Blogs such as this often stimulate healthy debate and discussion, after all that is partially while they are there. But sometimes comments from readers are over the top and occasionally I have real suspicions about motivation.
My most recent concerns relate to a post that was made to one of my reviews of Routebuddy, the mapping software that runs on both Apple’s OSX and Windows.
The comment in question was a long and detailed one. At first I paid little attention to it mainly because it addressed Routebuddy’s performance with road maps and its use by vehicle users with turn-by-turn instructions. But I was a little narked because, obviously, this is a blog about hiking and other self powered pursuits. So, I took time to read the comment thoroughly.
What struck me was that the comment was written by somebody who had used Routebuddy or at least knew about navigation software. There was something in the criticisms but some of them were way over the top. On some of the topics raised I have little knowledge but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if these comments were also unfair.
I really got suspicious when I looked at the details of the poster. The email address given was in the name of someone calling themselves spamfuckers and the IP address given took me to one of those anonymous servers so beloved of hackers. On this basis alone I decided to delete the comment. I don’t mind honest comments or even abusive ones but I draw the line at those who seek deliberately to be anonymous.
Reading this I couldn’t help feel that this was not just an innocent post and that there was more to it than that. We know that low level sabotage is on the increase and certainly when you put Routebuddy into a search engine this site’s reviews figure very near the top of the page, if not at the top.
Amazon has a problem with authors and publishers putting rave reviews of their work onto the site using aliases. I myself have knowledge of one prominent outdoor writer who chooses to rubbish other outdoor writers with poor reviews written under an alias and who also cleverly tries to promote themselves and their own work at the same time!
The same problems occur in the iTunes store. I am always suspicious when I see review after review that give something 5 stars as a normal statistical spread — even of a popular product — should see a wider range of appreciation being recorded.
This is a practice that needs stamping out.
If I have suspicions about any of the comments here I will contact the author and if the author has chosen to hide themselves then the posts will be deleted.
If in reading any of the comments here you have similar worries then please let me know. Some of this stuff is bound to get through at some time or another.