Sunday, November 6, 2016 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Fakespot for Amazon and Yelp Reviews

Fakespot:

We are a data analytics company specializing in providing an online service for smarter shopping which analyzes product reviews and provides potential buyers with a grade based on the reviews authenticity.

With so many online shopping options, product reviews can be a valuable indication of which companies to trust with your money. User reviews should be an informative tool for providing honest feedback from other buyers - but what about when the reviews themselves cannot be trusted? Recent reports of companies tampering with reviews have led to consumer doubt about their validity, and for good reason. In the last year Amazon filed lawsuits against a number of companies that offered to pay for positive reviews, while stories continually come to light of schemes which offer free or discounted products in return for reviews.

Via Gabe Weatherhead:

Now Fakespot has an iOS app that adds a new sharing extension for URLs.

The extension does little more than open a web view with Fakespot results, but that’s enough. I use it directly from the Amazon app.

Update (2016-11-27): Sarah Perez (via Hacker News):

Amazon is making good on its promise to ban “incentivized” reviews from its website, according to a new analysis of over 32,000 products and around 65 million reviews. The ban was meant to address the growing problem of less trustworthy reviews that had been plaguing the retailer’s site, leading to products with higher ratings than they would otherwise deserve.

[…]

It found that Amazon had deleted over 500,000 reviews, 71 percent of which were incentivized. The average rating for these deleted reviews was 4.75 stars – clearly much higher than the typical average.

[…]

What’s also interesting, Noonan notes, is that Amazon’s product ratings were largely unaffected, despite the mass deletions. The product ratings – that is, when Amazon tells you that a product is “4.5 out of 5 stars” – appear to have already been adjusted to discount the incentivized reviews when calculating the overall rating.

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