Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#22

Allanther Wrote:
Cestarian Wrote: It feels like a bit of a complicated issue, I've long had a bit of a chip on my shoulder you could say about not censoring my thoughts when talking to others (even over the internet), but if saying what I honestly think is having this kind of negative impact on the people I am actually trying to support by taking the time to point out where I think their mistakes are or which parts of their work I don't like. Maybe the world would be a better place if I just kept my trap shut?



Here's what I see.  

You've done over a hundred reviews and that's pretty freaking amazing!   I personally don't wanna see you stop reviewing the stories here, and would welcome your review for either of mine.  

BUT

I know for a fact that some of the writers on here are minors.  If my teenage son wrote a story on here and got a harsh review like the one you quoted, then I sure wouldn't be telling him to thicken his skin.  

What might be a harsh criticism in your eyes and the eyes of someone who has been writing for a while could be entirely different from a kid's point of view.  

Did you point out a flaw you saw in the story?  Sure.  Will they fix it?  Who knows?  

My story received a 2 star review the other day that said my story had no style at all. This from a reader who read two chapters and used quotes from the story in a way that showed they clearly didn't understand the context.  

Should I simplify my style just to please that one reader?   Wouldn't that ruin the story for all the others who enjoy how I write? I know I can't please every reader.  Just like you know every story you critique isn't going to lead to a more enjoyable read for you.  It is what it is, ya know?

All I'm really suggesting is that when you do offer what you consider to be a harsh critique, pause and ask yourself 'if this writer were my 13 year old nephew or niece, would I say it the same way?'
That's an interesting take, I didn't actually know there were underage writers here, just suspected really. (I mean there are technically gonna be underage people everywhere on the internet, even on porn sites, that doesn't mean people stop uploading porn; incidentally there is some adult content on this site as well, just in text form, but you know, plausible deniability and all that. I was a kid on the internet once too anyways.)

Here's the thing though, I would say it the same way usually (usually my reviews don't go as far as the one in the OP, I'm usually much more careful with my phrasing, and I'm not really sure what caused me not to be with this one).


As I said, I do not feel like I'd be helping them or doing them any favors by lying to them and pretending everything is perfectly good when I don't actually feel that way. Maybe if they're actually as young as 13 I might skip mentioning the negatives entirely to encourage them to continue pursuing whatever it is that they're pursuing, but just as soon as 14 or 15 that starts to change and I would no longer be sparing them.

Also, it's not really the same situation, if let's say a 13 year old nephew starts drawing and shows me his drawings; or if he's publishing his drawings online open for criticism from the entire world. Which essentially puts them in a situation where even if I decide to spare their feelings, someone else is going to decide not to, and I would rather they hear it from me first than to learn later that I actually lied to them the first time around when they were actually asking; as that doesn't give them the message that my words are unreliable.

As for your point not saying you'd tell your teenage son to have thicker skin if he posted on here and got a negative review...

Wouldn't you? Why wouldn't you? Wouldn't this kind of thing be the perfect opportunity to encourage them to be tougher? Sure, you gotta show them love and support and empathy... That's just necessary for a parent, but do you honestly believe you would be doing your teenage child a favor by prioritizing protecting their feelings over teaching them a lesson about how not everyone is going to be nice to you in life and that sometimes you're going to get told things you don't want to hear. 

Imagine how much it might help your child if you could turn their attitude towards seeing these kinds of negative reviews and comments in a positive light, as opportunities rather than as sources of depression. As part of the process of learning and improving, of not giving up at the first sign of struggle and always getting back up whenever something pushes you down because when you get pushed down, there's usually a lesson in it somewhere that you can take away from it. Even if that lesson might simply be something like "some people are just trolls and there's no helping that".

Your kid's gotta learn this stuff sooner or later, why delay it? Wouldn't your teenage years be the perfect time to learn these kinds of harsher life lessons? Cuz when you're an adult it's too late.

Anyhow my point in the end, back on topic, is that we are on the internet here, it's as public as public gets, everyone can see anything you put on here, which means whenever someone publishes a story here that is what they are opening themselves up to and that is what they will get in return, there's no avoiding it. Even if I were to censor my honest thoughts someone else is just gonna come out and say them instead. Maybe they'll have already done it by the time I get around to it. If that's not something people want for their kids then they should be keeping their kids off the internet (or at least confine them to trusted and vetted websites), internet's a nasty place and mean comments are the least of it around here.

