5% of reviews, ratings and reviews are false
We all know that the three Rs of social consumer Rating, Review, Recommendation (Rating, Critical Recommendation) govern today’s world of digital commerce and our journey as customers to purchase. But when we try to find which hotel is the best, the latest device or the cheapest flights, people tend to trust the online comments that we hope to tell us what we want to read. Online reviews have a great importance in our lives and happiness, and turn the customer’s journey into something mysterious. Nielsen and Forrester have produced a number of reports on how we build our trust in brands and products, and how critics play a key role in the decision-making process.
But what if the review is simply incorrect, or if we buy something from a person or web that does not show those comments? Years ago we would have asked our friends and the people closest to us, where we could go to dinner, what music to buy or what book to read, but today we just go to the network and listen or read what a stranger tells us. We do not care at all about the mentality that has that person, their tastes, their age and their sex. The 3Rs believe that they allow us to make our decisions very quickly and simply.
But if we thought we had everything controlled, we now have a study of MIT and Northwestern University conducted after examining more than 400,000 comments from the last 6 months. The study shows that many comments are purely and simply false, erroneous or simply written by people who never tried or used the product or service. And 5% of all negative reviews were written prior to payment. Many of these people who write bad reviews or offer false reviews do not know anything about what they are talking about.
The positive side of this study is that the authors offer us some tips to get to discover this fraudulent content. “What is often more striking is that most of those comments are very detailed. Another clue is the repeated use of exclamation marks, two, three or four to emphasize, is often associated with disappointment, “said Eric Anderson, a professor at Nortwestern University and co-author of the study. “In the end we have seen that many of the negative reviews come from consumers who try to act as self proclaimed responsible for the account.” Abstract Anderson.
However, while many criticisms may be uncertain or purchased, it is good to try to understand what negative reviews are trying to say and find a balance with positive comments. Reading the positive comments makes us run away from that vision often based on anger or frustration about bad services, as well as false or purchased criticism.
“What you have to do is read a lot of reviews, not just the 2 or 3 negatives, which may or may not be genuine,” says Ken Bernhardt, a former marketing professor at Georgia State University.