Why was my review flagged?


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Why was my review flagged?

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nov 6, 2008, 4:25 pm

My review of Eragon was red-flagged and blue-flagged.

First let me say that I am posting out of genuine curiosity. I think this review is pretty good: it's well-thought out, makes cogent points, compares the work to other works, expresses my opinion, and makes a recommendation. I also think it's fairly well-written and expresses my personality and my tone when I discuss Eragon.

The review is pretty negative, but I think I stay away from personal attacks.

It has the distinction of being the only review out of over 200 with both flags. It also has a thumb up. I really don't know what to make of it.

Please take a look at the review and see if you agree with the flags, and if you do, please tell me what I can do to improve my reviews.


Sort by date and it's the seventh review from the top. Sort by and it's eighth up from the very bottom.


nov 6, 2008, 4:38 pm

Well, I wouldn't have flagged it, but I imagine it was either fans of the book who are sensitive to negative criticism, or someone who didn't like what was said about the author's parents' self-publishing.

Redigerat: nov 13, 2008, 7:21 am

I would put that down as a good review. I haven't read the book and I don't want to read the 224 other reviews, so I can't say whether it really deserves a thumbs-up, but the blue flag is obviously wrong. Also, I can find no evidence that you plagiarised - something that happens on LT lamentably often.

I would have green-flagged it, but can't. One of LT's myriad bugs is apparent that once a review has red and blue, further flagging is not possible. (ETA: Other people have managed to green-flag it, so it must be/have been one of the browser related bugs.)

nov 6, 2008, 4:43 pm

I'd be curious to know why that was flagged, too. The only thing I can think of is, if you've cross-posted your review to another site like Amazon, someone may have thought you stole it and given you a red flag. I can't think of a reason for the blue flag, though, because it's CLEARLY a review. A good one, too, I'd say, although I've not read Eragon. Maybe someone didn't like the link to a comic?

Wait... on closer inspection, it might've been the references to his "over-indulgent parents" and needing "a more mature person to tell (the story)." Those could be construed as personal attacks, which would explain the red flag. Still no idea on the blue flag, though.

nov 6, 2008, 4:45 pm

I read your review, and though harsh (I haven't read the book myself yet and less likely to now) it was a very good review. I would say you were flagged by people who didn't agree with your conclusions not for any other reason. And No they are not supposed to use the flag feature in this way.

As a side note, I was not able to get the 'this is not a flag' thing to show up was it removed?

nov 6, 2008, 4:48 pm

Shouldn't be flagged. It's a shame people don't read before they do things.

nov 7, 2008, 4:17 am

The blue flag has gone and I was able to green flag the remaining red flag. You've also been accoladed several thumbs.

But I won't be surprised if you get flagged again by people who are incorrectly using this as a method of disagreeing with your opinion.

(note also thumbs should not be used to counter flags)

nov 7, 2008, 7:39 am

As a total aside, I was able to figure out what the book was just by the quotes from the review. Sad, innit?

nov 7, 2008, 12:42 pm

It looks like people have green-flagged you, (and given you a lot of thumbs-up as well, either because they liked it or as a misconcieved attempt to counteract the flags) but just as an FYI, a permalink to your review is a FAR better way of getting us there than telling us the sort order, which is certain to change as people add more reviews. Click on the little chain-link symbol and you'll get a direct link, like so:


Hmm, maybe I should blue-flag one of my own reviews then post about it here -- seems like a good way to get a lot of thumbs-up! ;-)

nov 7, 2008, 12:43 pm

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'm glad to know I'm not doing anything wrong.

jun 24, 2009, 3:35 pm

I thought I'd bump the thread because my negative review of Eragon was recently blue-flagged as well - for no reason I can see. It's all there, it's mine, and it's not vulgarly abusive; just a bit weary.

Is there someone blue-flagging negative reviews of Eragon, simply because they don't like them?

jun 24, 2009, 3:37 pm

some people do. (I know they shouldn't)

jun 24, 2009, 5:42 pm

I see three thumbs-up and no blue flags on your review, so clearly the squeaky wheel got the grease -- someone green-flagged it and you got a bunch of thumbs as well. I think it's more likely that someone with an oversensitive "not a review" filter flagged it than a zealous fan -- some people seem to think that if a review doesn't discuss the plot it doesn't count.

jun 25, 2009, 6:06 pm

Thanks for the information, lorax. I wasn't aware of that preference here; I often don't do a plot summary.

jun 25, 2009, 6:19 pm


I don't think it's an overall preference -- I hate plot-summary reviews myself -- but it is something I've noticed.

jun 25, 2009, 10:23 pm

This reminded me of a question I had about reviews vs. non-reviews: what if the "review" is a one-line summary of a non-fiction book, and it's factually wrong?

I'm thinking of two reviews for a book I read recently, The Babylonian Genesis.

