Biocurious is a weblog about biology, quantified.

A Challenging Challenge!

by Andre on 15 August 2005

It seems that amazon.com may be run by cranks. Lubos Motl recently initiated a challenge to post a one-star review for a crackpot book called The Final Theory on amazon.com and have it remain on the site for one week. You can read Lubos’ account here and Brian Powell’s here.

I tried to post a tongue-in-cheek four-star review that I thought might be subtle enough to get by the moderators,* alas it was deleted within an hour. I urge you to join the challenge and post your own review. Comments on your experiences are welcome!

*I wonder if all of the comments are actually read by people. Clearly in some cases they are since Brian got human-generated responses to his queries, but it seems to me like a (unreasonably?) huge expense to have a horde of moderators reading all of the comments posted to amazon. I was thinking perhaps they have some kind of spam filter that does the job, but bad reviews they don’t like are harder to detect than most spam which is itself notoriously hard to detect. Does anyone know for sure?



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