Rules For Effective Review Criticism

David Pogue’s recent column in the New York Times on rules for effective trolling should be read by anyone who writes anything on the Internet. Some of the points, though, seemed especially applicable to our particular sphere of interest:

2. Having a violent opinion of something doesn’t require you to actually try it yourself. After all, plenty of people heatedly object to books they haven’t read or movies they haven’t seen. Heck, you can imagine perfectly well if something is any good.

3. If it’s a positive review that you didn’t like, call the reviewer a “fanboy.” Do not entertain the notion that the product, service, show, movie, book or restaurant might, in fact, be good. Instead, assume that the reviewer has received payment from the reviewee. Work in the word “shill” if possible.

4. If it’s a negative review, call the reviewer a “basher” and describe the review as a “hatchet job.” Accuse him of being paid off by the reviewee’s *rival*.

5. If it’s a mixed review, ignore the passages that balance the argument. Pretend that the entire review is all positive or all negative. Refer to it either as a “rave” or a “slam.”

Before you ask yes, I actually read the column, no, I’m not a Pogue fanboy, and no, David didn’t pay for a rave.

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