Bad Reviews

Okay, so I know these weren't my stories being reviewed, but I still think marksiwel should be banned from posting any more reviews. Frankly, those aren't reviews, they're a bunch of insults cobbled together with a "clever" headline.

I don't think they're that bad, just that he should remove the personal insults from the reviews. The rest of the review reads more like a very caustic summary of the bad points of the start of the serial, which I personally think is totally valid(Especially the Delver LLC review, which matched up with it's flaws, from what I can remember, (maybe a bit too exaggerated, but the gist is still similar), minus the personal insults at the end).

On one hand, Free Speech is one of the things I hold as sacrosanct, long as you're not advocating the harm of others or outright lying.

On the other hand? This is an obvious troll being obvious and troll-y. His profile reads- and I quote- "I hate you Josh, Gonna fuck your lady". Which leaves me wondering who Josh is. Guessing that's the name of Blaise Corvin, who wrote both the reviews marksiwel trashed. Clearly speaks of a personal grudge. Which I am opposed to. Because I believe strongly in journalistic (even amateur journalism) integrity.

On the left foot? This guy's idiocy makes me want to read these stories just to see why someone so obviously unhinged hates them. They're so deliciously absurd that I kinda want to get him to trash my story next for the amusement value alone. Who doesn't enjoy a good roast, right?

From the Freedom of Speech Wiki...

Governments restrict speech with varying limitations. Common limitations on speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, non-disclosure agreements, right to privacy, right to be forgotten, political correctness, public security, public order, public nuisance, campaign finance reform, perjury, and oppression.

Sounds like fighting words to me. Them's fighting words!

That being said, I've had reviews that outright attack me on RoyalRoadL, and gave all of them a thumbs up because they amused me. So it's really kind of in the mind of the story owner isn't it? At least until the person doing those reviews is 'toxic' to the community.

In addition, banning or removing a user prone to these types of reviews rarely does anything but incite even more efforts to lash out. They'll just come back as a different user and be 50% more active.

I disagree, FrustratedEgo. Freedom of speech is one thing, but we still need to hold ourselves and others to a higher standard. Professionalism is more important than flinging your opinions around like a drunk redneck with a machine gun. If I went to open mic night at a karaoke club and, instead of singing, decided to voice my political opinions to the audience, would my freedom of speech keep me from being pulled off stage and probably thrown out of the club? Likewise, there are ways to write negative reviews for stories you don't like without resorting you "this should be set on fire and dropped on @$%#ing ISIS lolololololololol!" There is literally no constructive criticism anywhere in any of his reviews, just insults. "Even his girlfriend can't read it." Really? His next review's probably going to say "I @#$%ed you mom, [email protected]!!"

And, since this is kind of on topic, here's a list someone made of times it's okay to disregard negative reviews:

I found the complaint about grammar, in a review littered with grammatical errors, absolutely hilarious. The phrase "nonsense anime bullshit" also tickled me.

I'm sorry, I didn't make my stance clear or somehow lead to an erroneous conclusion resulting from linking the freedom of speech portion.

Should utterly useless reviews with clearly inflammatory wording be deleted? Of course; which is what it states in the Freedom of Speech content I linked. Moderating anything outright toxic is well within the rights of the site or anywhere else on the internet despite the free speech point by TanaNari - which he later says has clear limits - which I also thought I clearly implied by showing the limits applied by governments. It just requires reading the rest of the paragraph.

These reviews have obscenity, incitement, fighting words, disturb public order, can be considered a public nuisance, all of which have precedence for being moderated by those in control.

That being said any feedback in any form (Read: attention in any form) around these parts is super hard to come by unless you're one of the constant top fictions (Worm, or lately Iron Teeth). At least someone found the fiction and read through it. That still means something (which I derive from what TaraNari stated; the terrible reviews made him interested), even if it results in gut shaking desire to throttle people or abort their parents for daring to spawn such a drivel spewing chucklehead.

Yeah. At a certain point, a review goes from "bad" to "does Poe's Law work in reverse?"- and this crossed into that zone.

Also: thanks to Frustrated Ego... "It's not murder, it's retroactive abortion!"

PS- Serious question. *Does* Poe's Law work in reverse?

