Fake Reviews

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  • #2021662
    aposhiteyid
    Participant

    Is one allowed to make a fake review/is it right?

    #2021737
    ujm
    Participant

    No. No.

    You really knew all that, right?

    #2021741
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I think it is assur to mislead people being goneiv daas.

    #2021765

    you mamash are a poshiter yid. 😉

    #2021761
    aposhiteyid
    Participant

    Is it still gonev daas if its common knowledge that many reviews are fake?

    #2021772

    someone still might fall for them

    #2021777
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    But of course some of regulars will paskin that its “OK” if the relevant products are made/sold by goyim and the readership of the review will be primarily “eno yehudi”.
    A lie is a lie and deception is deception.

    #2021782
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Of course??

    #2021819
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    you know what my comment would be

    #2021837
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    DY: I told you so! Double standard. Next thing you know, someone will say its OK for chassidim to move back the odometer on a used minivan sold to a misnaged. Nothing is sacred anymore.

    #2021894
    midwesterner
    Participant

    Midvar sheker tirchak, never tell a lie
    Hashem knows just what happened there’s no reason to deny
    Honesty is emes, make sure all your words are true
    So Totty, Mommy, and Hashem will be so proud of you.

    #2021985
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    There is a story where a student asked his rebbi for a recommendation letter and the rebbi signed it at the edge of the paper. Asked the student why? He said because it says midevar sheker tirchak.

    #2022108

    > student asked his rebbi for a recommendation letter

    In one case, R Meltzer wrote a recommendation letter, then thought a little and threw it into the wastebasket. He explained: he wanted to make sure that he is not refusing to write it out of laziness.

    #2022110

    I am not sure what motived OP to write fake reviews, but real yetzer hara can be for an online seller to pay for fake reviews for the site. There is “acceptable” puffery in advertisements, so one could almost argue that if all sellers have lots of fake positive reviews, then having none is a disadvantage. Maybe this leads to a conclusion that one should buy from sellers who do not have these glowing reviews.

    #2022165
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    AAQ, the Chasan Sofer explains the pasuk by Yosef as Potifar’s wife spoke to him daily he did not listen to her. This is how the yetzer hara operates. He nudges a person constantly to sin as he has no good merchandise to sell. However, the yetzer tov does not talk so much as the merchandise talks. A lesson in marketing where good merchandise only needs description but not much convincing.

    • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by Reb Eliezer.
    • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by Reb Eliezer.
    #2022193
    aposhiteyid
    Participant

    AAQ
    I did not write a fake review, i was just asking

    #2022212
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    DY: I told you so!

    Yes, you did, but so far you’re wrong.

    #2022217

    RebE > lesson in marketing where good merchandise only needs description but not much convincing.

    I agree. The answer is: make you sure your product is better and then there is no yetzer to lie. Still, we need to realize, how hard it is, especially online: users see pictures only, do not know who you are, they make superficial decisions, and fake stuff matters … Maybe we do need “ethical kashrus” agency that can verify these.

    One schochet told R Salanter that he is tired of responsibility for so many mitzvos (and possible aveiros) and will go into business. R Salanter was aghast “do you realize how many more aveiros you can do in business!?”

    #2022215

    > I did not write a fake review, i was just asking

    But what made you want to ask? you did not ask “may I eat chazer when nobody sees it”? this is the question.

    #2022219
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    It’s worse when a person with a Jewish name posts a fake review, because the name makes the perspective buyers think that it’s coming from a real person. “John Smith” ve’kedomeh could be fakes, but something uniquely cultural, be it Jewish or other smaller groups lehavdil, gives an appearance of authenticity.

    #2022255
    dovid613613
    Participant

    Few years ago, I was asked to work for a company which deals with renting apartments (something like airbnb).

    The job was to write hundreds of reviews on the website for a lot of apartments. Everything would have had to come from my mind!

    No thank you.

