The NSFE upvote/downvote manipulation is really picking up steam

I’ve noticed, that a lot of the “dumb seller whining” posts designed to scare sellers off by making it seem like Amazon’s a terrible platform are being manipulated like crazy w/ the votes and basically completely dominate the NSFE now

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/seller-forums/discussions/t/cd8c063f-74f5-40f5-bd42-436368babeb9
56 upvotes, 1 downvote, this guy’s complaining that people are routinely stealing VCR remotes from him. Are they reusing posts from the 90s or something? Who scams VCR remotes today? There’s zero chance that this is actually happening.

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/seller-forums/discussions/t/757d4f28-aef1-44ee-9920-bff680f7d3e3
32 upvotes, complaining about not being covered for INR, most likely not using buy shipping.
The first reply, though a bit condescending, hits the nail on the head with the solution but has a bunch of downvotes

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/seller-forums/discussions/t/a43708cf-1195-4ee6-88ca-57fae6b29fe1
Another stupid complaint w/ tons of upvotes, and it’s blatant the poster made this story up, because the facts don’t line up.
“AMAZON awarded me 1/2 price of selling price: $11.56”
“I lost $47.54 on this transaction and I did nothing wrong.”
Losing $47 on a $23 product? Sounds like the SAFE-T claim loss isn’t why your business sucks

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/seller-forums/discussions/t/59087286-dae3-40f3-85ab-c44d4eb8a00c
All upvote cry post about sales going down.
Top response that again is a perfect factual answer is downvoted to hell

Not 100% sure what the end goal here is, but the NSFE is basically 100% dominated by bots and fake accounts now.

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Nothing new there. It’s been that way forever.

Whine about slow sales and throngs join in.

Suggest maybe the seller could take matters in hand and the throngs will attack.

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Having personally counseled the OP of that discussion over the years, on issues of Supply Chain Provenance & A-to-z Claim-defending, among others, I’m aware of what product lines he and his family’s B&M (founded by his Dad) offer up online.

As a result of that ‘insider knowledge,’ I’m quite confident that the circumstances James explains are indeed correct.

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“Positive herding”…

  • Social Influence Bias: A Randomized Experiment (2013)

    • Whereas negative social influence inspired users to correct manipulated ratings, positive social influence increased the likelihood of positive ratings by 32% and created accumulating positive herding that increased final ratings by 25% on average. This positive herding was topic-dependent and affected by whether individuals were viewing the opinions of friends or enemies.

  • [1405.1429] How Community Feedback Shapes User Behavior

    • positive feedback does not appear to influence authors much at all. It does not encourage them to write more and does not improve the quality of their posts.

…doesn’t improve the community or foster civil discourse.

And in fact the 2014 study found that the best way to neutralize community users with consistently low value or detrimental content was not downvotes, but no feedback at all: ignoring. Downvotes were found to increase $#@!posting, basically, and cause downvoted users to increasingly downvote others.

So an upvote/downvote system not only doesn’t improve the community, but it also actively drags the community down. And this doesn’t even factor in bots and brigading, etc.

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We can see this in the media and other social conversations where a drooling knuckle dragging idiot is brought out to debate a MIT physics graduate on the merits of science, in the name of equality and inclusion of “both sides of the conversation”. This idea that anyone should ask a carpenter why the 737 max has issues is getting absurd, when there are plenty of questions about lumber and nails to be had.

I just had a conversation with a YouTuber who one my business partners was considering using as an “influencer”. After watching a live stream Sunday night, I discovered this individual believes the moon landing was faked, earth is flat, the ISS is not real, and all manner of other garbage. He then rails against how horrible and evil cities are while driving around in his new skid steer and enjoying making money off of using cameras and an internet not invented, manufactured or designed by someone of the community he feels is “right”. Needless to say we will be using another youtuber.

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The upvoting/downvoting is a form of democratization.

Everyone gets to vote, no matter how little they know, whether they think, and how much they make.

I see no reason to support or oppose the process. It does not influence my opinions.

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While in general I would agree, but when the avenue of conversation is routinely the sole source of resolution for engaging in specific form of commerce, I have formed a different opinion.

:laughing: LOL4R I don’t mind hearing their opinion, and they probably have interesting points, but in no way should their opinion be given equal heft as the insights from experienced experts in airplane design and safety.

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But it isn’t. Those who abuse the voting system aren’t using it for that purpose, not are any but those who democratization empowers.

I am not going to recommend disenfranchising anyone. No matter how incompentant they are. Doing so would be offensive or painful to some people.

This is the kinder gentler Lake.

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It’s not the voting via thumbs up or down. It is the assertions made and or supported that can cause a seller to make a catastrophic decision. I don’t care how many people think CPR is useless, but I do have a problem when they tell someone not to do it when trying to save someone’s life.

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The lack of a downvote option disenfranchises no one within the forum system. Every user can choose to use a “like,” or not, or reply, or not. No choice is removed or voice silenced in the absence of downvote–only the increased opportunity for abuse and manipulation.

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Yepper.

A prime example is the pushback that you’ve received over the last 24 hours re: ethicality vs. morality in this recent NSFE discussion (which I agree is rather disheartening, despite my incessant attempts here, there, and elsewhere to illustrate the actual difference between those two concepts):

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/seller-forums/discussions/t/9ded1515-c754-4836-b969-f95a2daa627e

Oh, the slings and arrows of OUTRAGEOUS fortune…

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Oh my gosh @bookwormapril that thread is BONKERS. It is indeed fraud to “confirm shipment” with a date you know you can’t make. You are :100::dart:.

This post advising against Amazon policy should be flagged for removal:

These posts should be flagged for personal insults:

Kinder NSFE, my @$$.

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Seconded.

I remain dismayed that all of those posts have earned but a single downvote, each, at the time of this writing (12:22 AM EST 19Dec’24).

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Thanks to both (you and @Dogtamer )

Both the comments and the voting on that thread are indeed disheartening.

Not only are ethics not considered – they seem to be despised.

I ran into that on another thread – the seller regularly refunded lots of orders around Christmas due to lack of inventory.

They don’t want to hear that those orders need to be canceled, not confirmed and refunded.

They don’t want to hear from people like me – just the mods.

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/seller-forums/discussions/t/ea45fc34-c895-41b4-bb42-e291790f7f80?postId=ea45fc34-c895-41b4-bb42-e291790f7f80

In the OSFE these threads would be removed as duplicates (most times) or merged into existing threads.

The NSFE clearly lacks moderation tools that Discourse had and the mods are relatively helpless to steer the wayward ship

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I mean, we ALL CALLED IT. We were all ignored, but we knew what was going to happen

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I don’t think it’s the lack of tools, they have the ability to ban, remove posts, and flag posts. It’s a combination of them choosing to turn over moderation to bots and just not giving a crap anymore in general. Most of the mods seem like bots now

Our opinion is the lack of transparency of who has done the thumbs up and/or thumbs down allows for no accountability and can be misguiding to the newbies. It also means that the mods don’t have to deal with being called out on not taking action on those who are just using the thumbs up and/or thumbs down as a playground.

We will let the rest of our thoughts be silent on this subject … and the subject of NSFE in general …

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Agree. The correct, accurate answer to many Amazon Sellers’ questions isn’t up to a egalitarian vote or a popularity contest.

Sure, there are “what would you do” scenarios, but any reply that recommends against policy should be modded (removed), not merely relegated to lower on the page due to downvotes. :grimacing:

And some users will hide behind anonymity to downvote each reply from certain other users, no matter how helpful and accurate the replies are.

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