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Why was this service created?

Fakespot is a data analytics company committed to changing the way people shop online. We believe in the importance of user reviews. With so many online shopping options, a strong or weak product review can have a huge impact on whether or not a purchase is made. The credibility of these reviews is undermined by businesses who leave fake reviews for themselves or for their competitors – or by individuals with an undisclosed bias.

Shoppers in need of a second opinion use Fakespot when considering their next online purchase. Our patented algorithm looks for patterns to filter out reviews we think are unreliable. But don’t take our word for it – you be the judge.

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

No. Fakespot does not review any products or companies. We only grade the product 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?

We flag unverified Amazon reviews because these reviews do not come from an actual purchase of a product via Amazon. Even though a reviewer could have purchased the product elsewhere, and left a review on Amazon at a later date, the general public has no method of determining whether or not this is the case. Also, most paid reviews come from unverified purchasers. We believe that dishonesty is likely in this instance.

Why are Amazon Vine reviews considered unreliable?

Amazon Vine Reviews are flagged because we believe 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?

We flag Discount Disclaimer reviews 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.

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