    #2022269
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Anyone who can recall the ancient times (i.e. pre-Zillow and online listings) when real estate ads constituted the single largest ad revenue source for newspapers, you probably also recall the long list of adjectives used to describe various properties. A “fixer upper” might be something that failed all local building codes and “cozy” might have been a unit where you and your shver could not have fit into simultaneously, and an “industrial feel” might have indicated your only window looked out on the HVAC units and a smokestack.
    Somehow, back then, we didn’t think about “fake” product descriptions or reviews since there were practical limits on how many such “fake” descriptions could be deployed in hard copy media. Today, thanks to Al Gore, such lies can be propagated instantaneously on multiple websites and slightly tweaked to make them appear form different sources.

    #2022290

    Dovid, yasher koach!

    #2022307
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    Prospective**

    #2022555

    A nekudah on our attitudes: I mentioned to kids a story of Bernie Madoff.
    One asks: Was he frum?
    We settled that one can only ask: was he “frum”?

    nobodu would ask whether someone us frum when you see him eating Mcdonalds burger, but somehow money aveiros are not that clear cut ;}

    #2022784
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    AAQ – you’re in good company. When rav schwab was told of a frum jew who was accused of fraudulent business activities, he asked the talmid…”a “what” jew?” The talmid repeated…a frum jew, rav schwav said that the term frum cannot apply to such a person (if he had in fact done what he was accused of)

    #2022847
    ujm
    Participant

    A nekudah on our attitudes: I mentioned to kids a story of Bernie Madoff.
    One asks: Was he frum?
    We settled that one can only ask: was he “frum”?

    AAQ: I’m sure if the kid asked whether a woman who was dressed in a skirt which didn’t always cover her knees and above whether she was frum, you’d similarly conclude with him that you could only ask whether she was “frum”.

    #2022885

    Avira, yes, I am aware I was not making chidush, but this was just an extreme case – not just someone who stole a pencil but made a career of ruining so many yiden and institutions..

    ujm, fair point, I would be more sympathetic to that lady and would suggest simply not to look. I would not say she is frum, I’ll go back to my default position that this categorization “frum” is not a good one. The lady may or may not be shomer shabbat, and there is no reason to categorize her further unless you have some decision to make about her.

    #2022909
    ujm
    Participant

    AAQ: You might consider asking yourself why you’re more sympathetic to her than you are to the other case. L’maaisa, aside from sinning herself she’s causing untold thousands of others to sin, both unwillingly (they saw her unwittingly) and willingly (they took a second look, when if not for her they wouldn’t have.) It is unrealistic to impossible to expect society at large to close their eyes when crossing the street or to otherwise not notice.

    #2023445

    ujm, a good question. Maybe because the skirt case involves understandable pull by current society. If she is a BT or MO school grad, then this is the environment fault to begin with and we need to give credit for whatever she is doing right. If she is a lapsed charedi, then it is also fault of the environment that did not nurture her. On the other hand, while geneva is of course present in the society, but it is not considered “normal” and is even prosecuted. So, the person got to have a strong internal drive to follow it.

    Also, the ganav pretends to be a “frum” person, while the short-skirted one is obviously not hiding much. Isn’t it why hazer is considered most reprehensible despite having 50% of simanim – pretending to be kosher?

    That is as far as my self-psycho-analysis takes me. Any other explanations? Now, please someone explain the other side.

    #2023448
    ujm
    Participant

    AAQ: Perhaps you could argue that Bernie Madoff is the fault of a crooked environment on Wall Street and business schools that didn’t nurture ethics over profits.

    Many short skirted folks pretend to be kosher, too.

    #2023461

    FWIW, I heard that Bugsy Siegel would bravely show up at funerals of his colleagues at the risk of being caught, but not enter the cemetery ass a kohen. People make different heshbonos.

    #2023460

    It may be a post with hebrew text got lost again. See Bava Basra 88 several statements by R Levi answering this question exactly: having bad weights (bad accounting!) is worse than arayos, and cheating people is worse than cheating Hashem.

