Author Topic: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not  (Read 2540 times)  

Offline Monique

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Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
« on: January 26, 2016, 03:46:56 pm »
With all of the recent talk of reviews I was curious when I sat this article today: http://the-digital-reader.com/2016/01/25/spot-fake-kindle-reviews-with-fakespot/

This tool seems ... creative in how it comes up with its % of fake reviews.

-- WARNING --

EDIT: I've removed the direct link to the tool. It appears that they tweet out the results of each "analysis" and it might be detrimental to have your book linked to a "fake review" site, fake results or not. Be careful if you choose to use it. It might not do any harm, but better safe than sorry. The tool itself appears to be not only useless, but possibly damaging. I'm sure the reviewers who are cast as villains in the results will be none to happy as well.


Folks, it appears that it may be unwise to analyze your books with this tool.  Please read the subsequent discussion before doing so.  Locking the thread pending discussion with Monique.  Thanks. --Betsy
« Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 10:20:54 am by Monique »

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    Offline 60169

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #1 on: January 26, 2016, 03:52:30 pm »
    Yeah, after seeing it on PG, I ran my bestseller through it. It came up with 40% "low quality," reviews.

    I have 778 reviews on that book, so it's saying that around 300 of the reviews are questionable. I think it includes any non-verified review in that total. Also, if you have a true fan who reviews everything you write, it seems to downgrade those as well.

    BTW, I have never paid for a review of any type.

    Offline Tilly

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 03:55:10 pm »
    It told me 50% of my reviews were dubious. I'd like to know who has been acquiring reviews for me then, because it wasn't me! lol

    Offline Accord64

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 04:01:49 pm »
    Very interesting.

    One weakness I found is that it assumes those reviews without a "verified purchase" are bogus. I have several from people who clearly stated that they received a free copy of the book for an honest review, but that's not taken into account.

    Offline katherinef

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #4 on: January 26, 2016, 04:06:06 pm »
    30% of my reviews for one book are low quality, which doesn't mean that they're fake, just low quality, and that makes sense because at least one of them is "Didn't read yet.".  ;D
    De gustibus non est disputandum.

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    Online Usedtoposthere

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #5 on: January 26, 2016, 04:29:37 pm »
    Non-verified-purchases are counted as suspect. Since KU and KOLL reads aren't verified purchases, this will automatically create huge #s of "suspect" reviews for books in Select.

    They also flag anything where the reviewer discloses that a free copy was received in exchange for a review. (Of course, they don't flag all the authors who don't have their readers disclose.)

    I ran through three books with the same review average, each with 130+ reviews. One from a pre-KU period, so almost all the reviews are verified, and I didn't do ARCs then. One from a post-KU period when I was doing ARCs. And one from a post-KU period when I was not doing ARCs.

    The results?
    Pre-KU, no-ARC book: 0% suspect.
    KU, ARC book: a whopping 71% suspect.
    KU, no-ARC book: 58% suspect. With no ARCs and no purchased reviews, but a lot of borrows.

    Yeah, I'd say it's flawed.


    Offline katherinef

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #6 on: January 26, 2016, 04:32:22 pm »
    Tried another book and um, yeah, the analysis is totally wrong.  :o Apparently it considers as fake all positive reviews that aren't a verified purchase (but negative ones are perfect, even unverified), everything that mentions the reviewer got a a free copy in exchange for the review, all reviews from people who don't tend to leave bad reviews, and who knows what else. It's fun to use, but I hope no one will be stupid enough to believe any of that is real.
    De gustibus non est disputandum.

    Ignore people's pet peeves and write on!

    "If you tell me the characters should be smarter, I'm going to wonder if you've actually met any humans." - T

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #7 on: January 26, 2016, 05:07:47 pm »
    I wouldn't "analyze" your book on there (like I did). The site automatically tweets out that your book reviews have been analyzed by FakeSpot and they create a page of your book with their analysis on their website with an affiliate link to your book on Amazon (of course). I don't know how well Google will index this site but any association with a site about fake reviews is not a good one to have.

    The actual analysis is suspect, at best, but it's a great way for them to generate free content on their website with their affiliate links to Amazon.

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    Offline Dom

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #8 on: January 26, 2016, 05:13:41 pm »
    Not only that, it considers how many times a reviewer reviews products from the "same company" but all self-published books come from the "kindle store" so basically, people who review books a lot are automatically suspect. Just awful.

