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Online Shopping Reviewers Are Not All That They Seem

1181 words - 5 pages

With the recent shift to web based communication, everything, including shopping, has gone online. With online shopping, consumers experience being in the comfort of their own home and they do not have to face bustling crowds. On the contrary, though, online shops allow for customer reviews on their items. The problem that these online stores are facing is that fake users are commenting on items to either boost or lower the ratings. Seventy percent of people trust online reviews (Fake Online Reviews). Online superstores like Amazon.com are popular because of their convenience. Amazon can post items themselves or independent stores can use their website to sell items. Since Amazon sells millions of items online each year, users have to be careful when trusting product reviews. With these faulty reviews, consumers face lack of trust in online stores. There are five ways to spot a fake review, there is software being developed so websites can spot and delete the review, and false reviewers are being fined for writing inaccurate review.
According to a CNET article by Dong Ngo, there are many ways to spot a fake review on an online website. This article states five ways to tell if an online article is illegitimate. The first of these ways is when the review does not state any downsides to the product being reviewed. Regardless how good the item is, most times it has one or two things wrong with it (Ngo). This is not to say, though, that a legitimate review may be a fake one. The next way to spot a fake review is if the reviewers’ names are a random combination of numbers and symbols. When all a user is trying to do is make a fake review, they will not take the time to make up a fake first and last name. The third way to spot a fake review is the date the review was posted. If there are several five star reviews written on the same day for the same product within the same time period, odds are, the reviews are false. When one reviewer posts multiple reviews on an item, that is another way to tell the article is false. Along with this, the tone of the review also has factors into the fact that the review may be a fake one. If the review sounds more like a press release or a legal document, it probably is not a legitimate one. The main point of this article by Ngo is that reviews that fall between are more reliable. People that really did purchase and use an item are more likely to talk about the reliability of an item and the overall value of the item
Although one or two fake reviews will not affect the overall rating of an item, many of them can have a negative affect. Software developers have created programs to stop these fake reviewers from posting comments online. These programs have been programmed to tell the difference between the language used in a fake review and a legitimate one. Researchers sorted 2400 reviews written online and put them in categories of “spam, borderline spam, or non spam” (Marks). Researchers at Cornell...

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