The Application Review Problem

Duncan Riley wrote a post earlier today about Slide posting fake positive reviews on their own application. This has become a standard practice nowadays by companies. This problem happens time and time again when you set up any sort of review system. Even on this blog, I have application reviews. It’s pretty obvious who’s voting when immediately after I post an application review and there are suddenly 5 perfect reviews within minutes.

There is also the problem of application reviews being used as spam. Just take a look at the reviews below for Funwall. Two of the four reviews in the screenshot are spam. I’ve spoken with a number of developers about this and ultimately they don’t mind the spam because the spammers are posting positive reviews which in turn are boosting their rating. So what should be done about this?

Considering that there are countless reviews posted everyday it is extremely challenging for Facebook to filter all of their reviews. That’s why they have added the “report” link. An automated algorithm can then be used to determine whether a review is real or Fake. Even with the algorithm it can be challenging to determine what’s real or fake. I have seen people purposely post negative reviews in order to build up their own overall standing.

While this doesn’t make much sense, it does to whoever is participating in such activities. The unanswered question is: are application reviews an effective system? Is it possible to avoid spam and unethical ratings?

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