The Internet is full of all manner of hyperbole and untruths, and none more so than with user reviews. Yet when shopping for a product or a service online, user reviews can be invaluable. How can you separate the wheat from the chaff? That is, honest reviews from the fakes?
If you are hunting for a hotel, then Review Skeptic can help. This free tool from researchers at Cornell University analyses the language of a review to identify fakes. The Cornell researchers fed their algorithm 400 fake reviews and 400 reviews they believed to be real from TripAdvisor of Chicago hotels, and it was able to identify a review as either the truth or a fake with 90-percent accuracy.
To use Review Skeptic, copy and paste a hotel review into the box and click the Test It button. The tool will show you which words it believes to be truthful and the others it believes to be deceptive and its verdict of the review as either Truthful or Deceptive.
Review Skeptic is fun to play around with and may prove useful for my next vacation. In the meantime, I hope these smart people at Cornell are working on a similar project for Amazon reviews.