Reviews - what do you flag
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Actual reviews though please, not hypothetical cases.
Do you agree? should that have been flagged? why not?
In the "not a review category", here's one: http://www.librarything.com/review/15732973
Another fairly obvious one, which I can't locate at the moment, consisted simply of a single letter, "r", if I recall correctly.
But here's a "review" that had me in a quandary, though I came down on the side of flagging it (though I'm open to argument on the point). What do people think of this review being flagged? It struck me as not a review, but simply an attack on another reviewer, and that seemed wrong to me.
"Haven't read yet"
"___ gave this book to me"
(Title, name of author)
Reviews that say "Great!" or "Lousy!" or "I loved this book!" or "I hated this book!" are useless to anyone other than the reviewer's soul mate, but do express a thought (or emotion) regarding the content. I won't flag them.
Some very short reviews I've seen on LT have been a clever summing-up of the book. The issue as I understand it is content (or the lack of any), not length.
I've mentioned this particular group of reviews elsewhere. The first is stolen from Amazon verbatim. The second is the same text as the first, but without reference to Amazon. The third is an incomplete rendering of the first two, still without reference to Amazon.
To my thinking, those are all TOS violations, and it seems others agreed with me and flagged one into oblivion.
as "not a review". He didn't say anything about the content of the book, but was simply making an antifeminist comment. Contrast with
which, while also intended largely or entirely as antifeminist comments, also included some "review" of the book in question (albeit puerile at best).
And damnit, I've been flagged! http://www.librarything.com/review/4776946 Granted, it's shorter than the rest of my reviews, but how much can you say about a book you read in a couple hours?
The vast majority of reviews I have flagged were for ToS violations - copyright issues only. I have flagged maybe three or four that were either prices or single letters (what is up with all these people having "n" or "r" in the review box?).
BUT if its not obvious that they are your reviews in both places I would expect them to get flagged....if anyone realised. Linking would be obvious, copy and paste less so.
edit- too slow. What #13 said.
Seems a pretty good review - tells us a little about the books style and content and gives a value judgement. Isn't that what a review should do?
BTW - it may well be worth rewording it anyway as phrases such as "the below review" or anything else relating to position are nonsensical now as the reviews can be ordered.
Agreed. Which is why I flagged the review that says nothing at all about the book ... and didn't flag the other reviews which do say something about the book.
"The first is no different to the other two"
Read them again for content that reviews the book.
In message #2, for example, Lilithcat you show a review flagged for not being a review, yet in your own catalog you include a "review" of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz describing a re-binding job you did. Admittedly, I admire the fact that you keep up the dying art of book binding, but does this tell your reader anything about the content of the book? Not so much. According to your own rules, something like this belongs in comments.
Oh, and #5, I agree that the flagged review was an attack, but disagree with your reasoning: "By the use of the term "30 year old Norweign" I think this is quite a personal attack." The reviewer was trying to show that the writer did not live in the southern United States at the time of the novel, and therefore shouldn't claim any personal acquaintance with the setting. Attack was made on the author's review, not their cultural origins.
I didn't flag, but what to do in such cases? Do we need a broken link flag/icon?
A good idea, particularly if such a flag automatically generated an informational message to the poster, so that she could fix or remove the link.
That link is useless as a review, and so is certainly flaggable in my book. However, the user seems to still be active, having added a couple of books this month, so I have left a private message asking her to change the links or transcribe the reviews to LT.
If I understood correctly, flagging as "not a review" doesn't hide the review, even when done by several people (unlike flagging for abuse of TOS). It simply moves the review at the bottom.
Even the reviews that get hidden (for TOS abuse) are still visible to the user who wrote them; they're only hidden in the "social" pages, and even there they can be seen by clicking on a link.
I think this is entirely reasonable. And I say this as a culprit: this morning I realized that I had written some stuff meant as a comment to myself in the "Review" field instead of the "Comment" field of a book ("I've read some of these stories elsewhere" on a collection of stories by Edgar Allan Poe that I had otherwise tagged as "unread" in my library). Since I don't display the Review field in my normal catalog view, I only caught it by chance as I was playing with layouts this morning -- and so I moved the text to the proper field. I may have done it elsewhere too: if another user flagging my review brought it to my attention, I would only be grateful :-)
I never really saw the point of the review-flagging feature (except for TOS violations), and it seems it is open to a lot of misunderstanding and misuse.
