When reading book reviews you expect a level of honesty and thoughtfulness from the reviewer not only for the potential reader, but for the author too. Lately, it has come up in various posts and sites that there is a push to ban negative reviews or to at least have some standards put in place to control what can and can’t go into a review.
To begin with, negative reviews have their place. Banning negative reviews should not be an option. Negative reviews help a book find the target audience it was intended for. It provides balance to positive reviews and as anyone who reads both good and bad reviews it allows you to make a more informed decision about the book.
You can’t please everyone, and every reader and writer knows this. So negative reviews should stay. It’s how these negative reviews are written that is the issue. There are some reviewers who aim their opinions at the author, making their review not on a product but on an individual. It becomes less objective and more personal. It’s awful to read and disheartening to think people can be so petty. This type of review should be banned from sites such as Goodreads and Amazon.
Another disappointing and utterly pointless review occurs when a reviewer states they haven’t bothered to finish the book. Why would you want to listen to the opinions of someone who wouldn’t even finish the book. It’s something that should be stricken from the same sites and people who don’t bother to finish the book shouldn’t review it to begin with. Only the opinions of someone who took the time to read the book should be allowed voice their review.
There comes an inevitable argument about the sheer volume of reviews these sites contain, and these are only two of many out there. Moderating these reviews would be a colossal feat with no easy answer but hopefully it is a problem that will gain more attention the more people discuss it.
So what do you think? Do you think reviews should be moderated by third party sites or should reviewers have the freedom to say whatever they want?