That perspective is my entire problem I suppose. It's a bit of a damned if I do, damned if I don't situation. 

I might be considering going gentler with my reviews, but I am not going to entertain the notion that every person I talk to on the internet might be a child. Even if that thought is actually true, I come from a time when the internet was much more vile than the more policed version of it we have now. It was filled mostly with angry nerds and toxicity was the norm; it was the norm because it was all in good fun, having to watch what I say is the opposite of fun and it would ruin the whole experience for me. (Plus, if I don't get to be an asshole on the internet sometimes, I'm just gonna become an asshole in real life sometimes instead, and that's what I really don't want)

You see I couldn't give less of a damn about hurting people's feelings, if people's feelings are hurt by things I say it's a sign they need to grow the fuck up (doubly true if they're kids, give it time, they don't even have a choice in the matter; and I'm not their parent who exposed them to the internet so whatever they encounter on the internet, even if it's just me, is not on my head at all).

But if something I'm saying, for instance negative reviews is causing creative personalities to get so hurt by it that they stop creating things, even if it's just temporarily... That's sorta a line I'd like to draw in the sand for myself that I don't wanna be crossing. At least not anymore. There's just something about that that rubs me really wrong.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#23
The problem isn't that you criticized the work, it's that you insulted the work. It's not 'sparing' your theoretical niece of newphew to change "your protagonist is dumb" to "I don't see an eastablished reason in this characters backstory to why they would think and act this way, and you could change this by x y z". 

That's the issue here, how you got the point across. If you really want to help a young author grow, you must explain an issue objectively. Did your elementary school teacher ever call your assignments "dumb"? How would you have felt if they did? Would you have been motivated to take their classes seriously in the future or would you just have thought 'fuck this guy'? I can tell you that if adults trying to teach me stuff had said something like that when I was a kid with an attitude, I might've flunked the subject purely out of spite. 

So you've got a crossroads here. You can do what a critique is supposed to do, which is help an author grow, or you could keep to your ways of "I don't care if I hurt their feelings" opinion. What's that supposed to accomplish, though? At that point, it is not a constructive critique.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#24

Haust Wrote: The problem isn't that you criticized the work, it's that you insulted the work. It's not 'sparing' your theoretical niece of newphew to change "your protagonist is dumb" to "I don't see an eastablished reason in this characters backstory to why they would think and act this way, and you could change this by x y z". 

That's the issue here, how you got the point across. If you really want to help a young author grow, you must explain an issue objectively. Did your elementary school teacher ever call your assignments "dumb"? How would you have felt if they did? Would you have been motivated to take their classes seriously in the future or would you just have thought 'fuck this guy'? I can tell you that if adults trying to teach me stuff had said something like that when I was a kid with an attitude, I might've flunked the subject purely out of spite. 

So you've got a crossroads here. You can do what a critique is supposed to do, which is help an author grow, or you could keep to your ways of "I don't care if I hurt their feelings" opinion. What's that supposed to accomplish, though? At that point, it is not a constructive critique.

That's not what I said, I said the opposite, that I see an established reason in this characters backstory why they wouldn't think and act this way. There's a huge difference there. Even if you don't see why a character would or wouldn't do something, that doesn't necessarily make it out of character for them. But if you DO see exactly why a character would or wouldn't do something, then it becomes a much bigger issue.

We've already established what the issue with the review in the OP is, and although it didn't happen to me directly, I have been present when elementary school teachers told other kids around me just about exactly what you suggested. But I'm not an elementary school teacher, this is not an elementary school. If it happened to me I would have thought fuck this guy, but the point of the guy isn't to make me like him, it's to teach me, if I'm doing a shit job, it's his job to get me to do a better one, telling me to my face that I'm doing a shit job is a potential way to do that assuming that I actually want to be doing a good one in the first place. 

I'm not a teacher though, my goal as a reviewer isn't to teach, it's to provide feedback. To be able to teach I'd have to actually be a better writer than them in the first place, which I can't say I am, and I think that would be really condescending even if I was...

