Ed's Blog

Giving consumers the ability to accurately discover price and quality on the Internet is an important issue. User reviews have the still unrealized potential to help individual consumers crowd-source their influence to improve the marketplace, give them better choices and reward merchants that play fair. 

But today, when you gotta have it, you might rationalize picking one online product over another because of its truly excellent average 4.8 user review rating. But as David Streitfield reports in his New York Times story "For $2 a Star, an Online Retailer Gets 5-Star Product Reviews." His lede: "Some exalt themselves by anonymously posting their own laudatory reviews. Now there is an even simpler approach: offering a refund to customers in exchange for a write-up." The story reports on efforts by professor Bing Liu -- an expert on "sentiment analysis" --  to establish a computer algorithm to data-mine the reviews to determine their truthfulness.  The story also notes that "Under F.T.C. rules, when there is a connection between a merchant and someone promoting its product that affects the endorsement’s credibility, it must be fully disclosed." Streitfield quotes FTC official Mary K. Engle as "very concerned."

Here's a paper by Liu and a colleague from a few years back (Danger, Will Robinson, it's a short, but somewhat wonky, pdf). And here's a link to a recent $250,000 FTC civil penalty action against a guitar instruction firm charged with "using deceptive advertisements by representing that online endorsements written by affiliates reflected the views of ordinary consumers or “independent” reviewers, without clearly disclosing that the affiliates were paid for every sale they generated." The FTC page also links to its guidelines on paid inducements, endorsements and testimonials on the web, which also apply to bloggers, who often get free stuff or junkets for writing glowing reviews but don't mention it. Not that I would take it, but nobody ever offers me any free stuff. Go figure.

Meanwhile, over at the Washington Post, Dina ElBoghdady reports that "Some doctors try to squelch online reviews;" in this case, they're using boilerplate contracts prepared by a firm called Medical Justice that you must sign before treatment, signing away your right to comment to your doctor. The goal? They're trying to use copyright law to "squelch" valid reviews from patients. She notes that after a disgruntled patient published reviews online, "he received a letter from the dental practice threatening to sue him for at least $100,000 for “defamation, slander and libel.” The letter reminded him that he’d signed an agreement with his dentist that barred him from publishing a critique of her or her office." ElBoghdady discusses a lawsuit against a dentist using Medical Justice boilerplate contracts; she interviews Public Citizen Attorney Paul Alan Levy, a lawyer for the plaintiffs and perhaps the nation's leading expert on how copyright law is being used abusively to block speech on the Internet. Here's a longer post from the Public Citizen Law and Policy blog explaining the case. Levy has also worked with law students at UC Berkeley School of Law and Santa Clara School of Law, who've put up an excellent website called Doctored Reviews.

So, as a consumer, remember that sometimes information on the web may be bought and paid for, written by sockpuppets or worse and therefore harmful, and sometimes good commentary is unfairly suppressed. But, both these problems are being worked on.


I know your expertise on this. I must say we should have an online discussion on this. Writing only comments will close the discussion straight away! And will restrict the benefits from this information.

A variety insurance firms offer discount rates next to offering the car insurance in order to car owners who take multiple automobile insurance. This particular service is best suited this those that experienced several automobile insured to the identical insurance carrier.Interesting post and thanks for sharing. |http://vo.to/IDRCOMAGENTEXASONLINEINDONESIA | http://vo.to/agenbolapromo | http://vo.to/itunetAGENJUDIDOMINOONLINEINDONESIATERPE |

And then there's Gretchen Morgenson's New York Times story highlighting how big hedge funds get what may be microsoft braindumps 70-680 non-public information before ordinary investors do, which enables them to front-run the markets. And remember, you don't front-run if you braindumps actually want to invest in companies on a longterm basis that may actually create jobs or microsoft braindumps 70-680 boost the economy, because high-speed trading cheatdumps allows you to earn your frontrunner premium in just seconds

So would you mind sharing how did you come with that information? Really curious.
This post couldn’t be written any better, thank you so much. Great read.
keep up the great work , I read few articles on this web site and I think that your site is real interesting and has got lots of great info .
I really appreciate your blog so much.Thanks for sharing such kind of useful information with us.Thus looking forward such kind of interesting blogs ahead.

People and negotiators are so careful nowadays especially if it is a public content and matter. There is no surprise is that; a published material is so tightly concerned with the mortgage business party. Because if there are flaws in the settlement, that means public will make them pay.

I have recently started a blog, the info you provide on this site has helped me greatly. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think he did some good things in features also. Keep working, great job! Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else can I get that kind of information written in such a perfect approach? I have a company that I'm simply now operating on, and I've been on the look out for such information.
I have recently started a blog, the info you provide on this site has helped me greatly. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think he did some good things in features also. Keep working, great job!

Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I've truly enjoyed surfing around your weblog topics In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon! Thanks!

