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Revealing Fake Amazon Reviews

Amazon has come under a lot of fire for fake reviews. It is not just their fault, many smart people are helping vendors game the Amazon review system by paying reviewers. Amazon is working to prevent this but is not doing enough.

Now we have a new line of defense! Fakespot.com analyzes the reviews from Amazon product links and gives you an idea of how likely fake reviews are. Many people have found it very useful. There are browser add-ons, but I just have the site bookmarked and copy the address of the product into it.

Fakespot analyzes many variables about the reviews and the reviewers, including:
  • Does the reviewer have an overwhelming number of positive reviews
  • Do they have a lot of reviews for the same company?
  • Is their profile and language very much like other reviewers profile and language indicating they are the same person or hired by the same campaign company.
  • Posted a large number of positive reviews on the same date.
  • A huge number of superlatives about the products they review.
  • Not very much information in the review, just superlatives.
  • Reviews very much like others for that product.

But, be skeptical even of this!

Though this site is very useful, you must use some common sense. If you are looking at say rechargeable AAA batteries or Ethernet cables, there is much less that people can say about them if they work. Words like, "lasts a long time", "just works". So the reviews will be similar and if they work, largely positive. Compared to a cell phone, with battery life, screen, speed, camera and many other features these battery reviews are likely to all look alike and appear to a machine program to be more likely to be fake.

On the other hand, I love this site and check most of my purchases.

Date: February 2017

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