers will grow to trust....that you can likewise turn into a advertising base..that you can send group notices into

 

-_- i need to start charging fo my advise on the forums...tips are accepted lol

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  • Moderators

Greetings!

Item reviews are subject to the Second Life Terms of Service and the Marketplace Listing Guidelines.

http://secondlife.com/corporate/tos.php

8.2 You will not post or transmit prohibited Content, including any Content that is illegal, harassing or violates any person's rights.

"(ii) Impersonate any person or entity without their consent, or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation,"

"(v) Post, display or transmit Content ......, false, inaccurate, misleading,"

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/listing_guidelines

"Anti-Competitive or Abusive Behavior. Examples include, but are not limited to:"

The "not limited to" means any behavior that could be considered Anti-Competitive or Abusive, even if it isn't specifically listed.

Additional information is also provided in the Knowledge Base, located here:

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Writing-item-reviews-on-the-Marketplace/ta-p/954941

Keyword spam is also covered under the Markeptlace Listing Guidelines, linked above, and may be reported by clicking on the Flag this Item link that is located on every product listing on the Marketplace.

If you are able to show a pattern of abuse regarding reviews, it is recommended that you submit a Support Case using the options Marketplace - General Marketplace Issues and provide the links to each of the reviews that you believe are related and why you believe that they are related.

This information will be forwarded for research and investigation.

Investigations take time, so please ensure that if you chose to report the issue through the Support Portal,  please include as much information and details as possible and I would ask that your confidence in the issue be at least 90-95% sure or you have solid evidence of the abuse.

Reporting a positive review just because it might be from an alt or friend isn't sufficient cause.

 

 

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Simply Put...REVIEWS ARE A SHAM!  Regardless of what Dakota says, there are more flaws than benefits.

There has been a lot on this here in the boards and most merchants hate them.  People can game them, they don't have any real relevance, false reviews hurt you and more over, there is no recourse.

We have long been asking for a counter review process where we can see who the reviewer is, how they have rated other products and in short, call them out for what they usually are, saboteurs.

 

 

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I totally deserve the one really bad review that I got, and I'm happy that the few reviews I've got have mostly been positive.

But in terms of certain merchants somehow having reviews on every item, and overwhelmingly positive reviews, it's clear enough to me that the review system as a whole cannot be trusted.

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You're missing the point. It doesn't matter whether reviews are faked or not because, if bad ones are faked, people will buy alternative items and LL will still get the commision. If good ones are faked, people will buy the items and LL will get the commision. Either way the purpose of the marketplace is achieved and everyone (LL) is happy. There is no problem.

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Chronometria wrote:

I see a lot of marketplace reviews that are blank, just with the stars and no text. They usually make me very suspicious especially when "27" people apparently took the time to rate a product and said nothing, its obviously faked.

You have to write something when leaving a review on the Marketplace, although I suppose technically someone could just put in a lot of spaces in the review box. However, any blank reviews you are seeing will probably be 'reviews' that were ported across from Xstreet where you could just rate without writing a review.

In all honestly though, I don't personally pay that much attention to reviews (that doesn't just apply to SL either). If i'm buying something online I'll research it, i'll try a demo if available, I'll see a 'live' version of it if possible, and I'll make an informed decision. Reviews, for me, are but a small part of the picture in deciding whether to buy something. It even applies to things like movie reviews. I never take movie reviews too seriously. If I want to watch something, I will, even if someone else doesn't like it. And if I make a mistake I just shrug and take it as a learning exercise. :)

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Dakota Linden wrote:

Reporting a positive review just because it might be from an alt or friend isn't sufficient cause.

 

People were banned for this in the old Xstreet. It was such a huge problem that they prevented it by not allowing more than one rating per IP, and none from the seller's IP. Thinking back, the people who ran the old SLX were a bit tyrannical when it came to enforcing the rules and banning people. And they had very strict rules, but good ones. These were relaxed when SL took over, and disappeared almost completely with the new marketplace and forums. Now unscrupulous people can run amuck without much fear of consequence.

