Serious answer? OK, you asked for it!
It’s hard to answer. I removed all mention of reviews from my own templates for delivery (and it was a really benign “share your experience with the community” kind of thing IIRC) because I worried that they might do something.
One thing to remember is that one of the reasons bandied about when CS stopped removing reviews at all (unless your offer got banhammered - hello obvious loophole! Why did I not think of this before…) was the manipulation from e.g. your bog standard mek-sell:
Meksell: I will deliver something perfect that also makes you a millionaire in just 12 hours!
Buyer: Wow, I better take that, I am naive and this sounds amazing
Meksell: lol jk here’s something I did while watching TV, go away now thx
~ more than 72 hours later~
Buyer: Uh… this isn’t… this is… I want to be reasonable - it’s only coffee money but… ? ? ? Wat?
Meksell: Oh no sir, very sorry madam - if you promise not to review, you can have your $ back!
Buyer: OK, that sounds good! Thank you!
Meksell: no problem bro
Obviously there’s a huge gulf between this kind of behavior and mine (and other sellers here, I hope!), but it seems like it no longer exists. I should tell you all about my ongoing battle with CS about a VERY SIMPLE BUG for 1-2 weeks in which no CS agent reads the prior ticket entries so I have to repeat myself, send the same screenshots - it’s minor, but it is very concerning, considering I have VIPTOPRO access to support. It’s fast, yes - but the quality has plummeted. New top people from offsite won’t recognize this, of course.
You might be OK as a buyer, though. The site is a mess - I have a buyer right now who can’t see the attachments (this is really minor, but I have to refresh a page every time I attach now to see if it attached - my buyer doesn’t know this). Don’t forget, the CS deems any review of their own (FU’d) site as fair, even if e.g. a seller does great work but the technical screwed up. I did tell the buyer, of course. That particular job is going all to hell anyway for un-Fiverr related reasons so lol. Hopefully a no review, but god forbid I suggest such a compromise after bending over backward for “top CS” to avoid getting demoted over 1 job gone slightly awry!
I could go on. I would, but I’d rather do it in the place I’m not allowed to post for 998 years from lol
That’s not even including the new breed of YT meksell with their huge audience - now that is another can of worms altogether. Sorry for kinda rant, which went way off topic. In my opinion, hell yes, manipulation, even though it’s perfectly normal conversation.
(PS the writer’s block post has a typo in one of the first paragraphs - writer’s blog/block - plz fix as she’s v. talented otherwise imo)
EDIT: OK, maybe not so hard to answer… I may come back to clean this response up tomorrow.
EDIT 2: muh photoshops