Reviews Written by Admin – Let’s List Them

If you’ve been following the ISR Member Forum topic, “Reviews Written by Admin – Let’s List Them,” you already have an increased insight into spotting self-praising Reviews written by Admin, themselves. Helitrope, a long-time contributor to the ISR Member Forum, brings this topic to light:

ISR Member Forum
Reviews Written by Admin – Let’s List Them
by Heliotrope ยป Oct 7, 2022

I’m sure everyone reading reviews will sometimes suspect a review might be written by admin, by which I mean admin or someone connected to admin, meant to boost the school’s image or to balance out a negative review. Sometimes it’s very obvious, sometimes less so.

I once suggested every review (or every school) would come with its own comment section, but since that’s unlikely to happen, let’s list all the reviews that we suspect are written by admin so people won’t be fooled (some are so stupid they’re actually amusing). Perhaps the feedback to these posts will bring to light that others might still think the review is an honest account written by an enthusiastic teacher at a great school…..

One recent school review I would add to the list: Cheltenham Muscat Oman, review #3 – I’d say it’s 99.9% sure this one is written by admin or someone connected/instructed by admin. The focus on specific admin doing a good job, the language they use and the things they focus on doesn’t remind one of how a teacher would write a review. Also, it follows two recent negative reviews.

I was thinking of also adding review #14 about Tashkent International School, but then reconsidered despite the high marks. I can see how a teacher there might have taken issue with earlier negative reviews
…..and the marks aren’t all 8s, 9s and 10s. It might be honest.

I’d like to know: What does everyone think are the telltale signs a review is written by admin?

As of this printing, 28 entries comprise “Reviews Written by Admin – Let’s List Them.” GO to ISR Member FORUM

Comments? Please scroll down to participate in this ISR Discussion

2 thoughts on “Reviews Written by Admin – Let’s List Them

  1. – Near-perfect rating in most aspects
    – Defending bad practices by generalising “There is no perfect school”
    – Admin wearing a parent hat to provide a false perspective
    – Exaggerating savings potential
    – Not being transparent about tax status of school tuition
    – Highlighting trivial things as perks

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent project Heliotrope. Here are my telltale giveaways that a review was “inspired” by the school’s admin. They are not meant to be exhaustive, nor infallible:

    1) The review stands out as excessively positive, despite the majority of reviews being profoundly negative.
    2) They tend to be effusive but not specific.
    3) They laud the administration or direction, but not the general staff or other stakeholders.
    4) They sound or feel rather “artificial” or “contrived”, often using hyperbole and very reactive to recent criticisms.
    5) They never mention anything even hinting at negative or failing school management, or for that matter, any challenges the school faces.
    6) They may repeat or signal recent criticisms as being from “malcontents” or “bitter” staff who have a bone to chew against their poor administration.
    7) They are often all form and no content, making vast generalizations and avoiding any specifics.
    8) They may be written in the plural form (we, them, us) rather than sounding grammatically like one person wrote the review.
    9) They NEVER identify as being written by a real person, with a name or title but more like ” a concerned but anonymous citizen” just telling the truth.
    10) They often attack staff and even students/parents who they blame for spreading “malicious gossip” and “fake news”.

    Hope this helps. Any combination of these do not necessarily ensure that the review is a contrived one but if there are many matches….well, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck it could be a fake review.

    Liked by 1 person

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