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5 Stars, or GTFO

Furthermore, this shows just how dishonest these rankings are. If you’re aware of the preposterously high standards Postmates, Uber, and Lyft set, you’re much less likely to give a three- or four-star rating if your experience is imperfect — you don’t want to be the user who causes the contractor to lose their job.

—via Nick Heer

This is precisely why whenever I rate anything I give five stars, or I don’t rate at all. People argue with me about this, and they’re wrong.

Giving anything but five stars hurts people. Period. You can take all your principals of honesty, fairness, mathematical purity, and so on, and shove them up your ass. Because rating less than five stars hurts people, and people are more important than your damn sense of fairness.

If you’re a paid professional critic, by all means, write a thoughtful, fair review of a product and publish it. I’m not talking about professionals making expert recommendations here. I’m talking about the bullshit online rating systems that make or break people’s livelihoods.

As a regular consumer, if you really can’t recommend something, just don’t rate. Unless the guy punches you in the nose, or something—in which case, sure. Go for the one-star. But giving a 1-star rating, or even a 4-star for that matter, is a power play. It’s you demonstrating your dominance over the maker of this thing or performer of this service.

Personally, I’m not so insecure that I have to feel power over my Lyft driver.