03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Online Reviews: "Lovey-Dovey" Critics Fuel Grade Inflation On The Web

The Web can be a mean-spirited place. But when it comes to online reviews, the Internet is a village where the books are strong, YouTube clips are good-looking and the dog food is above average.

One of the Web's little secrets is that when consumers write online reviews, they tend to leave positive ratings: The average grade for things online is about 4.3 stars out of five.