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Hello Rya,

I said reporting the positive review to Customer Support just because it "might" be from an alt shouldn't be done.

Please also keep in mind that the previous owners of Xstreet ran a 3rd party, private web site. This is no longer the case.

The Second Life Marketplace is open and available to all Second Life Users and is governed under the Terms of Service and the policies regarding how infractions are handled by Linden Lab.

The old owners of the Xstreet SL web site were completely free to make any rules they wanted, enforce any rules they wanted and ban people at will.

This is no longer the case.

 

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Please also keep in mind that the previous owners of Xstreet ran a 3rd party, private web site. This is no longer the case.

The Second Life Marketplace is open and available to all Second Life Users and is governed under the Terms of Service and the policies regarding how infractions are handled by Linden Lab.

The old owners of the Xstreet SL web site were completely free to make any rules they wanted, enforce any rules they wanted and ban people at will.

This is no longer the case.

 

First off Dakota, you know I love ya and I know you work hard.  You have been a great advocate of us while very helpful in most cases however, I must make a point of your comment.

Your two statements are mutually incompatible.  At one point you state the the SLX owners could do anything they want and make their own rules but that Linden Labs is bound by the TOC.  Perhaps you can tell us who makes the TOC?  Isn't that Linden Labs and doesn't that in effect allow them to "make their own rules".

I agree with nearly everything that has been done with the new Marketplace however, the rating system is old and antiquated and is unchanged since Anche had it.  Isn't it time to do away with it or overhaul it? What purpose does it serve and does it really offer residents a better user experience?

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Chronometria wrote:

I see a lot of marketplace reviews that are blank, just with the stars and no text. They usually make me very suspicious especially when "27" people apparently took the time to rate a product and said nothing, its obviously faked.

This is a sentiment that needs full explanation. Even though Suella mentioned it, it should be said more directly.

Any "Review" you see that has only Stars but no written text is one that was brought over when XStreet was migrated to Marketplace. XStreet allowed people to rate by giving Stars .. without leaving a written review. When the LL Dev Team migrated those reviews, since they had no text on XStreet they also have no written review on Marketplace.

Rather than being suspicious, those "Stars Only" reviews indicate that the product has been available for sale longer than Marketplace has been open. In other words, they should indicate a product with a long history and not one that is faked or gamed.

But ...

This also points out one of my frustrations with the current Review System. On Xstreet it was not only much easier for shoppers to leave a comment or rating, but they were gently reminded of the need to do so .. AND given a quick way to do so. However on Marketplace, shoppers are pretty much left to their own to leave a review and, even worse, have to hunt to find a way to leave one. The result is that the entire system is skewed toward "hate mail" and gamed reviews.

Instead of seeing (and saying) the whole thing is borked and ought to be disabled, I instead strongly suggest the review process be redesigned to make reviews easier to leave, make them something "expected" by means of gentle reminders and an easily visible list of those purchases not yet reviewed .. and that the "Stars Only" ratings be restored.

The current system was designed because many complained that Stars Only reviews were constantly gamed and of no use whatsoever. I disagree. As we are seeing now, the only ones actually being "punished" by this new system are the honest merchants, while the dishonest ones are still using Alts and other methods to "cheat". Bring back simple and obvious Ratings and Reviews and I believe we will see much more accurate results ... and once again make the cheater's efforts irrelevant.

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Dakota Linden wrote:

 

The old owners of the Xstreet SL web site were completely free to make any rules they wanted, enforce any rules they wanted and ban people at will.

This is no longer the case.

 

 

The banning was a bit tyrannical. I remember when SL took over, the banned people were allowed back in again. We heard their horror stories in forums, and many cases sounded very unfair. I'm much more comfortable with the Marketplace under Linden control. :smileyhappy:

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