Fake online reviews are a comedy genre of recent vintage, but not everyone is laughing.
Today, New York regulators will announce they are cracking down on companies that post deceptive reviews of products and services on the Internet.
Nineteen companies have paid fines totaling $350,000 according to an article on The New York Times website. The companies either paid for fake reviews, or hired people for as little as $1 to gin up some praise.
The misleading prose was found on sites such as Yelp, Citysearch, Yahoo and Google.
I always check out online reviews before making a major purchase and find the ones on Amazon to be helpful. I don’t regularly use other review sites but post your opinion below.
Fake reviews pay. A 2011 Harvard study found a one-star ranking increase on Yelp boosted sales by almost 10 percent.
Another study indicates 10 to 15 percent of online reviews are not legit.
How bad is the problem?
Last year, marketing consultant Olivia Roat wrote an article titled “All About Fake Online Reviews: The Problem of Separating Fact from Fiction.”
In the article she stresses she found “fake reviews greatly disconcerting.”
Today it will be announced her company will pay a $43,000 fine for writing fake reviews for 30 clients.
Here’s a few more news tidbits to inform and entertain you that have nothing to do with the Emmy’s: