Saturday, February 14, 2004

Amazon Glitch Reveals "A Reader From..." Identities

I'm so sad I missed this when it was active. AP and the New York Times report that Amazon.ca accidentally replaced the anonymous "A Reader From" monikers with the real names of reviewers on its Web site. For example, instead of reading a glowing five star review by "a reader from Chicago" for a book by author John Rechy, the name "John Rechy" appeared -- showing the author reviewing his own book!

Fake reviews at Amazon.com have been a problem for years. The hundreds of fake reviews of Hack Attacks Revealed hit home for me, especially when the fictitious "l peterson" reviewed the book. Publisher Wiley printed a "review" by this fake person in the inside cover of Hack Attacks Encyclopedia, where "l peterson" said "Speaking for the Air Force Computer Emergency Response Team..." That really angered me, as I had just left the Air Force and that unit and confirmed there was no such person in the AFCERT.