01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

Member review censorship


I understand when sometimes TWS sends message ‘Dear Alexandra, we had to edit you review because of blah-blah’, fair enough. Can’t please everyone these days.

But when my reviews get certain SILENT exclusions, this is not right.

To give you an example: I published this review that contained this text: “Be careful: it has demons inside. You drink this 14.5 percent pure demonic ethanol beast & forget your homeland, your friends & family, even your waitrose vouchers - everything”.

The waitrose bit was removed & now the passage read like this: “Be careful: it has demons inside. You drink this 14.5 percent pure demonic ethanol beast & forget your homeland, your friends & family - everything”

Please agree with me: by removing this ironic voucher thing, the passage loses its intended meaning & reads like I am ready to abandon my family for a 55 GBP bottle of medoc, which, let me assure you, will never be the case. I love my family (what’s left of it) & my homeland (what’s left of it) & I will never surrender, will fight them on beaches like sir vinston churchill said, & I don’t even HAVE any waitrose vouchers, it was purely a figure of speech, you know.



You are right, it does change the meaning


& they did not even tell me - effectively making my review A LOT more favourable than it was intended to be :rage:


It does lose a bit of the meaning but I wouldn’t read the amended review and think “gosh @Alexandra’s a bit harsh!”, I still understood your tone. The problem is the use of Waitrose; if you’d said supermarket vouchers I doubt it would have been amended. I don’t know the full rules behind it (maybe @Ewan could better explain?) but I think because they are effectively a competitor they can’t be mentioned in reviews published on the sight nor can any other wine merchants/sellers.


I remember I wrote on one fashion website ‘after applying this Dior BB cream my face was glowing like a sainsbury premium british sausage’ & they ‘edited’ it so that my face was like a sausage.

This is Very Very Sad if TWS even contemplates that Waitrose wines are a competition (they are NOT)

Having said that, well… The massive appellations like St Emillion St George seem to leave TWS totally unaware they ever existed - or at least wanting to make members (who are also the shareholders btw) believe it’s the case. But this is a ‘separate issue’.


I don’t look after reviews, so can’t comment, but will raise.


As mentioned to @catherine, I don’t look after the reviews side, but will check this instance out.

(With regard to the separate issue, we have had wines from St Emilion satellites, etc, and doubtless will again (I have visited St Emilion St George with our Bordeaux buyer) - it’s a case of when the wine suits and fits and gives value, i.e. is something we can believe in, then we’ll select it.


Thanks @Ewan I will be thankful like a [tesco tender economy] chicken when TWS gets a chance to buy St Emilion


Farr Vintners have been mentioned more than once among others on here so why the difference ?


do you mean in the reviews section of the site or in the community?

There is no moderation here in the community (beyond removing inappropriate comments - only happened once, in 6 months and that was a one-off issue) but the retail site is a different matter.

You can mention any wine retailers or brands you want here, as long as it is fair :slight_smile:


I take your point, I think the problem is some review sites do allow comparison with other retailers and some don’t.
TWS is fully entitled to protect it’s products as all other retailers are competition but as with everything there should be a degree of common sense as with Alexandras remark which was purely abstract.


We’re re-editing so that it reads ‘supermarket vouchers’, and will review the process for the future, which currently asks the moderator to remove mention of competitors, but clearly in this case it was not meant as a means to promote a competitor.
While we agree that Waitrose’s selection doesn’t come near ours, they are deemed as a competitor, as many members shop for their wines there.


I’ve had several reviews that have been sent and then not published.

I’m assuming it’s either a site glitch or an error on my part because I’ve had no word from TWS and the reviews I submit are always non-controversial. It’s usually something along the lines of the tasting notes, then whether I felt it was enjoyable and good value or not. If I don’t like it I’ll say it’s not for me and leave it at that unless there’s something I feel I need to make other potential purchasers aware of.

As mentioned above if you’d have kept the Waitrose comment more vague and just wrote supermarket, I’m sure that would have been acceptable, although a quick email explaining the change and the reasons why wouldn’t have gone amiss.


I can see now that there are more politics & intrigues involved in this ‘member review business’ at TWS than there are in a provincial repertoire theatre behind the curtain.

I won’t write any more reviews, it’s just that simple.

Thanks, TWS - & sorry for the trouble.


I’ve never had any rejected and they haven’t all been favourable either…However I never mentioned the ‘W’ word…


Asked them to remove my member reviews entirely, I simply have no desire to play games: I publish my honest reviews at zero benefit to myself, solely by my desire to (maybe) improve the world, & if that gets misinterpreted as ‘advertisement for Waitrose’, then I have only two possible suggestions: ‘grow up’ or, failing that, finita la comedia.


@Alexandra I always enjoy your reviews and find them useful - I’ll miss them if they do come down and if you decide to write no more.

I’m sure the rule was originally made for good reason, but I wonder what evidence there is that mentioning competitors actually reduces sales? From my personal experience (admittedly just a sample of one), I have bought a significantly higher % of my wine from the society since joining this community where the ‘competitors’ can be mentioned and are mentioned regularly. Funnily enough, the ability to talk about this strengthens my loyalty rather than vice versa.


It’s their stubbornness that kills it off for me: they have already been laughed at, explained the basics of words meaning, spelled out the no-harm intent, reasoned with reason, shamed with shame & yet they still do it: I just found my Bel Air review was ‘creatively edited’ to change my ‘the faint taste of premium tesco barbecue coal, which I find highly desirable in bordo’ to ‘taste of coal’. No hope for them, I am afraid, whoever is doing the chief-editing of members reviews. Simply no hope.


Its OK - your non-reviews on this community are already proving far more entertaining than any review I could imagine on the main site