You can read interest post http://arisnbw.blogspot.com/2014/06/SinggasanaHotelsResorts.html Singgasana Hotels & Resorts pilihan akomodasi terbaik di Indonesia , and don't forget check helpful information http://arisnbw.blogspot.com/2014/06/dimasrentcar.html Sewa Mobil DimasRentcar and cool information http://arisnbw.blogspot.com/2014/06/CamryMobilHybrid.html Camry Mobil Hybrid Terbaik Indonesia and information http://arisnbw.blogspot.com/2014/07/YamahaR15YamahaR25.html Yamaha R15 dan Yamaha R25 Motor Sport Racing dan Kencang and cool post http://www.kerajinantembaga.info kerajinan kuningan that's good and helpful post http://www.kerajinankuningan.net kerajinan kuningan and helpful post http://www.aagallery.net kerajinan tembaga and http://arisnbw.blogspot.com/2013/10/ciptojunaedy.html Cipto Junaedy also nice article http://arisnbw.blogspot.com/2014/08/asuszenfone.html dan http://arisnbw.blogspot.com arisnbw . Please, Love it!
http://mylove-indonesia.blogspot.com mylove-indonesia, cipto-junaedy http://arentin.blogspot.com/2013/05/cipto-junaedy.html , juga pemulung http://jugapemulung.blogspot.com , http://cara-tips-dan-triks.blogspot.com, cara tips dan triks, http://jugaberita.blogspot.com juga berita

Keep up the fantastic work, I read few posts on this website and I think that your web blog is real interesting and has got circles of fantastic information.

I'll tell you, in my life I've never once have seen a Hispanic panhandler, because in our community, it would be viewed as shameful to be out on the street begging. Those are all conservative values - faith, family, hard work, responsibility.
http://hargasony-id.blogspot.com AND http://arbnew.blogspot.com/
http://hargasony-id.blogspot.com/2014/07/hosting-unlimited-dan-domain-mu... AND http://hargasony-id.blogspot.com/2014/07/vizzyus-safety-url-monetize.html

http://fb.me/2nvGcPdzH gudangpoker
http://fb.me/2pTZGdVrG saranapoker
http://fb.me/38wdA8PG7 bundapoker
http://fb.me/3a5cT36FS nagalaut

We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with helpful info to work on You have done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

Another excite information http://arentin.blogspot.com/2014/02/unit-link-terbaik-di-indonesia-commo... , & don't forget read important info http://arisnbw.blogspot.com & best info http://www.postingku.com & info http://arisnbw.blogspot.com/2013/10/ciptojunaedy.html Cipto & best article http://arisnb.nulis.web.id/cipto-junaedy.html that interesting & important article http://kerajinantembaga.aagallery.co.id dan http://arentin.blogspot.com/2013/05/cipto-junaedy.html and http://www.aagallery.co.id also http://www.aa-gallery.co.id and http://www.aagallery.net . Enjoy it!

http://www.edu-essay.com College can be scary, and there are so many things to watch out for and to handle. This article has some great advice that will help you learn what it takes to make it in college and achieve that degree you’ve always wanted.

http://www.ferrarifashionstore.com It is not easy for you to find the best places where you can shop for your wedding supplies. It is also very difficult for you to create wedding decorations on your own by using cheap objects and craft supplies that you can turn into pieces that look expensive.

i love this artical because i got my point which i was searching Thanks for the information you post

I Have Been wondering about this issue, so thanks for posting. Pretty cool post.It 's really very nice and Useful post
Jual Mobil Bekas Bandung
Jual Mobil Bekas Jakarta
Jual Mobil Bekas Surabaya
Jual Mobil Bekas Semarang
Jual Mobil Bekas Yogyakarta
Kaos The Beatles
with awesome use of better conditions and some awesome factors Wow! It is indeed amazing and interesting to see how different countries instill and implement the importance of entrepreneurship in their younger generation. No doubt, entreprenership is the way to go in thia day and age.
Jual Mobil Bekas
Jual Mobil Bekas
Jual Mobil Bekas
Jual Mobil Bekas
Jual Mobil Bekas
Jual Mobil Bekas
Jual Mobil Bekas
Jual Mobil Bekas
Jual Mobil Bekas
Jual Mobil Bekas
Jual Mobil Bekas
Jual Mobil Bekas

Canon Pixma MG6360 Driver Download- This driver support is available for the operating system:
Windows XP or Later
Windows Vista
Windows Seven
Windows 8
Windows 8.1
Mac Os X


Canon Pixma MG6360 Driver Download- This driver support is available for the operating system:
Windows XP or Later
Windows Vista
Windows Seven
Windows 8
Windows 8.1
Mac Os X


Canon LBP5970 Driver Download
This driver supports To:
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 8.1
Mac Os X


Canon PIXMA MG4260 Driver Download- Canon PIXMA MG4260-The solution is highly regulated with remarkable features Sagat and auto complete in good prints with wireless connectivity and automatic two-sided which allows you to print or scan everywhere like at home or office or other place by way of using Wi-Fi.


Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site.
what does bubblegum casting do

I really like the dear information you offer in your articles. I'm able to bookmark your site and show the kids check out up here generally. Im fairly positive theyre likely to be informed a great deal of new stuff here than anyone else!
what does bubblegum casting do

I certainly enjoy reading all that is posted on your blog. It's easy to read, the content is awesome. http://www.assignmentcamp.co.uk/ | http://www.assignmentcamp.co.uk/buy-assignment/ | http://www.assignmentcamp.co.uk/write-my-assignment/

I got what you intend, appreciate it for posting .Woh I am lucky to find this website through google. I was walking down the street wearing glasses when the prescription ran out. by Steven Wright. debgkcakcaed

Hmm… I read blogs on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites and i’ll be your constant reader.

Agen Bola
Agen Judi Bola

Priority Action

The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is threatening the effectiveness of lifesaving antibiotics. Call on the Obama administration to put an end to the worst practices.

Support Us

Your donation supports U.S. PIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.

Consumer Alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates and take action on critical issues.