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Why was this service created?

As many of you, we do a lot of our purchases online. Groceries, books, supplements.. you name it. The majority of the time, relying on reviews for products is the logical thing to do as with buying anything online, you cannot try it before you buy it.

However, within a few purchases we noticed some products weren't matching what they advertised to do and yet there were numerous 5 star reviews claiming the product was the second coming. Obviously, these reviews were fake. At the time, we did waste our hard-earned money on these products. We were flabbergasted, why aren't the selling platforms helping out consumers and weeding out these fraudulent reviews?

What criteria are used by Fakespot when analyzing reviews?

Fakespot utilizes numerous technologies to validate the authenticity of reviews.

The primary criteria is the language utilized by the reviewer, the profile of the reviewer,correlation with other reviewers data and machine learning algorithm that focuses on improving itself by detecting fraudulent reviews.

The technologies include: profile clusters, sentiment analysis, cluster correlation and artificial intelligence intertwined with these functionalities.

Does Fakespot only look for certain keywords when analyzing reviews?

No. There are multiple algorithms at work to determine if a review is authentic or not. These algorithms are joined with artificial intelligence that has been trained to be a deterministic system for detecting these fraudulent reviews. As more data flows into the system, the better it gets at the detection of these types of reviews. Linguistics play a huge part in every analysis, and is far more complex than looking for certain keywords.

Which websites are currently supported?

Amazon and Yelp are the only websites we currently analyze reviews from, but keep an eye out as we add more!

Can Fakespot be used by buyers located outside of the US?

Yes, Fakespot currently supports Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com.au and Amazon.in.

Why are Unverified Amazon reviews considered unreliable?

Unverified Amazon reviews are flagged because the reviews do not come from an actual purchase of a product via Amazon. Now, it could very well be that the reviewer did purchase the product elsewhere, and later left a review on Amazon. However, the general public has no method of determining the truth and the opportunity for dishonesty is very easy in this instance. Anyone can leave an unverified review and most paid reviews will come from unverified purchasers. Thus, these are considered very unreliable reviews.

Why are Amazon Vine reviews considered unreliable?

These are flagged because Amazon's own Vine program is flawed and opaque. For Amazon sellers, they pay anywhere from $2,500 to $7,500 per product, plus provide free product in order to participate in the program. So, it's a pay-for-review program administered by Amazon itself. But, it's not clear how many sellers participate, nor is it clear how many products are sent out for reviews. You can find more information here.

For Vine reviewers, it is an invite-only program and participants are supposedly chosen at random by Amazon to join the program. All Vine reviewers get free product to review - although now reviewers have to pay taxes on them as gifts according to Amazon. It's essentially a reviews club run by Amazon, for Amazon customers, promoting fee paying Amazon sellers. You can find out more about the Vine program here. And as an Amazon Vine reviewer, you can list a public email and receive more solicitations for reviews from vendors not in the Vine program. Which means, a Vine reviewer who leaves positive reviews more often is regularly solicited to write more positive reviews by sellers seeking that extra bit of review credibility.

Why are Amazon Discount Disclaimer reviews considered unreliable?

Discount Disclaimer reviews are flagged because these reviews are essentially paid reviews. Even if there is a disclaimer by the reviewer, all we know for sure is that A) They did not pay full price, and B) They may not have even considered to buy the product if not for the discount or free product. Most reviewers who leave promotional reviews rarely only leave one single promotional review. Those same reviewers will also try to manipulate their own Amazon reviewer profile by carefully sprinkling in reviews with low ratings to look like they are authentic - which is why reviewers who leave promotional reviewers cannot be considered authentic. Find out more about one reviewer's experience here. In fact, Amazon has recently banned discount disclaimer reviews altogether. You can read the new guidelines from Amazon here.

Does a low Fakespot grade mean the product listed on Amazon is bad?

No. Fakespot does not review any products. We only grade the reviews available for that product at that moment in time. A product can have many unreliable reviews one month, have them deleted by Amazon, and have only authentic reviews remaining and go from a D grade to an A grade in a matter for weeks. All that matters is that the reviews are now genuine. The product never changed, just the credibility of the reviews.

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