Consumerist on spotting fake online reviews

Consumerist on spotting fake online reviews


Hey, the Consumerist takes really good looks at current customer issues, which include the world of online reviews.

That plays into the network of trust and reputation stuff I've been talking about.

Check out Spot Fake Online Reviews:

Here are some warning signs that an online review is being left by a shill, or shills:
The reviews:

  • Have zero caveats, and are full of empty adjectives and pure glowing praise with no downsides.
  • Are all left within a short period of time of each other.
  • Mainly tally off product features. (Real users talk more about performance, reliability, and overall value).
  • Reviewers names are all variations of one another, i.e. happykat1234, happykat7593, happykat6687

I hear they're doing an update next week based on feedback.

Disclaimer: Consumerist owned by Consumer Report; I'm on their board, due to lots of great work and very high integrity.



Jeff Yablon

Craig, you know I love you and the work you do, and I sure do appreciate that you disclosed your CU Board Member position. But:
Look at what's in that laundry list, brother: IT READS like a compendium of fake reviews, and I gotta believe that 99% of the peeps you follow your words would have known exactly what you said here.
Just sayin' . . .
Jeff Yablon


I appreciate your comments RE: fake reviews. There are many sites in which articles *look* like reviews; but there's no product rating, and the specs are all straight out of the press release.
At we take reviews very seriously and really bang on products before posting any reviews of them. I used to require writers use things like bags and portable products for 2-3 months before writing a review; but I flunked timeliness, so now, we do a shorter period.
Yet, think about it — do you want to know how a product performs the day you get it, or how it lasts over time,especially if it's a bag or other portable product.
Software is a bit different, but still, one needs to check all it's marketed feature for reliability before foisting it on the unsuspecting public.
What do you want in your reviews, timeliness or reliability of product?
MacNN Product Reviews Editor

Craig Newmark

Iiene, maybe a lot to ask, but like th consumer reports folks, i want timeliness and also reliability.


Well for now, you get timeliness and reliability of software. I'll just have to ask my boss if we can update initial reviews for reliability over time. 😉

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