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  • Ethics of internet reviews

  • Bob Cole

    April 22, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    I don’t know where else to post this comment on the COW, so if this is inappropriate here, please move it.

    I would like to recommend Larry Jordan’s latest essay on his website. The title is “The Perils of Paid Reviews.”

    A month ago, while researching a new light fixture, I noticed a very large number of fake customer reviews, at a website that we all probably know very well. I alerted them to this problem and was assured that they would take action; I just today looked again, and noticed AT LEAST 14 obviously fake 5-star reviews, out of 42.

    I would be very interested in seeing this Forum members’ reaction to this problem, and the related question of so-called “Customer” reviews on the major retailers’ websites.

    Ironically, this small sample of internet fakery was for a product I own and like, from an outstanding retailer I have used as my main resource for video equipment for many years.


    Bob C

  • Mark Suszko

    April 24, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    I generally take a dim view of “advertorial” content anyway: I can’t trust it. I’ll skim it, if the topic is of interest to me, but always with a suspicious, jaundiced eye. I know it’s sometimes a necessary evil to pay the bills. But I would never take money to plug something. If I plug it, its because I like it and believe in it, and I won’t hide my opinions if the thing I like also has some aspects I don’t like. And those kinds of reviews are what I trust.

  • Bob Cole

    April 24, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    They’re bad, yes, but advertorials are at least easy to spot. But the fake “customer reviews,” some by “verified buyers,” really bother me.

    Crime must pay, or the manufacturers wouldn’t be doing it.

    And is there any way to fight back?

    I like the COW’s policy about name-signing; I wish others would emulate it.

    Bob C

  • Alex Lorenz

    May 15, 2019 at 2:31 am

    This website uses an algorithm to estimate the percent of fake reviews on several websites, such as the one mentioned in the news recently:

    I usually ignore the 5-star reviews because of their likely deception, as well as some of the 1-star reviews since certain reviewers are simply too picky and have unrealistic expectations about the product.

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