False reviews on the internet are a growing phenomenon and often have dire consequences. Indeed, some Internet users have now afraid to shop based on reviews, because they don’t know how to tell the difference between real and fake reviews.
False reviews on the net have placed certain brands at the heart of controversies: Séphora, Tripadvisor, Sunday Riley Skincare, etc. False opinions can be present on Google, PagesJaune, Tripadvisor, Petit Futé…
Some alarming figures
The DGCCRF which is the Directorate General for Competition,
consumer and law enforcement stated that most sites
internet use fake reviews and comments to attract more customers.
The study carried out by the DGCCRF has shown that the rate of false opinions on the internet is estimated at 35% at level from all sectors combined: hotels, clothing, cars, household appliances, etc. The results of this direction also show that in 2016, 5 professionals received warnings concerning the certification of their opinions which seems abusive, even fraudulent. Still according to the DGCCRF, false opinions and comments have pushed 74% of internet users to stop buying a product.
Manipulations and corruptions
Fake reviews as well as comments on the internet are mostly from the sites themselves in order to draw more attention to them and get more customers. For example, there are a large number of establishments (plumbers, web agency, locksmith, real estate agency, etc.) that use false opinions on Google to improve their e-reputation, while there are many other simpler ways to get as my article says.
Indeed, some professionals take it upon themselves to write false reviews either to increase their rating or to harm their competitors. They pretend to be consumers to post fake reviews.
Likewise, to make a good impression, they hide the real negative reviews who are at their sites and highlight false positive opinions to attract customers. Professionals know that positive opinions encourage them to buy and guarantee them an increase in their sales, which is why they are ready to do anything, even to invent.
There are sites that connect brands with people so that they buy products and make a positive assessment. In exchange for this, these people receive a refund.
Besides, Buzzfeed News had told the story of the woman who bought entry-level products on Amazon and who gave 5-star ratings as an evaluation, in return the sellers gave her a refund.
Know how to recognize false opinions
On the internet, it is very difficult to recognize false opinions and this greatly disturbs internet users, which is why some have even given up on purchases. When a review is far too detailed and contains information that a consumer is not supposed to know, it’s a good idea to ask yourself, is this a real opinion?
Similarly, reviews can be double on the same platform, that is to say the same titles, the same structure, the same style, etc., and with different “consumer” names or false profiles. Again, the question should be asked as to whether this is not a false opinion.
The Tripadvisor case
In 2018, the Tripadvisor site had recorded 68 million reviews, a figure equivalent to the population of England. The average rating being 4.22 out of 5, the majority of these opinions are positive: what may seem normal for some, but shady for others. The report said the platform had to delete and reject 4.7% of the reviews it received, or just 3 million reviews.