Review #1: "Analysis of creation (cf. Bible flood) in Gilgamesh Epic"

Review #2: "Creation story with Gilgamesh and Enkidu."

The book is about the Enuma Elish and other related creation stories, not about Gilgamesh. Is this distinction relevant in deciding what constitutes a review?

Redigerat: jun 25, 2009, 10:31 pm

_Zoe_ - A summary is already not a review, isn't it, so I'm not sure it matters anyway?

jun 25, 2009, 10:37 pm

I thought I'd seen debates in the past about whether summaries should count as reviews, so I'm always hesitant to flag for that reason alone.

jun 25, 2009, 10:43 pm

Hm. I don't remember. I mean, I remember debates, but I don't remember the outcome. I flag them, when I see them, because they are not reviews. But maybe that's just my opinion and I'm doing it wrong. *shrug*

Well, without knowing the answer one way or the other, it seems "not a review" is appropriate in the case of clearly incorrect information. Or, at least, it's the most appropriate action you can take (unless you want to contact the reviewer(s) and point out that they're mistaken, I suppose, but that's a whole different issue), since I don't think it's against the TOU to input incorrect data, heh.

jun 25, 2009, 11:27 pm

I am pretty sure Tim said they are. Even as little as 1 sentence.

jun 27, 2009, 6:44 am

It's a perfectly fine review. That's the problem with this flagging system - people don't have to give reasons for their flags. My guess is that someone out there took it personally that you didn't like the book they loved and thought that was good enough reason for flagging: it isn't. So my conclusion is that it would be a really good idea if there was also a drop-down that appears when something is flagged, that asks the flagger to give their reasons for flagging - it could include things like plagiarism, racist remarks, offensive language, description - not review etc, maybe even with an 'other - give reason' box. If the flagger didn't tick any of the reasons the flag would not appear and, if it did, then at least the rest of us would know something about that person's thought processes. On the whole, I think the flagging system works fairly well but I do know there are just a few people (VERY few, thank goodness) on LT who consider themselves to be the arbitrators of other people's opinions and being asked to give a reason might just make them stop and think before they reach for that icon.

And I agreed 100% with your review. I didn't review it myself because by the time I got to the end I'd lost the will to live.

jun 27, 2009, 7:08 am

It's a side effect of fandom - people taking critical reviews of their favorite book / author as personal insult.

jun 27, 2009, 7:25 am

Actually I think it wasn't 1 sentence, it was 1 word, and the review was Tim's. So as long as its about your experience reading the book, its a review.

jun 27, 2009, 7:29 am

Yeah, I've seem Tim reviewing a book - can't remember which one - with "No".

jun 27, 2009, 7:55 am

@ 21 I had to LOL ~
"And I agreed 100% with your review. I didn't review it myself because by the time I got to the end I'd lost the will to live"

I read it when it first came out and liked it. I wasn't looking for great literature. I thought it was a fun read, keeping in mind who wrote it. So what if his parents published it.. they did , people ( mostly kids, I would imagine) bought it and read it.. so?

As for flagging.. I think it will always be an issue. It is at Amazon, I know. If people disagree with you, they neg you. I don't get that. I like to see all of the positive and negative reviews when I am trying to decide if I should buy a book. There, they also neg you if it is a vine review, just because it is a vine review. People are strange, you know..

jun 27, 2009, 8:19 am

Revealing my ignorance, or my age, or both --- what on earth is a "vine review"?

jun 27, 2009, 8:34 am

I don't know either!

jun 27, 2009, 9:03 am

> 28 what is your question ? Did you find that as a link for a book review on LT ?

If its about Amazon Vine, that is their early review program. People who belong get ARCs to review and post about the book before its published.

jun 27, 2009, 9:04 am

Something to do with Microsoft Vine, which I think is social networking support being developed by MS?

jun 27, 2009, 9:05 am

> 29: No sorry. Just giving a (somewhat flippant) suggestion for what a Vine Review might be.

jun 27, 2009, 10:24 am

>1 socialchild:, socialchild, I'm late to this party, but I just wanted to say that the fact that you included a link to xkcd makes the review! Hilarious.

jun 27, 2009, 10:30 am

> 21

racist remarks, offensive language, description

Those aren't legitimate reasons for flagging.

jun 27, 2009, 11:45 am

"what on earth is a "vine review"?"

Vine is an Amazon program that is by invitation only. I was fortunate to be invited a year or so ago. Each month we are offered a list of books and or products to read/test and review. I usually just take books. I love it, and have received some very good ARCs that way.

jun 27, 2009, 11:58 am


Thanks. Never noticed them on Amazon. Are they marked somehow? (Guess so, if people are giving them negative ratings for being vine reviews.)

jun 27, 2009, 3:14 pm

there is a tiny badge that says vine voice....