Online Recommendations Easily Manipulated

from the don't-buy-that dept

I know someone who is an author of a book that is currently available in plenty of bookstores, including He admits that most of the “user reviews” on Amazon are from friends or family. This isn’t really a huge surprise, of course, and now a study has come out saying that user recommendation systems like that are easily manipulated. The systems are all supposed to “self-correct” after people realize the reviews don’t match their own opinions and put in their own “corrected” ratings. However, the study shows that it takes a while for this correction to take place – and by the time it does, many people no longer trust the rating system. While I’d believe the manipulations take place and don’t get corrected quickly, I do wonder how often people really do “lose their trust” in the system. Even people who know that such ratings are usually skewed still point out things like “ooh, this movie was recommended by 95% of people” when talking about it.

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