Author A receives a number of 1-star reviews on GR which he/she claims are retaliation for something he/she posted on the Internet. Which of the following do you find as ethical and mature responses:
A. The author rates his/her own book 5 stars to balance out all those 1-star ratings by "trolls" and explains in the review that he/she has done so because of the "vindictive" ratings.
B. The author's significant other posts a positive review of the book.
C. The author's friends and "beta readers" post positive reviews of the book.
D. The author doesn't respond to the 1-star reviews because GR is a site for readers not authors, and authors and authors' friends and family posting positive reviews (or liking positive reviews) is gaming the system and therefore unethical.
E. A, B, and C.
Alright, we're back.
First, our answer to the above multiple choice: We find (A) and (B) unethical, but we would not be opposed to the author or author's significant other simply liking the positive reviews. We find (C) ethical because friends aren't immediate family (and immediate family is TOO close to the author to be posting actual reviews for our comfort). We are also fine with (D) - the author not responding at all, not even liking the other reviews - although not because responding is "gaming the system" but because responding is futile and might come across as hyper-sensitivity. See "The Skinny on Us" page for more info.
Now, what do we think the GR reviewers would say? Easy, (D) of course!
Let's make the question more interesting then. Let's say Author A is also a GR reviewer and that the author's significant other, friends, and beta readers are also GR reviewers who contributed to some of the recent YA mega-complaining-threads. Now, GR reviewers, how do you answer the above question? Do you denounce Author A and the others just like you've denounced other authors recently? Or do you let these actions "slide" because you are all GR friends?
Since this question has now left the realm of the hypothetical, we already know the answer.