Fakespot says that more than a third of reviews found on Amazon’s, Walmart’s, and Sephora’s online shopping sites are fake. Here Fakespot means “fake” as in a person was paid to write a biased review—or a bot was used to write the review. However, the WSJ says that some online shopping giants have taken issue with Fakespot’s report. Amazon told the Journal that 99% of the reviews on its site were authentic and says Fakespot can’t tell this because they don’t have access to Amazon’s proprietary data.
I routinely receive spam emails offering me free products in exchange for writing a five star review.
Many vendors of inexpensive, consumable products, such as vitamins and nutritional supplements, offer paying customers an additional bottle for free if they post a five star review.
Some reviews are written by (poor) AI software that seems to be harder for online vendors to detect.
Online reviews are the same as social media platforms, where anyone can post anything they want. Like social media propaganda distribution, online reviews are ripe for exploitation by vendors who wish for positive reviews of their products and negative reviews of competitors.