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   How to spot fake Amazon reviews. Bonus: Author's name is Dong, methinks I should be looking for fake cnet articles instead

27 Nov 2012 08:48 AM   |   6708 clicks   |   C|Net
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gmoney101     
Click on user and see how many other reviews they have done. If the answer = 0 then you have your seller upping their ratings...

/didn't need to read that

27 Nov 2012 08:49 AM
abhorrent1     
Amazon reviews went full retard long ago with everyone trying (most failing) to be witty and funny.

27 Nov 2012 08:53 AM
diaphoresis     
Fake CNET articles... nearly all of them..

/Difficulty: 1

27 Nov 2012 08:53 AM
Englebert Slaptyback    [TotalFark]  

Bonus: Author's name is Dong


What happened to my au-to-mo-beeeeeeeelll?

27 Nov 2012 08:56 AM
diaphoresis     

Englebert Slaptyback: Bonus: Author's name is Dong


What happened to my au-to-mo-beeeeeeeelll?


Some guy parked it at an International airport's parking lot. As we speak, the fines and late fees are creeping their way up to $105,000

27 Nov 2012 08:58 AM
ChipNASA    [TotalFark]  
You can't MISS this classic...



ecx.images-amazon.comView Full Size



/clicky pops

27 Nov 2012 08:58 AM
stevarooni    [TotalFark]  
Eh, it's a legitimate concern. Reviews can be helpful, but like anything else on the Internet, they must be taken with a grain of salt. Not all 5-star reviews are useless, nor are 1-star reviews. The content of the review can make a difference...especially if it's a single sentence.

27 Nov 2012 09:05 AM
iheartscotch     
Is the answer, all of the comments?

27 Nov 2012 09:12 AM
nursetim     
Vrenak unavailable for comment.

27 Nov 2012 09:18 AM
Amishrabbit     
with companies like reputation.com openly advertising shill services to business, is it any wonder that shill reviews are becoming so widespread?

also, *every* product sold on amazon.com with more than two reviews appears to have at least one shill user review in it. their appstore "free app of the day" reviews are as much a daily exercise in shill analysis as much as carefully thought out product analysis.

27 Nov 2012 09:34 AM
Solty Dog    [TotalFark]  
I assume all reviews are fake and don't read them.

27 Nov 2012 09:34 AM
parityanimal     
Long Duck Dong?

27 Nov 2012 09:35 AM
eltejon     

abhorrent1: Amazon reviews went full retard long ago with everyone trying (most failing) to be witty and funny.


I find this Fark comment to be certainly true. My daughter, she is well versed in the common vernacular of the youth on the street, even uttered with no promoting on my part that it is "full of win!" In these tough economic times, it is wonderful to find that there are still valuable comments such as this one to lift our spirits dater than two shakes of a squirrel's nuts.

I would have given this comment five stars, but found the color to be slightly too mauve.

27 Nov 2012 09:37 AM
WindBreaker     
I don't know; I kind of enjoy abusing the authors of particularly stupid reviews, which are distributed throughout, but seem to be much more highly concentrated at the low end. Yesterday, someone rated a product one star because the post office "lost" it

27 Nov 2012 09:39 AM
danielscissorhands    [TotalFark]  
5/5
A+++++++++++

t1.gstatic.comView Full Size

27 Nov 2012 09:43 AM
DoctorCal    [TotalFark]  

eltejon: abhorrent1: Amazon reviews went full retard long ago with everyone trying (most failing) to be witty and funny.

I find this Fark comment to be certainly true. My daughter, she is well versed in the common vernacular of the youth on the street, even uttered with no promoting on my part that it is "full of win!" In these tough economic times, it is wonderful to find that there are still valuable comments such as this one to lift our spirits dater than two shakes of a squirrel's nuts.

I would have given this comment five stars, but found the color to be slightly too mauve.


Don't quit your day job. We don't need another meow.

