Web reviewers worried about censorship

Posted on August 6, 2005

As online purchasing and window shopping becomes more prevalent, seeing what other people think about particular products has grown in popularity as well.

True, not every website out there has online reviews. For instance, I've yet to read any reviews on the Weather Channel ("Man, your weather sucks!" or "That lightning storm was great, but we could have done without the exploding generator."). In the meantime, many sites that sell a variety of products are turning to the consumer to hawk their products.

The problem, however, comes with negative reviews, outlined in this Wall Street Journal article. Obviously, no product is perfect (except, say, a hailstorm), but on some sites, reviewers get rejected if the content is not appropriate.

There doesn't appear to be a consensus on how negative is too negative. Obviously, if you were a store owner, you wouldn't want someone standing in front of your store saying that it sucked. But it would appear to be more balanced if people could comment intelligently on the products in your store. I expect that if a review was worded in such a way as to not offend anyone, and it gave meaningful information, good or bad, about the product, then it should stay online for other users to read.

But if you're just going to complain about the weather, then maybe you should not waste your time typing.