April 23, 2022
Yahoo News recently published insight featuring Bin Gu, Professor of Information Systems, discussing how companies monitor and interact with online reviews.
The article addresses growing concerns among consumers that their online product reviews are being suppressed. It explains how companies are going out of their way to hide or “moderate” negative reviews and promote positive reviews.
For example, the clothier Fashion Nova was found to have suppressed hundreds of bad reviews over a period of years and was fined $4.2 million by the FTC. The company used specific software that allowed 4- and 5-star reviews to post automatically, while anything rating below was held back to be reviewed. Bin offers insight into why systems like these are perpetuated by online retailers:
“Many companies start with an honest agenda, which is to remove fake negative reviews… but when they do it, it becomes a slippery slope.”