27 Nov 2012 09:44 AM
ms_lara_croft    [TotalFark]  

27 Nov 2012 09:47 AM
king_nacho    [TotalFark]  
Just because the name is Dong doesn't mean it is fake. I work with a guy who's name is Dong.

27 Nov 2012 09:51 AM
imfallen_angel     
meh... I tend to leave reviews of stuff that I've bought and I will tend to offer as much as I can to assist others, as I appreciate a decent review.

I will point out the positives and the negatives, but it does happen that some products are extremely good, and other very bad, and I will leave a review in accordance to my experience.

Some products I'll do a review after months of having it, some, after a few days, but may return and offer a second one after a fair amount of time, so that I can offer the perspective of a long term user.

So according to this article, I'd quality as a possible "fake"? oy...

Reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, and if you're reading them, odds are that you'll have some idea about the product and are looking for feedback that makes sense one way or another and "fakes" aren't the main concern.

The reviews I hate are those that just leave "this is crap, don't buy" but no details or the details are very sketchy.

It's no different from movie critics...

27 Nov 2012 09:52 AM
trippdogg     
Ngo, please.

27 Nov 2012 09:55 AM
Pumpernickel bread     
Not just amazon, you see this kind of schilling everywhere. No matter how bad a movie is, there will be at least a few cats on imdb saying "awesome movie" on opening weekend. I just assume they are employed by the studio

27 Nov 2012 09:56 AM
ZeroCorpse     
Oh, look! A professional "journalist" is being petty and trite in regards to the unpaid competition. How quaint.

I won't go into the personal details, but I'm among the top reviewers on Amazon. I put actual thought and time into my reviews, and I don't sugar-coat them, I don't slander products to bend people to my point of view, and I don't play fanboy.

I enjoy writing reviews. I take pride in most writing I do, whether it's the outrageous stuff here on FARK, or the more genuine stuff in my various other projects and hobbies.

Mr. Ngo, the guy who wrote the article-- the one they take pains to point out is a professional reviewer-- is just plain wrong. His list is almost idiotic, and it's clear he's trying to puff himself up while putting down the people who don't have his title or profession when they're stepping into his territory. Here's my take on his "ways to spot fake reviews":

Absolute singing of praises with no downsides; or a total dismissal of any good qualities
Yes, I have given absolutely perfect reviews, because my job as a consumer reviewer is to tell people how the product works for me. Some products work perfectly for my needs. Some do not. I have given 100% negative reviews, and 100% positive reviews, and there was nothing fake about them.

Reviewers' names
I do not use my real name. Many of us do not. I have several reasons for this (not the least among them is that Amazon does get its share of crazies and I don't want them knowing who I am when I insult their favorite product.) We're not paid professionals, so we don't have to sign our real name to our Amazon account. The option to be anonymous is there, and so I use it, and no, it has absolutely no bearing on the legitimacy of my reviews. In fact, I'd argue the opposite: Because Mr. Ngo has to use his real name, he tends to be less trustworthy because he knows the effect his reviews will have on his career and the amount of swag he gets from companies providing him products to review.

Review dates
I can't really explain it here (NDA) but I do get some products prior to launch. I do get the opportunity to review them. I do get encouragement to post reviews about them prior to their release because the manufacturer wants there to be some reviews-- ANY reviews-- on the product page before the product starts shipping. It doesn't happen often, but reviews that predate a product's general availability do not necessarily indicate some level of trickery. And yes, I have trashed products before they even hit the ground.

A single review per account
I can only say that Amazon is full of people who aren't big on writing. They get one product that really pleases them or really pisses them off, and they write the only review they're ever going to write. It's not uncommon, and they aren't fakes most of the time.

The tone of the review
I have to quote him this time:
The tone of the review is probably the most telling factor when assessing how real a review is. If you spot a review that reads like a press release or a commercial, offering information about features and extolling how superior the product is when compared with its competition, that review is most likely planted by the vendor.

What can I say about this one? It's idiotic. Of course I offer information about features! Of course I extol the virtues of a product I particularly like! Of course I compare the product with its competition! Why? Because that's what people want from a consumer review!

