If you've ever purchased an item from Amazon or Apple you've likely looked at reviews to determine if what you're looking at is a good product. Reviews are an important factor in online sales, and some companies are paying people for fake 5-star reviews.
They are mixed in with verified reviews but can improve the rating of the product. A 4 star ranking may be of a product that benefits from auto-generated reviews. Weeding out fake reviews from legitimate ones is difficult to do.
A website aims to do it for you. Fakespot.com uses an algorithm to sort out fake reviews and re-ranks the item. The site claims it has analyzed over 819,000,000 Amazon reviews.
I checked it using a home security camera system that compiled a 4.5 star rating. Fakespot determined that of the 105 reviews, only 39.5% are reliable. It also reported that Amazon had deleted over 770 reviews from the store suspected of being fakes. It gives the product reviews an F and the company a D.
Fakespot analyzed the reviews and found most of those 5-star reviews appeared to be generated by automation and many were left by people who had left multiple reviews of other products from the company.
In addition to analyzing reviews from Amazon and Apple, FakeSpot reviews reviews left on TripAdvisor and Yelp.