December 08, 2019   8:41pm

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Beware those online reviews!

Can you believe those online user-reviews?  Read the following …

After watching “The Burning Season” at the Tribeca Film Festival, we stayed for the audience Q&A session — in this case with the director, a New York Times conservation journalist, one of the “stars,” and an NPR moderator.

What started out as a positive repartee quickly turned into one of those New York moments when an irate “stalker” takes center stage. In this case, it was a self-declared environmentalist against carbon credits*. He shouted disparaging comments, threw around facts and when the group we wanted to hear tried to respond, he refused to have the discussion (offered) and stormed out. Opportunity lost to talk about the relative merits of carbon credits, carbon caps, carbon taxes, and what have you.

Later that evening, the following arrived in the “comment box” under our post on “The Burning Season.”  Unfortunately, it sounded remarkably familiar:

“Saw the film, it was boring. What’s more, the director seems like a shill for greedy corporations. The film has the opposite of the needed message, it ays carbon trading is a panacea, when most envornmentalists are against it as a false solution. Really sad.” (NOTE: the typos are theirs.)


I’m so tired of all those yelling, talking heads — literally and figuratively, whether on cable, in the press or online.  Whatever happened to actually stating a few facts?  Or recognizing that maybe there are co-existing solutions to a problem?

Of course, Snoety posts opinions regardless of whether we agree — that’s the point of a blog. This was different. Snoety does not like being used as a “tool” in a negative PR effort.

This brings up some questions:
Should I have posted those comments, knowing they were part of a “campaign,” but asking the filmmakers to post something for their side?
Are online reviews something to be increasingly suspicious about — particularly now that we know people are being paid to write them?
Will all this subterfuge just serve to undermine a medium that we originally depended upon because it seemed so authentic?

From my perspective:   No … Yes … Yes.

And FYI: My antennae is increasingly (in)sensitive to the blogosphere.  I’m counting on opinions from the people I know or on thinking that deserves respect instead … Suggest you do the same.


*The film focuses on three protagonists — A woman focused on saving the endangered orangutans, a farmer focused on saving his family, and a persistent and positive young man who sees carbon credits as a way to save the forests, the wildlife (orangutans, particularly), the local communities, and the planet — all this and make money, too.

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