!!See update at end of blog post.!!
Despite numerous reports to Goodreads, per their requests that evidence be sent via email to Support @ Goodreads . com, clean up of the massive amount of paid reviews has come to a grinding halt.
I had honestly thought that when I began posting about some of the other shills, such as Michael Alexander Beas (who was removed from Goodreads), there would be more reaction, specifically from Goodreads. We all know that they monitor what goes on here on Booklikes.
But nothing happened. Though there have been some notable removals of a few accounts, and the total of prohibited reviews deleted has reached approximately 6,000, not much has happened at all for about the past three weeks.
We're not allowed to say anything very negative about authors or other reviewers on the site, and Goodreads isn't doing much themselves.
Even though "Patrick" posted a nice little note last week in a Feedback forum of limited visibility to reiterate the site's policy of prohibiting commercial reviews and cited fiverr.com specifically, not much has been happening in terms of actually getting rid of known, documented fiverr sellers who continue to post reviews on Goodreads.
So here's a start. It's time to start pointing out who the reviewers are and who the authors are who are buying 5-star reviews from the shills. (Don't worry; few of them are among your favorites, or anyone else's for that matter.)
What we have here is a screen shot taken on the afternoon of 19 August 2014 from the website fiverr.com. The fiverr "seller" goes by the name of Cailin Koy, which may or may not be her real name.
You can see her account at www.fiverr.com/cailinkoy.
Cailin Koy posts testimonials from those who have purchased reviews from her. This recent one seen above is from a client by the name of "wyborn."
And the author of the book pictured in that testimonial, Bury Me With Barbie, is Wyborn Senna.
Cailin Koy used to be a regular reviewer on Goodreads, until her affiliation with fiverr was reported back in early June. Her account was summarily terminated because commercial reviews are strictly prohibited on that site.
Yet as you can see, Cailin Koy is posting on her fiverr page that she has reviewed Bury Me With Barbie on Goodreads.
In fact, that review can be seen on Goodreads here:
And the screen shot here:
Cailin Koy has been removed from Goodreads once. She has come back under another name with another account. She been reported with documentation and nothing has happened.
If you look at more of her testimonials on her fiverr page, you'll quickly discover that she reviews on Amazon as "Chloe Halston, Avid reader and listener."
That link takes you to her Amazon page, where you'll see she is currently a Top 1000 reviewer. (That makes her more attractive to fiverr buyers, too.)
Chloe Halston has been reported numerous times to Amazon for being a blatant fiverr shill, and nothing has happened.
You can easily see what books and products she has reviewed on Amazon. Is every single one of those reviews a commercial, paid-for, fiverr shill review? You'll never really know. Many of them are, and there's a lot of evidence to show it. But Amazon does nothing. Even though commercial reviews that do not disclose their correct nature are a violation of Federal Trade Commission guidelines and even though they are in direct violation of Amazon's own guidelines, absolutely nothing has been done about Chloe Halston's reviews or any of the authors who buy from her.
I don't need to name the names of those authors. You can go see for yourself.
!!Update: 20 August 2014: Fiverr shill Cailin Koy has removed her portfolio of screen shots documenting her reviews on Amazon. If she weren't doing something wrong, and if her clients didn't mind everyone knowing who they are and what they're doing, she wouldn't have done this.
They know they're doing wrong and they don't care. They will continue to do it, for five bucks a gig.