AirTalk for March 12, 2013

Are online reviews trustworthy? (Poll)

Flickr/Jason Garber Creative Commons

One sign that a restaurant review is a fake is if it gives a very high or very low rating without many specifics.

If you own a business, you know how important word of mouth is. As consumers, we are making more and more of our purchasing decisions based on what other consumers say...and not what advertisers tell us.

Many websites have sprung up to meet those needs, providing consumer reviews on everything from restaurants to hotels to local services. A 2012 report from market research firm Nielsen found that 70 percent of consumers said they trust online reviews, a 15% increase from 2009.

But the ecosystem is rife for abuse. Stories abound of unscrupulous companies and manufacturers paying people to write rosy reviews.  And one researcher says as many of 30 percent of all reviews online could be fake. So who can we trust as consumers? How can we sniff out bogus reviews? What are consumer review sites doing about this growing problem?

Guests:
Bing Liu, Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago

Adam Medros , Vice President of Global Product at TripAdvisor


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