    Offline MelodieRochelle

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #9 on: January 26, 2016, 05:18:23 pm »
    Can't wait to try this out for giggles. :D

    :) Sci-fi fantasy and childrens book writer :)

    Offline Monique

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #10 on: January 26, 2016, 05:22:38 pm »
    Can't wait to try this out for giggles. :D

    See the post above yours.

    What I want to know is who is behind this?

    Offline katherinef

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #11 on: January 26, 2016, 05:35:41 pm »
    I wouldn't "analyze" your book on there (like I did). The site automatically tweets out that your book reviews have been analyzed by FakeSpot and they create a page of your book with their analysis on their website with an affiliate link to your book on Amazon (of course). I don't know how well Google will index this site but any association with a site about fake reviews is not a good one to have.

    Ack. I can't find mine in the Tweets though. Does that mean someone already checked it before? :O
    De gustibus non est disputandum.

    Ignore people's pet peeves and write on!

    "If you tell me the characters should be smarter, I'm going to wonder if you've actually met any humans." - T

    Offline Gator

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #12 on: January 26, 2016, 06:22:23 pm »
    No need to panic.  The authors with lots of fake reviews can breathe easy, because the tool misses the majority of the fake reviews in its analysis:

    How to Avoid Huge Ships:  30% low quality reviews detected (missed ~70%)
    The Mountain Men's Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee:  11.5% low quality reviews detected (missed ~70%)

    Offline MelodieRochelle

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #13 on: January 26, 2016, 07:21:07 pm »
    See the post above yours.

    What I want to know is who is behind this?

    I have a habit of skipping to the end when I'm in a hurry. :) Now I can't wait to NOT try this out for giggles.

    :) Sci-fi fantasy and childrens book writer :)

    Offline SpringfieldMH

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #14 on: January 26, 2016, 07:47:31 pm »
    The classic Hutzler 571 banana slicer listing on Amazon with 5400 tongue-in-cheek reviews gets 23.3% for 5 reviews (where did the other +5300 go?),
    while the two-pack version of same, also with 140 tongue-in-cheek reviews,
    gets 13.3 % for 134 reviews.

    (If you've never run across this listing, check it out. If you dare. It's worth it.)

    Online Usedtoposthere

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #15 on: January 26, 2016, 08:01:18 pm »
    Oh, geez. Thanks for the info that it tweets that they've analyzed your book. Just what we all need.

    Offline Trans-Human

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #16 on: January 26, 2016, 08:07:36 pm »
    Usually apps ask beforehand if they are allowed or not allowed to post results or any kind of feedback you provide on their website/social media outlet. The very fact that this tool is dysfunctional and it posts stuff without permission, speaks volumes about the creators.
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    Offline Joe_Nobody

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #17 on: January 26, 2016, 08:39:34 pm »
    I ran two of my books, one with 150 reviews (0% suspect), and one with 99 reviews (4% suspect).
    Like most of you, I don't agree with the "digi-brain," but for entirely different reasons.

    Offline Gator

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #18 on: January 26, 2016, 09:15:38 pm »
    Oh, geez. Thanks for the info that it tweets that they've analyzed your book. Just what we all need.

    More bad news.  Every analysis goes into their database, which is searchable.  I found the title of one of your books (I didn't look for any more), which the tool reports as having 13.3% fake reviews.  It also reports that "You can trust the reviews of this product," if that's any consolation.

    Google spiders probably grab this data periodically.  If so, we can expect "fake reviews" associated with each title analyzed by this tool in future Google searches.

    Probably not a good idea to search your own books with this flawed tool for that reason.

    Offline Annette_g

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #19 on: January 27, 2016, 02:49:43 am »
    60% of reviews on one of mine are allegedly fake, because the readers disclosed that they had received a free copy in order to leave a review. That's not fake, that's the readers adhering to the FTC! I've never paid for a review etc.


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    Offline celadon

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #20 on: January 27, 2016, 03:15:56 am »
    Not very useful. I ran some scam books with high ratings through it, and most of them "passed" with flying colors. There's no way that any credible reviewer would rate these rubbish books so highly. Of COURSE they're fake reviews! But FakeSpot failed to spot that. Thumbs down!

    Offline Betsy the Quilter

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    Re: Spot Fake Reviews with FakeSpot ... or not
    « Reply #21 on: January 27, 2016, 04:32:24 am »
    Locking this topic pending discussion with Monique.  A warning has been placed in in the first post that using this tool may be unwise.

    Unlocking thread, thanks for understanding.

    Betsy
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    « Last Edit: January 27, 2016, 10:17:41 am by Betsy the Quilter »
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