    #2023459

    Majority of people on Wall Street do not steal billions. I realize it started with smaller sums. Still, nobody goes around revealing their dishonest dealings. The other case would not be a problem if it were hidden.

    consider this: a short skirt worn in Teheran or Meah Shearim would be a more offensive proposition than in London. A thief among mafia will be less offensive.

    #2023629
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    ” having bad weights (bad accounting!) is worse than arayos”

    Now that is really interesting. Our accountant is already worried about the 80,000 new IRS agents contemplated by the Biden plan to audit all the tax cheats and raise revenues. He should really be worried about UJM and the gang who just can’t wait until the Sanhedrin start with their post-Moishiach capital punishment program for tax evasion which apparently is worse than arayos and violators are chayav misah.

    #2023841

    Gadol, IRS is also worse than arayos. If someone plans to work there, please ask a shailah first. I don’t think they do any real work any more. They run computer programs to flag missing or anomalous data and then send notices that put an onus on the taxpayers to “explain themselves”, to quote Alice’s caterpillar. The only people who are not affected are avadim (who only get well-documented W2) and genavim (who do not report income or cleaning help on their tax forms).

    #2023866
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    They run computer programs to flag missing or anomalous data and then send notices that put an onus on the taxpayers to “explain themselves”, to quote Alice’s caterpillar.

    Transcript of my recent call with the IRS asking why they disallowed a clearly lawful deduction;
    “I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir’ said the IRS agent , “because I’m not myself, you see.” … “I don’t see,’ said the taxpayer (me)”. ‘I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,’ the agent replied very politely, ‘”or I can’t understand it myself to begin with; and taking so many different positions on the same issue in a day is very confusing, even to me” ….

    #2024448

    It is very confusing, mr agent, today your tax is one height, then it is different. One day you are allowed SALT, another you are not, and now it will be again for two years. It is very confusing.

    Agent: eat from this side of the mushroom – and hangs up.

    Which side?!?

    #2024459
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    aposhiteyid,

    “Is it still gonev daas if its common knowledge that many reviews are fake?”

    Yes – there would be no point in fake reviews if nobody was fooled by them. And as people catch on to the more rudimentary ones, they become more elaborate and advanced.

    Theft being common does not make theft justified – the dor of the mabul was destroyed for that reason.

    #2024461
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Gadolhadorah,

    “But of course some of regulars will paskin that its “OK” if…”

    Motzi shem ra is also a grievous sin.

    #2024505
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    AAQ: I trust that most IRS agents have never read the works of a famous 19th century mathematics professor from Oxford University named Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Caroll)

    #2024509
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Always_Ask_Questions,

    “nobodu would ask whether someone us frum when you see him eating Mcdonalds burger, but somehow money aveiros are not that clear cut”

    Nobody can really know what is in another’s heart, but we typically call someone who is specifically shomer Shabbos and Y”T, kashrus, and taharas hamishpacha “frum”, because in most cases a fear of Hashem and belief in His Torah are the only reasons for adhering to such a disciplined way of life. It’s not a perfect demarcation obviously.

    Also, nobody is above mistakes and falls, so being frum does not mean a person is free of sin. Someone who lies or steals habitually, however, demonstrates that he has no real trust in Hashem as a provider, and no respect for His Torah.

    #2024572

    Avram > are the only reasons for adhering to such a disciplined way of life.

    I think you are saying that we use the “frum” definition between really observant Jews who do everything l’Shem Shamaim from those who behave nicely out of other reasons, either being non-religious or superficially religious. This makes sense, and started making sense from the time of Haskala, and served to make a protective line between “them” and “us”.

    Let’s move to today’s observant community. I would argue that in many places number of people who seriously stumble in Kashrus & Shabbos is way less than those in geneiva and sheker.

    Can someone enlighten us (pardon the word) what was Chofezt Chaim’s thinking about priorities between Kashrus & Shabbos (that he writes a lot about in books for less-observant people) and lashon harah? Does he see connection? same audience or different for these admonitions?

