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Monday News: California protects negative reviews, Twitter installs “buy” buttons, how books do or don’t affect us, and Ancillary Justice teas

Monday News: California protects negative reviews, Twitter installs “buy” buttons, how...

“Manipulating or attempting to silence authentic feedback impedes other consumers who use that content to make more informed purchase decisions,” Matt Krebsbach, Director of Global Public and Analyst Relations, tells the Daily Dot. “Just as important: Businesses that don’t acknowledge both positive and negative reviews create an environment consumers can’t wholly trust—and curtail the very opinions that could help them deliver the products and services their customers want.” –Daily Dot

Let’s step back and take a look at what we have here, from the consumer perspective. The sudden appearance of a social media “Buy” button gives the consumer a feeling of exclusivity—of somehow being selected and singled out as special. There will be pressure to act quickly or miss out on the deal at hand; by the time you shop around for similar offers, do some price comparisons, or fully think things through, that “Buy” button could be gone. What’s more, the act of purchasing is simply a tap or two on a phone, quicker and easier even than posting your latest brilliant random thoughts on Twitter. It doesn’t feel like spending real money at all. –Time

It has become popular to consider fiction in terms of empathy — how it can catalyze and deepen our awareness of lives beyond our own — but what if it can also catalyze other tendencies, other capacities or grooves of thought? Novels might not make us worse, but they can unlock parts of us that were already there, already dark, already violent or ruthless or self-destructive. People with eating disorders learn tricks from stories about anorexia. People with histories of drug abuse get triggered by stories of intoxication. –New York Times

Monday News: Changes at Penguin Random House, Google settles with photographers, Rumored changes at Twitter, and Scribd’s infographic on reading

Monday News: Changes at Penguin Random House, Google settles with photographers,...

In explaining his reasoning for creating the Penguin Publishing Group, Dohle wrote that, as the book market continues to evolve and e-book sales grow, “it is clear that capitalizing on our authors’ opportunities for growth will require even greater collaboration and coordination, and even more unified publishing strategies across all formats.” He stressed, however, that while McIntosh’s appointment was a significant change for Penguin, “there is no change being contemplated for the creative and entrepreneurial direction of Penguin’s individual publishing imprints.” –Publishers Weekly

On a tangentially related note: I have seen more than one author utilize a celebrity photo, trademarked image, or clearly copyrighted image without any indication of licensing or permission. With all of the online complaining about piracy, people may forget that images are legally protected, too, and it is extremely problematic for authors to ask readers to respect copyrighted books when they do not show the same respect for copyrighted or trademarked images.

Google shared the news today on its blog, cautioning that this settlement is separate from its larger legal battle with the Authors Guild. This lawsuit, “American Society of Media Photographers, Inc. et al. v. Google Inc,” was first filed in 2010. Google’s Authors Guild legal struggles, however, first began in 2005 and continue to rage on. –Venture Beat

Twitter has already been trying to improve its users’ browsing experience,adding tweets favorited by friends to the timelines of users who try to refresh their feeds when no new tweets are available. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo explained that Twitter was trying to give users valuable content when it saw that they were refreshing their feeds and not getting new tweets multiple times. –Washington Post