I think they are all blue flagworthy - not for being short, but for saying nothing about the book at all.
I've not done so yet, because there are other interpretations.
#29 nothing wrong with yours at all.
I think there an issue of what a review is.
Let's look at two situations:
If I emailed you and asked for a review of a Brief History of Time and you sent me the review you wrote I wouldn't consider it a review in the standard book review sense like the NYT's has.
If I saw you on a train and asked what is a Brief History of Time and you gave me the review you wrote I would be pleased.
So it looks like there is contrast between a book review as a style of writing and a book review as a comment on the book. So does your review actually review and critique the book as the NYT would do, no. Is it an important, relevant and apt comment about the book which reveals something about the book, yes.
If people expect our reviews to be in the genera of the NYT reviews they are in the wrong place. I'm not a physicists (though I did read a Brief History of Time in high school) so I am not qualified to write a true review of it, I could comment on it and say, "BHOT is a heavy lay level primer on the basics of physics. While parts are accessible to the non-scientist it is a book best read under the guidance of a scientist. In the book Hawking's deals with only one equation (E=MC^2) in an attempt to maxim the accessibility of the book."
To do much else would be dishonest since I'm not qualified to say much else. In that sense the comment style review is more true to the average LTers interaction with the book because they don't have a science background.
So I think the word review makes some people assume NYT style review not a lay person's comments on a book.
Who am I to judge what the catalog owner sees as valuable to them? Not all of my reviews are for other people and so what if they aren't. Others can just scroll over them and ignore them if they don't interest them. Whatever.
As you say, there are other interpretations.
After all you could list all the book titles in the author field and leave the author field blank - because you don't care about the authors... but that would create a huge mess. Hopefully the analogy to reviews is clear.
Sure there are other fields, but I hardly think that enforcing conformity is the answer when the offense is so minimal.
Newbie question #1: Is there any way to unflag a review I accidentally flagged?
Newbie question #2: If a review has been flagged, is there any way of telling what was wrong with it?
Oldie answer #2: Also, no.
It would be nice if the answer were "yes" to both, as it is when we flag author pictures.
Flagging for TOS violations is obviously a good thing. If you are abusing the system why should the community let you get away with it. It could potentially harm the rest of us.
Flagging for 'not a review' is more contentious. However if people followed the rules (both reviews and flagging) it wouldn't be a problem. No review, however short or elliptical should be tagged.
As for the offence of non-reviews being minimal surely it will end up being another tragedy of the commons? Maybe one non-review causes minimal offence but what about five? What about a dozen? Remember you only get 6 reviews on the default book page. Non-reviews being flagged and pushed to the bottom is of massive benefit to the community.
Occasionally I am tempted to use non-original reviews because they succinctly say my exact thoughts on the books. Instead of that, I re-word it or cite it. I wonder if that would violate things in a mad flagger's eyes.
There is far more harm in using someone else's review uncredited than in using it with credit! After all, if you don't credit it, people will think it is yours. That's just wrong.
I have just looked at the first few pages of "books owned by Lilithcat and reviewed by others", sorted by flagged, and I am, frankly, appalled. The vast majority of the blue flags are for reviews that are short, but nevertheless are clearly expressions of the reader's opinion of the work. This is wrong and unfair.
Take S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders as an example.
The review that tops the list actually appears to be flaggable for both offences, it is not only cut and pasted from audiofile but is a review of some other book. The second review is a review of the audiobook cut and pasted from audiofile. At the top of the second page there is a review that contains a C&P review from Amazon AND a C&P of the exact same audiofile review that appeared on page one. Further down page two there is a review that is a C&P article from USA Today about the movie of the book.
The Outsiders only has 20 reviews in total so skipping through the C&Ps and non reviews is easy but what if a book has hundreds of reviews and a third of them are flag worthy? How many of these flaggable posts do you want to wade through?
I have actually sent a pm to a few people, politely pointing out when they used the review section for another purposes, and asked if there was any way I could help them out. Some were cool about it, some got antsy, most ignored me.
Here is a good example of what I would flag:
But I also flag things such as this:
They are not a review. And before everyone goes all 'but I want to use LT my way, how dare you tell me how to use it' reviews are a public feature. Heck, there is a section on the Zeitgiest for prolific reviewers. So if you end up there for non-reviews, what does that say? And also, some of us actually use the review function to read reviews by other people - this is a public site after all. So no, I do not want to have to scroll through non-reviews just to find a review.
There endeth the rant.