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Column: Fake reviews must stay online, the researchers said. I am not sure



Column: Fake reviews must stay online, the researchers said. I am not sure

It is perhaps inevitable that in this strange era of “alternative facts” and false “fake news” claims, someone will explain why fake online reviews are a good thing.

However, anyone would make such an argument jarring, especially when it comes from scholars who write in academic journals.

Learning entitled, “A Tangled Web: Should Online Review Portals Display False Reviews?” It was published recently in the journal Information Systems Research.

The main finding, said Beibei Li, a professor of information technology and management at Carnegie Mellon University, is that consumers place greater trust in websites “that display fake reviews along with non-fraudulent reviews.”

That is, the presence of fake reviews increases the value of honest reviews.

To me and maybe many others responded, “Huh?”

“At first, we also thought it was crazy that people wanted to see the dark side of the internet,” Li, one of the authors of the study, told me.

“But consumers tell us they want to see everything,” he said. “They want to make their own decisions.”

Li’s study estimates that as many as 30% of online reviews are fake, intended to improve the position of a company or product, or to damage a competitor’s reputation.

A separate study Last year concluded that about 40% of online reviews were suspected, with the percentage going up for apparel, home furnishings and electronics reviews.

Some of the big dogs in the field of review – Google, Amazon, Yelp, Airbnb – told me that they were trying to find fake reviews and maintain the integrity of their individual review systems.

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Usually that means removing fake reviews as soon as the company realizes it.

Li said his research showed that consumers don’t want to lose reviews, real or fake.

“When they see fake reviews next to the real ones, it makes them trust the platform more,” he said.

I see how it works in theory. It’s nice to think that everyone thinks and is diligent in filtering all available information and making well-informed decisions.

But in reality, most people, myself included, don’t have the bandwidth for such a vast thought process when shopping for hair products or cell phone chargers.

We quickly scanned what was out there and, if there was no sign of great danger, we felt validated in our initial thoughts and closed the deal.

I contacted a number of online review experts. Some people think Li’s research is on the right track.

“Their prescriptive suggestion is to allow all information rather than just censoring fake reviews,” said Duncan Simester, a marketing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “I like their advice and consider their results to make sense intuitively.”

Brett Hollenbeck, assistant marketing professor at UCLA, agrees that highlighting fake reviews makes sense. If a site removes it, he notes, “then consumers are left in the dark about which company buys them.”

“Seeing fake reviews marked on company pages can act as a warning and also serves to inform customers that the platform is active in finding fake reviews when they are posted,” Hollenbeck said.

Others are worried about leaving fake reviews accessible, even with warning signs.

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“Fake reviews can certainly mislead people, although in most cases they are overwhelmed by the prevalence of true and real reviews,” said Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

“The site must be trying to prevent such content from being posted,” he said, adding that if fake reviews will remain online, they must be blurred “so that the content cannot be observed.”

Harikesh Nair, a marketing professor at Stanford University, said it was not clear that marking reviews as fake but leaving them online served as a deterrent for companies trying to game the system.

Some businesses may continue to do so in the hope that some fake reviews will pass.

“If there are too many, consumers can conclude that most of the reviews on the platform are paid for and lose trust,” Nair said.

Li said his research shows that, along with greater transparency, the benefit of leaving fake reviews online with appropriate warnings is that this serves to “publicly embarrass” companies that violate.

What, like a Scarlet Letter?

“Yes,” Li replied, “there is currently no cost to write fake reviews. That’s zero. Public shame creates costs for the company.”

I am not sure. If about 40% of online reviews are fake, it seems that no company will downgrade as low as this especially worrying about getting caught or facing all sorts of public calculations.

On the contrary, there seems to be a feeling that because many other people do it, what’s wrong with trying?

“The review site is in a difficult situation when it comes to fake reviews,” said Cayce Myers, a public relations professor at Virginia Tech.

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“On one hand, review sites must have credibility that their reviews are real so customers can count on them,” he said. “On the other hand, review sites cannot be seen as arbitrary review editors.”

Finally, Myers suggests, it is up to individual consumers to navigate these eel-filled waters and do their best to make good decisions.

As a diligent online shopper, my feeling is that posting is vague and publicly embarrassing will not help my decision making process.

I prefer to trust leading brands like Google and Amazon to aggressively monitor their reviews using AI, algorithms, or even real humans, and quickly delete posts that cannot be deployed.

In addition, I would like to see an easy-to-understand summary above all the list of reviews that shows prevailing consumer sentiment – positive or negative – and the number of fake-nonsense reviews that are ruled out.

Include a link to the page that mentions the worst offender, and defer the list of any companies found trying to attract the fast in the buyer.

“We are now at a point where there are too many reviews for users to read,” said Theodoros Lappas, assistant business professor at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Fix the problem and we will really solve something.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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