    #2024569

    Avram, I think we subconsciously elevate as markers of observance things that make us “special”, “different”, thus kashrus and not middos (the weighty ones). Others observed also, for example, that we elevate action over “faith” as a counter-argument to religion that insists on “faith only”.

    I would argue that “subconscious” decisions are, in other words, decisions that we did not examine with our logic. Logically, foundational ideas that are shared by the (good part of) humanity are of most importance, and then you build on them with additional refinement. Would people listen to Avraham, if he were obnoxious, rude, and a cheater?

    #2024565

    Gadol> I trust that most IRS agents have never read the works of a famous 19th century mathematics professor

    Do you think they are chopped liver?! or undocumented migrants? I picture most of them being under-employed graduates from humanity departments from Yale and Columbia … I met auditors (not IRS) face-to-face and they present themselves as highly educated people who have to go down a level to waste time listening to excuses of simple folks running the businesses.

    #2024560

    Avram > as people catch on to the more rudimentary ones, they become more elaborate and advanced.

    Indeed, My good-hearted kid just left a nice review and soon got an email suggesting a payment for a longer one with a video or something. This is a smarter semi-ganav. Our halachik analysis so far is that this is akin to bribing a judge to issue a correct verdict – still osur. Or maybe it is simply a payment for the labor to express exactly same opinion in a better video form? Then mutar. Or maybe mutar aval asur so that the child is not getting used to sheker? please advise.

    #2024980
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Do you think they[IRS Agents} are chopped liver?

    AAQ:: No, but I suspect with your 7 figure income, multiple vacation-home deductions etc, you get to deal with a higher calibre of IRS agent in your compliance audits. Sadly, the only two I’ve ever dealt, while extremely courteous and otherwise quality human beings, seemed challenged in understanding their own farblunget rules, much less my lame efforts to find precedents for my tax positions in English common law.

    #2024999
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Always_Ask_Questions,

    “Let’s move to today’s observant community. I would argue that in many places number of people who seriously stumble in Kashrus & Shabbos is way less than those in geneiva and sheker. “

    And I would argue against that. First, those who “seriously stumble” in kashrus and Shabbos are generally called OTD and not frum, so the reason you see “way less” is because you do not count them. And second, I don’t buy the “whitewashed tomb” garbage stereotypes of Jews as kvetching endlessly over every spot on the esrog and wearing big tefillin while praying loudly then going home and lying cheating and stealing. Is 2000 years of antisemitism not enough?

    #2025001
    Avram in MD
    Participant

    Always_Ask_Questions,

    “Indeed, My good-hearted kid just left a nice review and soon got an email suggesting a payment for a longer one with a video or something. This is a smarter semi-ganav.”

    Why is it theft? Your daughter liked the product so much that she just promoted it for free. So what is the issue if the company pays her to promote the product in more detail? They’re not asking her to lie or deceive anyone. The only potential problem I can see is if her relationship/sponsorship with the company is not disclosed. I’m not sure if that would be a problem or not.

    “Our halachik analysis so far is that this is akin to bribing a judge to issue a correct verdict – still osur.”

    Your daughter already issued her verdict, didn’t she? They just want to pay her to say it again with more pizzazz.

    “Or maybe it is simply a payment for the labor to express exactly same opinion in a better video form?”

    Yes, that’s how I’m seeing it.

    “Then mutar. Or maybe mutar aval asur so that the child is not getting used to sheker? please advise.”

    What sheker is there, unless your daughter feels compelled by the payment to exaggerate her feelings for the product? This seems very different from fake reviews to me – presumably generated by people who didn’t buy the product, sockpuppetry, people who are offered benefits for writing a good review regardless of their feelings for the product, or bots/AI?

    #2025092

    GH > with your 7 figure income, multiple vacation-home deductions etc, you get to deal with a higher calibre of IRS agent in your compliance audits.

    I only had a pleasure to meet compliance agents from other government departments, they seem to be of higher self-esteem. I only met IRS guys virtually, B’H, and share your views.

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