I think that most of you are savvy enough to know that a whole lot of lying goes on online, but I think most of us don’t really think about how much lying is really going on. I know I don’t – I don’t want to. I like to think people are trustworthy and generally good. I was reminded today that, especially online, this just isn’t so.
What brought this to mind was this article from The New York Times: The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy. I was disappointed when I read that authors (or maybe publishers even? Who knows.) were paying for book reviews. At least many of them were willing to accept honest reviews (if a paid review could be called that), but many were buying positive reviews. I was disapointed – but not surprised. I will bet money that books are not the only things out there paying for fake reviews.
A few years ago I frequented freelance writer boards looking for opportunities to write. That was where I started to learn how dishonest the internet was. There were frequent listings looking for writers to write fake forum posts recommending products as though they were from real people. Lots of calls for articles endorsing something or other that would be posted around on those content sites. Even one form a man who was “too busy” to respond to his personal dating website messages, so wanted to hire a writer to correspond with the women there for him – pretending to be him. Charming.
So this is just a public service reminder. The internet is easy to trick. It is a web of lies. Don’t trust it.
And to end on a fun fake review note, I send you to the UK version of Amazon to read the entertaining reviews for BIC Pens for Her. You’ll be glad you did.