Now ideally, that feedback helps those authors teach themselves, or other readers decide if they want to read the story or not. But it's not an ideal world and I'm perefectly ok with it that some of my reviews are just gonna be a miss instead of a hit to everyone involved.

I've written reviews that I thought were pretty great and got nothing but downvotes for 'em, and I've written reviews I thought were god damn horrible lengthy walls of text and gotten the top review spot for it.

You say that what a critique is supposed to do is help an author grow, but how do I ensure that my critiques have a chance of doing that when any author might be positively crushed by my negative critique? Praising them for their good points doesn't help them grow, it helps them feel good, but it doesn't push them forward in any other way than just making them want to keep doing what they're already doing, so the only path to actually helping an author grow in skill is pointing out the bad things to him.

But when many authors seem to break down from just that much, how exactly do you propose i write critiques that help authors grow? 

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#25

Cestarian Wrote: I've a chance of doing that when any author might be positively crushed by my negative critique? Praising them for their good points doesn't help them grow, it helps them feel good, but it doesn't push them forward in any other way than just making them want to keep doing what they're already doing, so the only path to actually helping an author grow in skill is pointing out the bad things to him.
I don't have time to respond to the whole post atm, sorry 'bout that, but here I just want to point out that objectivity does not include undue praise. You don't need to wrap your citiques up in fluff, or make an author feel good when it doesn't sit right with you. 


Pointing out the bad things is fine, it's what a critique is supposed to do. But 'this shit sucks' is not objective. It will not help an author grow. 

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#26
I was told RR was known for its harsh and to the point reviews but now I'm disappointed this is as much a hugbox as scribblehub. I was looking forward to having engagement but authors with bones thinner than straw are ruining the writer's experience. If a story sucks then it sucks and there's nothing wrong with telling an author their story sucks especially if they're looking to forward their career or monetize it. I can tolerate bad reviews but I cannot tolerate moderation censoring criticism. You cannot have it both ways.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#27

Tridetect Wrote: I was told RR was known for its harsh and to the point reviews but now I'm disappointed this is as much a hugbox as scribblehub. I was looking forward to having engagement but authors with bones thinner than straw are ruining the writer's experience. If a story sucks then it sucks and there's nothing wrong with telling an author their story sucks especially if they're looking to forward their career or monetize it. I can tolerate bad reviews but I cannot tolerate moderation censoring criticism. You cannot have it both ways.
I've written a lot of harsh criticism reviews here, this is the first time I've actually been censored for something I considered unfair and indeed after having it directly pointed out, I do kinda agree that 'this shit sucks' is not maybe the right thing to put in a review (it's not even something I did deliberately, a bit like a brainfart really); still think deleting it is a little bit of a heavy handed answer tho since it's not explicitly against any rules anyways, but this is the only time it's actually happened to me over 3 years.


Maybe give 'em a chance?

It is my favorite webnovel site for a reason.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#28

Cestarian Wrote: That perspective is my entire problem I suppose. It's a bit of a damned if I do, damned if I don't situation.
It's really the same with moderation tbh. We, the staff, are damned if we do and damned if we don't...


DrakanSigh
Cestarian Wrote: I do kinda agree that 'this shit sucks' is not maybe the right thing to put in a review (it's not even something I did deliberately, a bit like a brainfart really); still think deleting it is a little bit of a heavy handed answer tho since it's not explicitly against any rules anyways, but this is the only time it's actually happened to me over 3 years.
As a matter of fact you haven't been blocked from posting an edited review. I highly encourage you to discuss with the moderators what got the review removed, edit it and repost it.


If it was that particular quote, then please be aware that we would rather remove a review than to edit it with something not said by the reviewer ; we refuse to put words into your mouth.

Yes I know your mouth is not involved in writing things, you know what I mean xP

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#31
There's a very simple solution to all this. Apply the old golden rule, "Treat others the way you want to be treated." Give the kind of criticism you would find helpful and want to receive yourself. If you want people to tell you "this is shit." Then, by all means, tell others their creations are shit but expect to be told something you worked on and took enough pride in to share with the world, is shit. A little common courtesy can go a long way in preventing moderators from having to step in and get flak for doing their job.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#32
Like many of my predecessor have already said: you're clearly not just a one off reviewer to spread hate. You invested the time to read the story and you didn't like it. 

