The Verge: Yelp says it shut down 550 user accounts after discovering a fraudulent review ring

The Verge: Yelp says it shut down 550 user accounts after discovering a fraudulent review ring. “Yelp knows its credibility is only as good as its reviews, so today, it’s releasing its first Consumer Alerts Report, which details incidents in which Yelp’s team intervened to cut off fraudulent reviews or activity. The report shines a light on behavior that one would likely expect happens on a review site — people trying to game the system — but only focuses on successful cases where either Yelp’s human team or software detected abnormal behavior.”

Search Engine Land: Fake and inaccurate reviews driving billions in ‘wasted’ consumer spending [Report]

Search Engine Land: Fake and inaccurate reviews driving billions in ‘wasted’ consumer spending [Report]. “American consumers said they wasted $125, on average, in 2019 due to inaccurate reviews, a new report finds. If we extrapolate that across the adult population, as much as $25 billion in U.S. consumer spending has been wasted due to inaccurate (or fake) online reviews.”

Search Engine Land: Yelp cracks down on ‘review rings’ as Google continues to see widespread mapspam

Search Engine Land: Yelp cracks down on ‘review rings’ as Google continues to see widespread mapspam. “Yelp has almost certainly been the most aggressive of the review platforms to take action against spam and review fraud. The company has historically and controversially tried to prevent any form of review solicitation….Now the company is stepping up efforts to stop ‘review rings,’ which have become something of a cottage industry online.”

New York Times: When Is a Star Not Always a Star? When It’s an Online Review

New York Times: When Is a Star Not Always a Star? When It’s an Online Review. “An increase of just one star in a rating on Amazon correlates with a 26 percent increase in sales, according to a recent analysis by the e-commerce consulting firm Pattern. But while online reviews have become powerful sales tools, the ecosystem is relatively crude. Reviews can be easy to manipulate, and the operators of sites with the most reviews are not always motivated to crack down on fake ones planted to promote products. That leaves many consumers wondering what to believe.”

The Verge: Angry Fans Keep Wrecking Podcasts With One-Star Reviews

The Verge: Angry Fans Keep Wrecking Podcasts With One-Star Reviews. “Podcast reviews can be easy to game, and Apple Podcasts has become the main target for angry fans interested in taking down a show. Apple’s service is the biggest name in podcasting, and it’s one of the few major platforms that allows listeners to leave public reviews. While hosts abused that feature in the past to beat the system with fake positive reviews, others have used it to inundate hosts they don’t like with a barrage of one-star marks, making the shows look like a bust.”

TechCrunch: Facebook still full of groups trading fake reviews, says consumer group

TechCrunch: Facebook still full of groups trading fake reviews, says consumer group. “Which? says it found more than 55,000 new posts across just nine Facebook groups trading fake reviews in July, which it said were generating hundreds ‘or even thousands’ of posts per day. It points out the true figure is likely to be higher because Facebook caps the number of posts it quantifies at 10,000 (and three of the ten groups had hit that ceiling).”

Neowin: UK calls out Facebook and eBay on fake reviews through their platforms

Neowin: UK calls out Facebook and eBay on fake reviews through their platforms. “It’s not at all surprising to learn that fake reviews have long found refuge online, thanks in part to loose monitoring by some of the big internet companies. Today, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has urged Facebook and eBay, two of the world’s largest online brands, to purge their platforms of fake reviews.”