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Fake Reviews May Be Eroding Trust In The Web

     
3:17 pm on Nov 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Fake Reviews May Be Eroding Trust In The Web [bbc.co.uk]
Trust in information on the web is being damaged by the huge numbers of people paid by companies to post comments online, say researchers.

Fake posters can "poison" debate and make people unsure about who they can trust, the study suggests.

Some firms have created tens of thousands of fake accounts to flood chat forums and skew debate.

The researchers say there are reliable ways to spot fakes and urge websites to do more to police users.



Only recently, we covered this story here at WebmasterWorld
Dealing With Trip Advisor and Fake Reviews
[webmasterworld.com]
6:33 pm on Nov 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Fake Reviews May Be Eroding Trust In The Web

On what planet does this qualify as news? One would have to be brain dead not have known this.
6:58 pm on Nov 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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With the recent example I cited, it's time the wider audience started to wake up to the damage being caused, not just from the point of view of the 'web' as a resource, but the damage fake reviews can do to a business, and to sites that allow such 'fakes' to persist. If those site that continue to permit fakes to persist, then they themselves will nosedive and lose business.

The whole lot of them need to clean up their act, imho.
7:47 pm on Nov 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@ken_b

I second that
8:41 pm on Nov 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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There are more customers than businesses. By definition. So it's no use telling people that something hurts a business. Especially an out-of-town one that they may only deal with once in their lives. Only when something hurts them does it start sinking in.
5:24 am on Nov 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Most folks can spot a fake review a mile off .... it does open up opportunities for better methods of verification by sites, however, not even the biggest sites can get the density of bona fide genuine content going across all products and subjects. People are just not interested in providing wholesale contributions, and in other cases they simply don't exist for many review subjects. At best it's an 80/20 rule , leaving the majority exposed to very poor content.

This content model is flawed and a very poor quality signal in a lot of high profile cases IMO.
5:58 am on Nov 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'm reminded of the XKCD cartoon, "There's something wrong on the internet".
7:11 am on Nov 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I don't see any fix. Even on a 'trusted' website, someone can post whatever they want.

When content is free to get and free, or nearly free to publish, what do you expect?

People will learn to trust their instincts and their sources over time, like they've done for thousands of years. But some will always be fooled. [i.e., nigerian lottery emails will still be around 10 years from now...]
9:16 am on Nov 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Another issue with some industries is that mostly people looking to complain post reviews, while happy customers, who often outnumber unhappy ones, do not even know or care that they could rate services they use.
9:21 pm on Nov 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Most folks can spot a fake review a mile off...

There are many who believe anything written on a webpage must be true. I get a lot of 'they couldn't put it there if it wasn't true, right?'

With cheap PC's below $400USD and the proliferation of web enabled phones the legions of these type of web surfers is growing quickly IMHO.
9:39 am on Nov 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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mostly people looking to complain post reviews,

And don't forget the small but vociferous group who go out looking for things to complain about.