Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fake Reviews by Historian

BBC News reports how a leading historian who wrote anonymous reviews on the Amazon website praising his own work and criticising rivals is to pay libel damages and costs. I wonder how this could affect reviews in biblioblogdom, especially anonymous reviews of books.

11 comments:

Loren Rosson III said...

That's interesting indeed. What about the "guest" reviews on my blog, such as the one for Crossley's Jesus in an Age of Terror or for "my" Biblical Cranks? I hope James doesn't get any ideas and try suing me!

Jim said...

is 'guest' code for 'anonymous'? if so, why do your anonymous commentators cower?

James Crossley said...

Now there's a thought...how rich are you Loren?

This story is quite something. Figes is a well-respected historian and a good one (as is Service) so why Figes felt the need to do this in such a non-humourless way beats me.

I can't remember the legal ins and outs but haven't the legal issues also got something to do with allegations and counter allegations about who was writing the anonymous reviews rather than the simply writing anonymous reviews? If I wasn't so lazy, I would have checked that.

Loren Rosson III said...

With my librarian's salary you wouldn't get too much, I'm afraid. :)

But yes, for a scholar like Figes to pull a stunt like this is odd. I believe the novelist Caleb Carr found himself in hot water for trying something similar on amazon many years ago.

Stephen C. Carlson said...

It is generally harder to win libel cases in the US than in members of the Commonwealth.

As for Loren, he may be what lawyers call "judgment proof."

蔡靜芳蔡靜芳 said...

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楊儀卉 said...

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潘凱花潘凱花 said...

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Bobby said...

Dr. Bird, I'm a freelance writer for Christianity Today looking for your input on a story on evangelical scholars. Would you e-mail me at therossnews@gmail.com if you get a chance?

宮惠如宮惠如 said...

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vjohn82 said...

I'm being sued over this issues funnily enough... all because I called someone over their fake reviews.

Shocking really.