Samsung has previously acknowledged developers were offered money to promote a company event. And it’s certainly not the only company linked to taking advantage of anonymous or near-anonymous reviews. Bing Liu, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor, has estimated that 30 percent of reviews for certain products are fake.
The beauty of comments and online review sites is mobilizing the collective intelligence of the masses. When reviews are authentic, you can do a quick litmus test of whether that new pizza place is any good, or what spots you should visit on your next vacation.
There’s still work to be done to perfect online reviews. Some Web sites will let you see the previous comments by a reviewer, or how popular a user’s reviews have been in the past. The idea is to better gauge credibility through transparency. But until the system is perfect, there’s always old-fashioned word of mouth.