Like you have already said, your words could've been more graceful. 

I can see both sides to the argument - and I hope the review being deleted doesn't discourage you from reviewing more stories. 

Reading your review, I could think of one saying "less is more." You consistently talked about how dumb the protagonist was and etc. Which is a fair point, but perhaps reducing the review to maybe a paragraph would've been received better? And maybe stay away from the profanity? 

Personally, if I receive your review for my story - i would've been like... ah this person really hate my story, maybe they will like my next one! :) 

But then again, I do have a thick skin! 

Chin up OP! You're getting great feedback on how you can revise your review to be better received and still share your thoughts! 

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#33
There is some irony in this review.

You are trying to show flaws, and tell the writer to do better. But frankly, your review is poorly written. If you can tell 100 people how to make their stories better, maybe apply some of that knowledge to making your reviews better.

I can absolutely agree with you on two things you mentioned. I don't like main characters that make poor decisions. I especially don't like it when the reader has been told the main character is competent, smart, best of the best, or skilled in a profession. 

The way you went about expressing those views wasn't good. Should it have been deleted? Don't know. Could you have done a better review ? Hell yes.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#34

XIII-X Wrote: To be perfectly honest: there’s a way to review something without being “harsh” or whatever. As someone who’s been in the military for a while now and quite frankly knows what harsh criticism can be, I’ll be honest: it does not require someone using curse words or insults. If anything, doing that comes off as try hard and edgy for no reason. 

You can get your negative view of something across without berating it to hell and back. I’ve done so multiple times over my career to new soldiers I’m put in charged of who do/act retarded. Being straightforward with them without calling them names (or their actions anything worse than illogical) tends to get better results than calling them fucking idiots and everything they do less intelligent than an autistic toddler. 

Authors don’t need to toughen up as much as this site thinks. They do a little bit, but, reviewers just need to learn how to be better reviewers and professional about it also. Because nowadays whenever I see “brutally honest” or any phrase similar in regards to a review I pretty much know it’s going to be an exaggerated mess of…

A - Cursing that’s not needed
B - Insults toward something in the fic or the author that could be omitted or rewritten and still get the point across 
C - Dramatic whining about something or plot points that could be put into one sentence but is dragged out to add spicy toxism to the piece. 

You don’t see professional critics (aside from Gordon who does it for humor more often than not) typically going around calling games, movies, and whatnot “shit, fucking stupid, vomit material”. If they did, they’d get fired. 

Reviewers should do better if they don’t want their stuff deleted. Authors here shouldn’t have titanium skin to every little thing just to give you an excuse to be a dickhead (generally speaking and not pointing fingers).
This is, hands down, the best thing I've ever seen written on this forum and possibly on this entire site, including the fictions. 

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#35

Cestarian Wrote:
System Wrote: Dear Cestarian,

Your review on the fiction Eleknar's Heir, The Infernal Prince (LitRPG) has been deleted.

The review was as follows:
Stupid Wrote: I couldn't really get into it but the two things that made me actually drop the story were that the protagonist is dumb as bricks (even if his backstory makes it a given that he should decidedly not be dumb as bricks) and because he's being mind controlled and that his mind being influenced by some other guy is going to be a continuing theme throughout the story.Two things I hate in stories, a protagonist that doesn't have a mind of his own, and a protagonist that's dumb, I just can't stand this, so I'm droppin' it.

But there are more reasons I didn't like it, all those reasons loop back to the protagonist's backstory not lining up with the protagonist's personality, he's supposed to be a mob hitman in the midst of depression after a bad breakup which has already lead to him becoming an alcoholic and a drug addict.This wasn't a bad setup for an interesting isekai protagonist, unfortunately all of this backstory goes right out the window the moment he gets plucked off earth. His behavior never shows any traces of his troubled past, he behaves like a generic dumb protagonist (yes, not even just as a generic protagonist, no, more like dense protagonist with denseness cranked up to 11, I mean the first thing he does after getting sent to another world is sit and starve himself for 5 hours, so he's not just dumb, he's patient enough to deal with his own stupidity, so patient it's a wonder the guy even manages to breathe without outside help cuz you'd think he'd lose himself in his own stupidity between breaths)

