What’s an Amazon Five-Star Review Worth? Pervasive Fraud Devalues Praise, Tars Honest and Dishonest Authors with the Same “Cheater” Brush

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November 2011
by Peter Bowerman

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What’s an Amazon Five-Star Review Worth? Pervasive Fraud Devalues Praise, Tars Honest and Dishonest Authors with the Same “Cheater” Brush

by Peter Bowerman

I attended college at the University of Virginia, one of a relatively small group of schools (including all the military academies) with an honor code, and one of the very few whose code is totally student-administered.

The terms of the code are clear: any student caught lying, cheating, or stealing is subject to expulsion. And yes, if you witness such a violation, you’re duty-bound to report it, or be subject to expulsion yourself (admittedly harder to prove). And I can tell you it worked. Sure, at any given time, there was likely an Honor Trial going on (again, all student-run), but the dozen or so trials in a given year in a student body of roughly 25,000 proved the system’s fundamental solidity.

Professors would hand out tests, hang around for five or ten minutes to answer any clarifying questions, and then take off. And no one cheated. When you finished your test (or handed in a term paper), you wrote on the front, “On my honor as a student, I have neither given nor received aid on this exam.”

Not the case for many friends from my Massachusetts high school, particularly those who attended on…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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