And for the record, I'm not totally against roasting reviews. Just... do it right. Please. Here's a roast review that I absolutely love reading because it burns the book to a crisp, but does so by actually complaining about real problems, EXPLAINING why the thought they were problems, and did so with genuine wit, not "LOL IMMA @#$% DIS BUUK!"

Nah, that's more of a negative review. I mean an outright roast- Friars Club style. Potshots at the author's sexuality and allusions of incompetence and corruption. All that good stuff.

Look here for some examples of roasting reviews...

I agree that in this case (the WFG reviews, not the link) it looks like a personal attack.

The reviews are going 0 for 5 right now. I don't think these AREN'T reviews, because they do go into broader strokes than a "fuk dis" spam comment, but the fact that they're so panned is kinda telling. No clue if they should be removed - probably not; don't start a trend because I can see this being turned against a valid but unpopular review - but maybe take the rating off. If NO ONE thinks it's helpful, then it shouldn't have the same impact as someone who half-starred something and constructively said why.

Throwing that out there 'cause why else do we have that "X many people found this helpful" metric?

I think we have that as a means of reviewing a review. Or something.

But invalidating a score... what about those low/high stars we all get that don't come with any review? Just a click-vote.

I feel like if you have no review or a 'helpfulness' rating on your review under a certain threshold, your star should only have half the weight. This is totally my own wild speculation of an idea, not an actual change I'm advocating; I just think the people who've taken the time to write their thoughts out and aren't seen as poo-flinging - or completely gushing, which is unconstructive in the other direction, even if it's very nice - should have more weight behind their stars than the people who missed the mark on what a review is or didn't write one (but are still acknowledged as having voted).

@Tartra That depends on if the rating is part of the review, or not.

IF it is, then I'm pretty much in agreement with you.

If not, then no. In that case a vote of popularity shouldn't be weighed dependent on how highly regarded the voter is.

Personally I'd prefer a thumbs up/down (or five star ranks, or whetever) for drive by shooting at a story. And this should be kept separate from reviews. After that it gets cleaner to have a review section with clear instructions concerning what constitutes a review.

@Sten - I don't think the rating's ever not been part of the review when there is one. I'm actually having a hard time coming up with any scenario where someone writes something negative but separately four-stars it.

For the drive by up/down rating, that's all TopWebFiction. :D I like that this is different. The five star system gives people a chance to say, "I liked this on TWF overall, but if you ask me how good the quality is, here's what I think: it's a poorly proofreaded guilty pleasure / it's a beautifuly prosaic snooze-fest / it's a good start that turns into a slog / it's a slow start but really picks up."

Yeah, a little blurb of what counts as a review would be nice, because right now it's up to the reviewer to figure it out. They're not totally blind though, because the helpful/unhelpful metric gives 'em a little bit of feedback retroactively.

The reviews have been deleted and the account banned. Our review guidelines are clear and posted right under the review box on every listing:

Please note: inflammatory, confrontational, or retaliatory reviews are cause for account suspension. If you are affiliated with the listing you are reviewing, we expect you to identify your affiliation. Be honest, be constructive, be polite. See the Decorum section of the About page for more details. Thanks!

In future, if you receive or see a review that doesn't meet these guidelines, please email feedback @. I don't always read the forums or new reviews every day.


Note: while the reviews have been removed, the ratings stay. He gets to have his opinion, even if he doesn't know how to express it in polite company.

I just now saw this thread, probably because I've been traveling.

I apologize to everyone for that person's posts. Unfortunately, he is a rl cyberstalker. I've had to ban him on my website. AFAIK he's been banned from many sites for being toxic.

He has something personal against me, up to and including posting threads on reddit to mock my cover for my first story - he either deleted that account or got banned on Reddit too, probably the latter.

I fully believe that when I publish, he is going to be one of the first reviews, giving me a 1 star, probably ranting about something. I would suggest if anyone else sees this guy online to just give him a wide berth or he might start sending abusive messages and freakish porn to you too.

Gotta love the internet.

Mark - if you read this, if you keep this up I am going to have no choice but to pursue legal action. As long as you only targeted me with your shenanigans I could tolerate that. But you are including more people now in this very public, very crazy drama. It needs to stop.