Mr. Ngo is essentially using a whole article to say "Nana nana boo boo! I'm a paid reviewer and so I'm clearly more trustworthy than those peasants." It's a petty swipe at people who do his job, sometimes better than he does, and usually for free.

Are there plants on Amazon? Oh, hell yes. Lots of them! But does Mr. Ngo's list tell you how to spot them? Nope. Not really. All he's really doing here is complaining about other kids playing in his yard. Either that, or he really is this clueless about how Amazon's review system works.

27 Nov 2012 09:57 AM
freewill    [TotalFark]  

king_nacho: Just because the name is Dong doesn't mean it is fake. I work with a guy who's name is Dong.


Are you sure about that?

27 Nov 2012 09:58 AM
JackieRabbit     
I have always found user reviews to be useless. Most of them are fake and written by insane people. I needed a new dishwasher recently and Consumer Reports gave Bosch the highest ratings. I read some user reviews at the Bosch website and the one CR recommended highly got some good reviews, but the general consensus was that it is an expensive POS. I ignored these and bought the machine. It is everything CR says it is. It is so quiet that you have to be standing it front of it to hear it. Its wash cycle makes less noise than my other one did filling. It does a fantastic job cleaning the dishes, holds twice as many items as my previous one, and it very energy efficient. Had I followed the advice of the reviewers, I would have gone with a Maytag. These are now built in Mexico and are not the same Maytag that became famous for their quality and reliability. The Bosch machines are built in Austria.

27 Nov 2012 09:59 AM
Asplenium     

WindBreaker: I don't know; I kind of enjoy abusing the authors of particularly stupid reviews, which are distributed throughout, but seem to be much more highly concentrated at the low end. Yesterday, someone rated a product one star because the post office "lost" it


This is my biggest review pet peeve. Some people don't grasp the concept to reviews an,d use petty issues not related to the product to release their anger. I was reading some recipe reviews the other day and all of the one star reviews were due to the author's mispronounciation of the dish.

27 Nov 2012 10:01 AM
Prevailing Wind     
Dong! The fish is ready!


/too obscure?

27 Nov 2012 10:13 AM
Englebert Slaptyback    [TotalFark]  

Prevailing Wind


Dong! The fish is ready!


/too obscure?


*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*

No, it isn't, especially here.

And the character's name is 'Thong', not 'Dong'.

To sum up: your post was bad and you should feel bad.

27 Nov 2012 10:16 AM
danielscissorhands    [TotalFark]  

Englebert Slaptyback: Prevailing Wind

Dong! The fish is ready!


/too obscure?


*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*

No, it isn't, especially here.

And the character's name is 'Thong', not 'Dong'.

To sum up: your post was bad and you should feel bad.


Now, now. If you don't have anything nice to say... Oh wait, [welcometofark.jpg].

27 Nov 2012 10:24 AM
Marcus Aurelius    [TotalFark]  
The lack of an "Amazon Verified Purchaser" tag is usually a dead giveaway.

27 Nov 2012 10:27 AM
Prevailing Wind     
I would LOOOOOVE to say I intended this troll, but I did not.

My post was bad. I do feel bad.

/deep hurting

In recompense, I give you ....

THE CHARASMATIC SOLOFLEX OF ZONTAR-13

sharetv.orgView Full Size

27 Nov 2012 10:33 AM
Optimus Primate     
I'd like to speak with the hundreds of (fake??) reviewers on Amazon who left 5-star ratings for Neil Gaiman's book 'American Gods'. Sweet Jesus, that thing reads like a high school kid wrote it. It's been one of the most painful experiences I have ever had. Never again, Neil Gaiman, never again!

27 Nov 2012 10:33 AM
Prevailing Wind     

danielscissorhands: Englebert Slaptyback: Prevailing Wind

Dong! The fish is ready!


/too obscure?


*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*
*groinpunch*

No, it isn't, especially here.

And the character's name is 'Thong', not 'Dong'.

