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Fake Review Industry Hits Mainstream Media

September 30, 2012

Origami Crane – Andreas Bauer (Origami-Kunst)

It looks like a question I put out there in a post back in February this year is finally about to be answered.

So freelancer.com is “trousering a hefty 20 per cent, in commissions and fees” from paid-for activities like spam blog comments, article spinning and fake product reviews … I just wonder when people might start to question the website’s role in facilitating these types of questionable activity.

An article published on Fairfax news sites today, and also in the print edition of its metropolitan newspapers, has highlighted the problem that “online reviews have become an industry, with fake appraisals openly bought on sites like Fiverr and Freelancer”.

The mainstream broadcast media has picked up the story too – I saw a promo today that fake reviews will feature on an upcoming episode of Channel 7’s Today Tonight program.

In 2011, I wrote two posts on my first-hand experience with freelancer.com, as a potential user of the site (see “Need some social networking …”) and then as a site owner having to deal with spam commentary (see Freelancer.com – a Marketplace for Spammers).

Finally, with a bit of media exposure and angry consumers, we might now see some action from authorities.

(Pictured: “Origami-crane”, Andreas Bauer Origami-Kunst, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic licence.)

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