Love or Hate relationship

It’s a constant challenge to provide a platform to foster authentic sharing and recommending of local businesses without it being abused.  Ideally, users would feel safe about voicing out their experience, whether positive or negative.  If it was positive, it’d be an encouragement to the business as well as future customers.  If it was negative, it’d be a valuable feedback for the business to improve on.  This would also prove valuable to the businesses as they can hear and understand what their customers are talking, what they can improve on, what people are looking for etc.

The unfortunate thing is that the world we live in isn’t at this level yet.  Some users abuse the platform to vent their anger, instead of providing constructive feedback for improvements.  Some businesses use this to deliberately destroy its competitions by fake writing negative reviews.  At some point, no one can trust anything said online because, the assumptions are:

1) A positive reviews are written by the business themselves

2) Negative reviews are written by the competition, angry customers or just pure lies

No one likes to have negative things said about them.  Looking at the abuse reports, almost always only the negative reviews are being flagged and to be investigated for taken down. Read about how to write a great review.

How do we deliver trustworthy reviews and help each other to make confident decisions, in a mutually honoring way to the users and to the businesses?

At Judy’s Book, we don’t take down reviews simply because a business complains.  They cannot pay us either to take reviews down.  That’s the hard line we drew.  We just won’t and never will.  The only time we take down reviews, is when the review violates our terms of use policy.  There are lots of exciting things to be done.  Our recent introduction of trending chart and business activity feeds is a way we are innovating to bring a new way to look into how the business is doing and not purely by flat average like most sites do.  We are also working on something for the businesses as well, so that they don’t feel all so powerless when a negative review was left behind.

We are committed to build the platform with rich set of tools to foster a healthy community which people can feel safe to share, browse and make confident decisions.  Also a community which the businesses enjoy honest conversations with the users to serve them better.


3 thoughts on “Love or Hate relationship

  1. Shelby

    You completely removed reviews for Elan Real Relationships because the business owner wasn’t happy with the negative reviews. Unfortunately, they were true and I have lost all respect for your service. Since when is writing a review that can be backed up by facts a bad thing?

    1. paperboy Post author

      We didn’t. The owner was abusing the functionality of ‘report abusive reviews’. It temporarily causes the reviews to be suppressed until our moderator goes through to determine if they violate our terms of use. If you go to the listing now, they are all there.

      We never delete negative or positive reviews just because the owners complaint about them. The only time we will remove is when the reviews violate our terms of use; offensive languages, false, slander etc.

      And no, they CANNOT pay us to remove reviews either 😉

  2. tim bauman

    I’m a not a bit surprised that a business would do whatever it could to get a negative review suppressed on a website that forces a business to pay for a listing in order to publish a management response or rebuttal to a review.

    The lead editorial of this thread explains the risks and potential downsides of consumer driven reviews without substantiation. Anyone with any experience visiting websites like TripAdvisor can clearly see how much abuse goes on in the both the positive and negative realms.

    Why your site would create a primary condition of participation for businesses that forces them to pay to play or silently accept whatever comes in as reviews is a mystery to me.


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