To sum up: your post was bad and you should feel bad.

Now, now. If you don't have anything nice to say... Oh wait, [welcometofark.jpg].


AND what the hell? Do you write some linux based web/fark metacrawler that alerts you to anyone using the /obscure slashy? you're the obscurinazi!

27 Nov 2012 10:35 AM
Prevailing Wind     

Optimus Primate: I'd like to speak with the hundreds of (fake??) reviewers on Amazon who left 5-star ratings for Neil Gaiman's book 'American Gods'. Sweet Jesus, that thing reads like a high school kid wrote it. It's been one of the most painful experiences I have ever had. Never again, Neil Gaiman, never again!


I like Gaimen and although I would love to object to your contention...I cant.

Hated that farking book.

Liked Neverwhere, the Grave Yard Book, and most especially Good Omens, but after that it gets less fun.

preemptively, I do not need anyone to correct my spelling of Gaimen.

27 Nov 2012 10:39 AM
Red Shirt Blues    [TotalFark]  
You know who else got 4 stars for their book???????

27 Nov 2012 10:45 AM
Prevailing Wind     

Red Shirt Blues: You know who else got 4 stars for their book???????


Kline?

27 Nov 2012 10:47 AM
Prevailing Wind     
Naaa..he got five. Scalzi got 4? a travesty.

27 Nov 2012 10:48 AM
treesloth     

ZeroCorpse: I won't go into the personal details, but I'm among the top reviewers on Amazon...


Are you getting a kick out of the replies?

Seriously, though, I think a mirror accusation might be made of you, although I strongly doubt it's deserved. The so-called "pro" reviewer is poo-pooing the unpaid reviewer to put himself on a pedestal. The unpaid reviewer, on the other hand, invokes classism to give his reviews the appearance of down-to-earth, nothing-to-gain honesty. I point this out because your points read well without having to resort to that sort of measure.

That said, 5/5, would read again.

27 Nov 2012 11:43 AM
Midnight Rambler     

Optimus Primate: I'd like to speak with the hundreds of (fake??) reviewers on Amazon who left 5-star ratings for Neil Gaiman's book 'American Gods'. Sweet Jesus, that thing reads like a high school kid wrote it. It's been one of the most painful experiences I have ever had. Never again, Neil Gaiman, never again!


I have to remind myself about humanity:

Think of a person you know who is of average intelligence. Now consider that half of the planet is dumber than that.

27 Nov 2012 11:52 AM
king_nacho    [TotalFark]  

freewill: king_nacho: Just because the name is Dong doesn't mean it is fake. I work with a guy who's name is Dong.

Are you sure about that?


Yes

27 Nov 2012 12:03 PM
freewill    [TotalFark]  

king_nacho: freewill: king_nacho: Just because the name is Dong doesn't mean it is fake. I work with a guy who's name is Dong.

Are you sure about that?

Yes


He could be a fake Dong.

27 Nov 2012 12:05 PM
CujoQuarrel     

WindBreaker: I don't know; I kind of enjoy abusing the authors of particularly stupid reviews, which are distributed throughout, but seem to be much more highly concentrated at the low end. Yesterday, someone rated a product one star because the post office "lost" it


I like to read the one star reviews for stuff like that. If the majority are crap stuff that the company had no control over , amazing how many are like that, and they have a relatively fair number of highish ratings then I believe it

Here is an item I'm eyeing on Amazon. An off brand tablet

Link

The three bottom complaints

One has WiFi problems but now where does it say he called customer support to see if it was fixable
One received it with a cracked screen (for which his money was promptly returned) and he didn't like the label
One's upset that his son can't hurl it at the floor and still have it work

I rate those three as morons. It has a ratio of 48 1&2's to 3 4&5's. I think it's legit. Screen resolution is low but it's about 1/2 price of the same size models so may be worth a look.

On the other hand if there were only 3 or 4 good reviews and no bad reviews I'd just assume someone was trying to game the reviews.