His thought and speech patterns? Completely generic dense isekai protagonist style, the match to his backstory as a reluctant mob hitman just isn't there, there's a 0% match, there is no way to connect his behavior as a character with his own backstory and this disconnect is the undeniably greatest mistake this author has made, if he wanted a generic protagonist, he should have skipped the interesting backstory entirely, or just stuck to a generic backstory.Now instead he starts the story off by promising readers an interesting protagonist, then goes back on his word by the very next chapter and turns him into a protagonist so generic and dumb that even other dumb protagonists might seem smart in comparison.I can't take this. This shit sucks, and knowing that he already doesn't have a mind of his own with some of his actions being decided by a third party and that that will be a continuous theme in the story, this all just comes together as a promise of a bad time to me.

Reason for deletion: Rule 3.2 Discouraging an author from writing is viewed as taboo on Royal Road. We believe that the tone in this review will inherently discourage the author, rather than provide feedback for readers. If you wish to reupload your review, please address its tone.

Scores:
Overall Score: 3

You can read the full review rules here: https://www.royalroad.com/support/faq#topic-73

Regards,
Royal Road Team



That is a message I just received to my review being deleted, but just to quote a key part of it:


Quote:Reason for deletion: Rule 3.2 Discouraging an author from writing is viewed as taboo on Royal Road. We believe that the tone in this review will inherently discourage the author, rather than provide feedback for readers. If you wish to reupload your review, please address its tone.


I mean... Really? Isn't that kindof a vague reason to delete my review? The tone?

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to think here, is it just not allowed anymore to write reviews that don't sing the story praises, because it might hurt the author's feelings? What about authors who actually want feedback so they know where they might be able to do better for their next story?

I won't deny I could have phrased it all more eloquently, I probably even should have, won't deny that either. 

But last I checked it was not against the review rules to be a little abrasive.

Relevant rules:

Quote:
  1. Be Fair and Respectful
    1. Directly insulting the author or the readers is strictly forbidden. You may criticize the writing in constructive ways if you have a genuine desire to help, but do not direct your feedback at any author specifically, especially if it is a personal attack on their character.
    2. Discouraging an author from writing is viewed as taboo on Royal Road.
    3. Note that while the review could generalize the story as a whole, it can’t intentionally depict a story as something entirely different from what it is. Such as stating that a story includes instances of horrific actions when it does not. Examples such as pedophilia, incest, necrophilia, racism, etc.
    4. Do not instigate or incite any harmful acts in the review.  
  2. Use Appropriate Language
    1. Reviews can’t contain profanity, vulgarity, sexual content, or descriptions of gore. This includes, but is not limited to; vivid descriptions of sexual acts, torture, violence, and other acts or situations that may be considered “gore”.
    2. Slander and discrimination is completely forbidden, and violations are viable to get the user banned. This includes but is not limited to attacks on ethnic, religious, political, sexual orientation, gender or racially discriminatory reviews.

For some people any negative feedback would be 'discouraging' for others it is a good way to grow. I never said anything that implied the author should just stop writing, I was criticizing the story and only the story, I was technically following all the rules, yet my review is deleted in spite of all that.

Thoughts? Am I just being a big baby thinking this is a bit unreasonable?


Hm, I read through your review and this is what I have to say:

I didn’t really get your review— your review is dumb as bricks (even if its length makes it a given that it should decidedly not be dumb as bricks). The thing I hate in reviews are when the review is dumb and lacking content, I just can't stand this, I’d have downvoted it if I saw it.


The review’s complaints? Complete generic complaints about the story being exactly what it’s meant to be and delivering on its promise. The greatest mistake you made is how you decided to read a simple isekai story expecting something more than that. If you wanted a novel idea of an isekai, you should’ve gone searching the top of Best Rated, or hell, go read award winning novels.

This shit sucks, and knowing that the review is rude as fuck makes me believe it deserved to be deleted.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#36

Nestor1079 Wrote: This is why I don't give reviews unless I'm incentivized. 
As an author, you should be willing and able to accept harsh, biting, savage criticism from every direction. 
You should have a thick skin and the capability to grow and develop and become better as a result of scathing critiques. 

But because of the rules, I keep my mouth shut. It's better that way.
Ah, yes. To enter into a field of hobby you enjoy, you must be willing to endure people you don't know and who don't know you ruthlessly insulting your work for no other reason than they can!


