The economics of fake reviews

Online reviews have been proven to have a direct impact on products sales and unsurprisingly the internet is rife with fake ones. But do these malicious reviews impact our decisions or can we see through them?

The American social scientist Donald Campbell observed that as soon as you try to apply and use indicators for social decision-making, the pressure to corrupt the measure increases and it then distorts the process it is measuring. The measure eventually becomes meaningless because it loses its value as a measure (this principle is also known as Goodhart’s Law. Nowhere has this become more true than using product reviews as a means of gauging the public’s opinion of a particular product and as a recommendation to buy it.

Amazon’s fake reviews


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