Case in point, the Juiced Systems product that Benson reviewed as 2 stars is currently listed as an overall 5/5 stars. In Amazon's defence Benson's review is currently displayed at the top of the reviews. So any shoppers that go through the effort of reading the reviews will quickly see it.
But this product shouldn't be rated 5/5 overall, and because it is, many consumers who can't be bothered to check the content of the reviews will be burned.
This, to me, is a greater problem than fraudulent reviews. Fraudulent reviews can be solved by getting more regular customers to review products they buy. Uber is a great example of UX design that gets customers to review the quality of their service nearly every time. But even if Amazon or other retailers achieve a higher rate of reviews by actual costumers, the non-expert bias will remain.
Of course the trick is, how do we determine which reviewers are experts? Most review systems have a helpfulness rating on each review which could be used to weight reviews in the overall average. But that's only a proxy for an expert rating, is easily cheated, and it's harder to get customers to rate reviews than it is to get them to at least review the product.
Of course, for some that would be a 5/5.... Which is another reason to read the negative reviews: Sometimes they confirm that the only downsides to a product is stuff you don't care about or don't see as a negative.
Of course with technical goods, you see a lot of reviews from people who don't know/understand what they were buying... (1/5 stars, this network adapter [PCI Ethernet] wouldn't work in my laptop)
Other negative reviews are about dealing with amazon for returns, or wrong product shipment, which really shouldn't be under the product review. Though it's worth seeing some of that.
"Just got the product, arrived really quick. It worked when I tried it a minute ago, 5 stars."
People should have to take an IQ test before being allowed to post reviews.
> will this HDMI cable connect my laptop to my tv?
> i don't know but it sends a good signal from my xbox to tv
They help nobody and just clutter up the actual helpful answers
Ideally this will happen on every product review page, as other readers recognize an educated review and mark it as helpful accordingly.
Not sure if this is an oversight, but Benson identifies himself as a software engineer.
I feel divided on this. On the one hand, I'd like to give more weight to his reviews; on the other, why? Being at Google, a software engineer, or working on the Chromebook don't actually make it more likely that his reviews should be better than anyone else's.
I feel like most people would take his word because he claims to work at Google -- wouldn't Google be upset with that? It's not like they as a company endorse the product, but his call-out to them makes it sound like he's endorsing them as a Google representative.
It just makes me uncomfortable.
Of course it does make it significantly more likely. "Being a software engineer at Google" restrict the space of reviewers to the > 100 IQ subspace and further to the "good with tech" subspace. "Working on Chromebook, et al." further cuts the space down to the people who have to deal with USB-C devices at work. Opinion of such selected person should be given much more weight than the average, because basically he most likely knows the shit he's talking about, while average reviewer has no clue about anything.
> I feel like most people would take his word because he claims to work at Google
I think most people take his word because he cites the USB spec directly. No bullshit, just pointing out the exact problems and their implications.