You sound a little out of touch with reality there, buddy.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#37
If I was a writer and if I got a review like that, I would probably be depressed a little bit, so I understand where most people are coming from when they criticize your review. But I'm not a writer, I'm a reader. And as a reader I don't see a problem with that review. Yea, you could have worded things a little better, but you got your point across. As a reader, I care about one thing when reading a review. Should I read this story? I don't care if it has constructive criticism, I don't care if it has feedback for the author, the only thing that matters is whether what you are complaining about is present in the story. Is it as bad as you are making it to be? Your review is much more helpful with deciding if I should read a story than plethora of 5 star reviews that say how much they love a story and then spam letters to reach word count.


 
Something that boggles my mind is that people are saying that your review has bad structure, you are repeating yourself, and that it is written poorly. Are people seriously expecting professional reviews on a site made for amateur writers?

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#38

Snakefist Wrote: If I was a writer and if I got a review like that, I would probably be depressed a little bit, so I understand where most people are coming from when they criticize your review. But I'm not a writer, I'm a reader. And as a reader I don't see a problem with that review. Yea, you could have worded things a little better, but you got your point across. As a reader, I care about one thing when reading a review. Should I read this story? I don't care if it has constructive criticism, I don't care if it has feedback for the author, the only thing that matters is whether what you are complaining about is present in the story. Is it as bad as you are making it to be? Your review is much more helpful with deciding if I should read a story than plethora of 5 star reviews that say how much they love a story and then spam letters to reach word count.


 
Something that boggles my mind is that people are saying that your review has bad structure, you are repeating yourself, and that it is written poorly. Are people seriously expecting professional reviews on a site made for amateur writers?
All the authors here seem to misunderstand the purpose of a review. Reviews are for readers. That is what gets me about review swaps. Besides how shady the practice is generally. Constructive criticism can be done by PM.


The Royal Road forums have this strange insular culture that is using certain tools for weird purposes I guess because it is convenient? Is it performative? Do authors swapping reviews just pretend review swaps are for helping improve the writing so they can feel clean and pure while trading story ranking boosts?

There exist writing workshops for authors where people exchange feedback and at the end people don't promise to blurb each other's books. Those are separate activities. But in the digital Royal Road version for some reason peer feedback is conflated with reviews.

Re: Negative reviews being censored?

#39

TenThousandSuns Wrote:
Snakefist Wrote: If I was a writer and if I got a review like that, I would probably be depressed a little bit, so I understand where most people are coming from when they criticize your review. But I'm not a writer, I'm a reader. And as a reader I don't see a problem with that review. Yea, you could have worded things a little better, but you got your point across. As a reader, I care about one thing when reading a review. Should I read this story? I don't care if it has constructive criticism, I don't care if it has feedback for the author, the only thing that matters is whether what you are complaining about is present in the story. Is it as bad as you are making it to be? Your review is much more helpful with deciding if I should read a story than plethora of 5 star reviews that say how much they love a story and then spam letters to reach word count.


 
Something that boggles my mind is that people are saying that your review has bad structure, you are repeating yourself, and that it is written poorly. Are people seriously expecting professional reviews on a site made for amateur writers?
All the authors here seem to misunderstand the purpose of a review. Reviews are for readers. That is what gets me about review swaps. Besides how shady the practice is generally. Constructive criticism can be done by PM.


The Royal Road forums have this strange insular culture that is using certain tools for weird purposes I guess because it is convenient? Is it performative? Do authors swapping reviews just pretend review swaps are for helping improve the writing so they can feel clean and pure while trading story ranking boosts?

There exist writing workshops for authors where people exchange feedback and at the end people don't promise to blurb each other's books. Those are separate activities. But in the digital Royal Road version for some reason peer feedback is conflated with reviews.

I just did a couple of review swaps today. I always ask the person in question to be honest when writing the review, and share their real thoughts.

Reason? It's really simple. A bullshit review is going to be downvoted, and a truthful review will make its way to the top. Users will decide and see what is what, these little tiny stars are meaningless, the only thing that really matters is the content of the review and how it actually reflects the content of the novel. 

It's also painfully easy to see which reviews were written by people who didn't even read the work, or didn't read as much of the work as they claimed they did~