David Streitfeld’s piece in Sunday’s New York Times reported on regulatory efforts to crack down on deceptive product reviews on the Internet. The article highlighted the prevalence of online reviews that have been paid for by product sellers, and the increasing sophistication of writers who create false reviews for profit or to benefit employers. As a review site, Learning List is critically concerned with the authenticity of its product reviews, and has taken the following steps to ensure that our reviews accurately represent the products featured on LearningList.com.
- Learning List’ review services are offered free of charge. Learning List does not accept compensation from publishers or others who submit products for review.
- Subject matter experts who verify and review products’ alignment to standards may not have been employed by or received compensation from a publishing company, online course developer, or other K-12 instructional content provider for at least two years prior to employment with Learning List.
- Editorial reviews aggregate information collected through interviews with educators who have used featured products with students, independent research, and the views of subject matter experts who verified the product’s alignment to standards.
- Subscriber ratings and reviews are structured to elicit accurate product information on specific criteria. Learning List’s Terms of Service for educators and parents provide that only subscribers who have personally used the product with students may leave a review. The Terms for Publishers provide that representatives of publishers who subscribe to Learning List may only provide a review only of that company’s products and must identify him/herself as a publisher representative in the review.