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Aug 20, 2011 04:54 AM

NYT Article on ferreting out fake online reviews

Truly the bestest newspaper article I've read in ages. Highly recommended, 6 stars!

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  1. Good one--really, I mean it. Mr. Hancock's words speak volumes:

    “We evolved over 60,000 years by talking to each other face to face,” said Jeffrey T. Hancock, a Cornell professor of communication and information science who worked on the project. “Now we’re communicating in these virtual ways. It feels like it is much harder to pick up clues about deception.”

    That said, when you get to know people over time--at least as regards common likes and dislikes for local dining--you can build a network of trusted guides on the food scene. I'm happy to say the familiar voices I trust on my local board (yours is among my faves, btw!) have provided so many valuable tips over the past few years I've been on the playground. So thanks to you and the rest of the Steady Habits crew for many miles of EXCELLENT eatin'! You will always have special stars next to your name for leading me to steak tartare at Brasserie Pip.

    Your invisible feline friend,

    1 Reply
    1. There's a trend on some well-known sites towards using real names... a review from someone using an authenticated real name should be less likely to be fake than one from someone using a silly pseudonym such as "drongo" :)

      1 Reply
      1. re: drongo

        On the rare occasions I have posted reviews on Amazon I have used my real name. I also use my real name on many of my message boards. Since CH and my neighborhood blog are local, I choose to use just part of my real name. Personally, I can't stand much online behavior, and I find that keeping your identity helps to maintain civil discourse and at least a stronger possibility of honesty.

      2. It's a problem on CH, too. First time posters with wildly-positive but strangely vague resto reviews? Just askin'...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kagemusha

          Yep, I am always very skeptical when someone posts a positive review on "my" regional board but it shows as their first post.

          1. re: Kagemusha

            I'm also highly suspicious of one-time posters who slam a restaurant -- horrible food, horrible service, place was filthy, management incredibly rude, etc.

          2. I just saw a review on Yelp that actually said that the company (it wasn't a restaurant) was offering $10-off coupons for anyone posting positive reviews. I was surprised that Yelp kept it up.

            3 Replies
            1. re: chicgail

              did you report it to yelp? IT NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT TO THEIR ATTENTION FOR THEM TO ACT ON IT

              1. re: thew

                Doesn't someone at Yelp read the posts it publishes? I read it on their site.

                1. re: chicgail

                  yelp publishes thousands upon thousands of posts a day. it takes a user to point out the problems. (re my last post, sorry about the caps lock - didn't notice)