27 Nov 2012 12:31 PM
ronaprhys     
Well, if you're interested in buying something and don't scan the reviews, then that's your own damned fault. When I look for things I go through and read the reviews, then discount the obvious insanity. Past that, see if it's going to fit your needs.

/Latest one was a horn that played musical tunes as I want my Xterra to have a Dukes of Hazzard horn. Based on the reviews, however, it seems that they'll work to start by tend to fail when it gets below freezing, very wet, etc. Enough reviews stated this, so I'm not purchasing them.

27 Nov 2012 12:46 PM
Kaiser442     
Does nobody understand anymore that the word is "wary"? Weary means tired. Wary means cautious.

27 Nov 2012 12:50 PM
Jument     
Reviews are helpful. I skim them looking for patterns. If I see that a number of people are complaining about the same issue with a product, I research it. Maybe it will stop me from making the purchase, maybe not. Depends how serious and widespread the problem is.

Obviously you have to keep in mind that:
1) Some positive reviews are bogus.
2) Some negative reviews are people biatching about stupid shiat.
3) People with problems are more likely to review than people without problems.

27 Nov 2012 01:19 PM
foxyshadis     

ZeroCorpse: What can I say about this one? It's idiotic. Of course I offer information about features! Of course I extol the virtues of a product I particularly like! Of course I compare the product with its competition! Why? Because that's what people want from a consumer review!


If a review sounds like a press release, it probably is. Given what I've seen of Dongeroni's reviews, he's barely much better, and basically never seems to leave a negative review unless he had to pay for it.

/There are people who diss the Vine reviewers as being the same, but in my experience it's not at all the case, because it's Amazon basically paying you to review things, rather than the company.

27 Nov 2012 01:27 PM
spyderqueen     
Man, I am not even that bothered by those fake reviews. What I hate are MORON reviews. As in "I just ordered this! I can't wait to get it! 5 STARS!"

biatch, we're not asking you to rate your excitement.

Also the ones that go along the lines of: "This is a piece of shiat. It broke when [I did something explicitly contraindicated in the warnings/summary/instructions] and they won't replace it even though it was only bought 4 years ago!"

But yeah, look for patterns in the reviews and if things frequently complained about are things that would even bother you ("It doesn't do X as well as Y-product", well, if you're not going to be using it for X...), as well as hints of familiarity of the type of item (such as knowing how loud a computer fan can run). Those are much better indicators of whether their rating/review is worth checking out.

27 Nov 2012 01:29 PM
hamsack     
ecx.images-amazon.comView Full Size

27 Nov 2012 02:02 PM
stu1-1     
I was once asked to explain the usefulness of "butterfly houses"

My reply:

faq.gardenweb.comView Full Size

27 Nov 2012 02:42 PM
nickerj1     
The website with the most fake/plant reviews has to be, without any doubt, ApartmentRatings.com.

If you've ever looked up potential apartments on there, you know exactly what I'm talking about. They stick out like sore thumbs because they're overly generic: "This place is great, no problem with noise, management is great". They will, without a doubt, indicate how awesome and courteous and polite the management people are. When, in fact, 90% of legit reviews say nothing about management because no one cares about management if everything is fine, only when something goes wrong. Examples: "Maintenance was slow", "Management jacked up the rent", etc. You can also tell it's legit if they talk about specific incidents. Almost every legit review does: "When I get home late, I can't find parking", or "I noticed a roach once in the kitchen", or "The neighbor's dog barked a lot" ,etc.

27 Nov 2012 03:34 PM
Stephen_Falken     
Well I work with a guy named Dung Ngo. No sh*t. F*cking DUNG. And they expect me to keep a straight face? That's like girls named Phat Ho. Man the VC know how to make a funny name. Anyway our Dung is a racist, clannish piece if sh*t. No, I'm not bitter, I just hate the little bastard. This is completely normal thinking. And don't quote me any of this namby-pamby karma crap either. Sometimes anger and disgust is an appropriate response.

Anyway, what were we talking about?

27 Nov 2012 04:18 PM
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