duplicate reviews

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duplicate reviews

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1Carnophile Första inlägget
feb 3, 2008, 9:43 am

Many people post the same book review, verbatim, two or three times in a row. I don't know if this is to get more attention for their reviews, or is simple absent-mindedness, but it's annoying. My problem is that I want to flag these off, but it technically doesn't seem to violate the terms of service. Or does it? (Disengages safety on firearm, craving carte blanche to start terminating duplicate reviews...)

2hailelib
feb 3, 2008, 10:10 am

Sometimes duplicate entries on the site are because of software glitches.

3philosojerk
Redigerat: feb 3, 2008, 10:12 am

It's not a violation, so it's not flag-worthy. This only comes up if a user has multiple copies or editions of the same book and enters a review for each copy. I've only seen one member do this, and rather than flag those reviews, I left that member a private message on their profile explaining that when they do that, the rest of us see nothing but that user's reviews when we view the work page.

I can say for certain that the user I have in mind did not either reply to my comment, or change his practice. In fact, he added more reviews in this style shortly after I left the comment. Unfortunately, there's not much we can do about it :)

4Carnophile
feb 3, 2008, 11:15 am

philoso - Sheesh, why would someone do that?! Hmm, maybe LT should add this http://www.librarything.com/work/1811043

to the terms of service.

5nperrin
feb 3, 2008, 1:07 pm

I don't know, I think if I reviewed a book I had multiple copies of I would want my review attached to each copy for purposes of my own catalogue, so I definitely don't think it should be a TOS violation. And I don't think any system should be set up to automatically show only one review per user per work, because it's possible people would write edition-specific reviews of something they own multiple times as well.

6lilithcat
feb 3, 2008, 1:11 pm

> 4

Merely because you choose not to include a review for multiple copies or editions does not make people who do so "assholes". I suggest that if you have a valid argument to make against that practice that you state it, rather than insulting people who rightly believe that their catalogue is theirs to do with as they wish.

As to why people do it, well, it's really none of anyone else's business, but perhaps they prefer to include the reviews so that when they do get rid of their extraneous copies, they don't have to re-review the book. Or perhaps they simply feel that all information about a book should be included in each listing - a perfectly reasonable bibliographic point of view.

7Carnophile
feb 3, 2008, 3:14 pm

Hi lilithcat. I didn't mean the people who do this are a__holes. I just meant the one person who, when Philoso asked him to stop, deliberately did a lot more all of a sudden, apparently just to annoy philoso.

8philosojerk
feb 3, 2008, 4:49 pm

Oops! Nah, I didn't get the impression that he did it to annoy me. I only took it to imply that he didn't plan to change his habit as a result of my asking him about it. *shrug*

I think there's arguments both ways. I can see the desire to have the data in your catalog for each copy, but then I can't really see any reason to have 4-6 copies of the same book in your library (especially if there's no significant edition difference), and I do see how it is annoying (it annoyed me) to go view a work for which there are 30-40 reviews, but all the ones you can see are duplicates of the same review by the same user - over and over... and over.

I also see the value of doing more than one review if the reviews are edition-specific. I have a couple reviews of my own which are this way, where I altered some of my review to fit the different copies of the books I have.

Ultimately my point was only to say that this particular practice isn't against LT rules or TOS, and I'm not sure I would say it ought to be. Ultimately, its a matter of being considerate to other users. If it bugs you, it's something that has to be prevailed upon the users who are doing it to please stop (and the please there is important - I don't think anyone will change their habits if we don't ask nicely), and if they choose not to... well, such is life :)

9hailelib
feb 3, 2008, 5:02 pm

Maybe LT should only put one review per user in the top five so that all the ones on the work page won't be the same...

10Carnophile
feb 3, 2008, 5:42 pm

philoso - "I think there's arguments both ways." Yeah, you're definitely a philosopher!

hailelib - I like this idea.

11lilithcat
feb 3, 2008, 6:42 pm

> 8

I can't really see any reason to have 4-6 copies of the same book in your library

I don't think I have that many copies of any books, but I do have many of which I own 2 or 3 copies. Some are unintentional (those English vs. U.S. titles!), but most are because of things such as different illustrators, different translations, different prefatory material or notes, etc.

For instance, I have three separate copies of Dante's Inferno. One is the Sayers translation with extensive notes, one is the bilingual BBC Edition, with minimal notes but twelve translators, and one is an old edition with the Doré illustrations. I have two of the same translation of the Iliad, one with the Leonard Baskin illustrations and one the paperback I read in high school with all my notes. Two copies of The Well of Loneliness, both with Havelock Ellis' commentary, but one is the first Paris edition. Three copies of Là-Bas, a Dover reading copy, and two with illustrations by Félicien Rops that are almost, but not quite, identical. Two of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, one the Boni & Liveright edition that is the companion to my copy of But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, and the other the Folio Society edition with illustrations by ffolkes.

And so it goes. The fact is many collectors of specific authors are likely to have quite a few title multiples in their libraries.

12Carnophile
feb 3, 2008, 8:22 pm

I was just browsing around in the help files and came across this:

"Can I make a part of my books or my tags or my comments private?
There are now two comments fields, one of which ("Private Comments") is only visible to you when you're logged in. As of now, there is no way to make a subset of your books or tags private while leaving the rest public."

Seems like using either this new "private comments" feature" (I haven't been able to find it) or the regular Comments feature might be a good solution. It would let people associate their material (reviews or anything else) with a given work, without it showing up in the social reviews section.

13hailelib
Redigerat: feb 3, 2008, 8:35 pm

Private comments is near the bottom of the edit page.

ETA: In 'Your Library' you can edit the display styles to show private comments.

14lilithcat
feb 3, 2008, 8:56 pm

> 12

Seems like using either this new "private comments" feature" . . . or the regular Comments feature might be a good solution.

I would not consider using the "comments" section for reviews. I use that field to describe bindings, note who gave me the book, list any inscriptions, give the full title if it won't fit in the title field, etc. It would make no sense to me whatsoever to put reviews anywhere other than the "review" column. It would make even less sense to have some reviews there and others elsewhere.

Of course, others are free to use the "comments" fields as they wish. If you want your reviews there, go for it.

I think hailelib's suggestion in Message 9 is the simplest solution (though I honestly don't see a problem). It has the advantage of being something that the site can do, rather than trying to get every member to conform to someone else's way of doing things. Which would be rather like herding cats, I expect!

15Carnophile
Redigerat: feb 3, 2008, 11:05 pm

hailelib - I figured it out; thank you for the help.

16philosojerk
feb 3, 2008, 11:06 pm

>11 lilithcat: I recognize the importance of different editions - which is why it's interesting that you explicitly snipped that quote you took from me before my parenthetical comment which specifically addressed different editions. My point was, in the absence of relevant edition differences, there's really very little point to having that many copies of a given book.

17Carnophile
Redigerat: feb 4, 2008, 8:26 am

> 14

I also like hailelib's idea.

Apparently I'm tilting at windmills here, but I want to make a last suggestion just to have it on the record: A person could write one review per relevant work ("relevant" as defined by that user him/herself) but have comments for the other eds. pointing to the one review.

E.g., I have 2 eds of The Hobbit, one illustrated, one not. The illustrations make no difference (to me) for review purposes. I might write a review of ed. X and then, in my comments for ed. Y, direct attention to the review in ed. X.

18Carnophile
jul 4, 2008, 6:55 am

(Testing dormancy feature.)