Mozilla acquires fake review detecting service Fakespot
Mozilla announced the acquisition of Fakespot, a service to detect fake reviews and scams, on May 2, 2023.
User reviews are a cornerstone of the Internet shopping experience. Other customers may leave reviews about products that they purchased, describing their experience with the products.
Most sites promote products with reviews over those that do not have as many or lower ratings; this has created an entire industry designed to artificially promote products through fake reviews.
Fakespot was created in 2016 to detect these fake reviews using machine learning. It does so by detecting patterns and similarities between different reviews.
Most fake review campaigns are not sophisticated. They may use copy and paste, come all from users from a specific region, are often very short, and may also have spelling and grammar mistakes. These patterns can be detected easily.
The service grades product reviews and also companies. Product ratings range from reliable to insufficient reliable, and company ratings are the average of all their product ratings on Fakespot.
The service is available as mobile applications, on the web and as browser extensions. All of these options remain available for users of the service. Mozilla will invest in the service to further strengthen it.
The organization plans to integrate the service into its open source Firefox web browser natively and to enhance it further to introduce unique features to Firefox.
Mozilla says: "The addition of Fakespot’s capabilities will make Firefox customers the best equipped to cut through deceptive reviews and shop with the confidence of knowing what they’re buying is high-quality and authentic."
The very first step might be the integration of the functionality of the Fakespot extension as a native Firefox service. It would then work automatically and users would not have to install an extension anymore to make use of it.
Fakespot works on a small number of large online shopping sites, including Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Best Buy or Shopify. Internet users may try it on the official website. All it takes is to paste the URL of a product into the form on the linked page and hit the analyze button.
Integration of Fakespot in Firefox gives the browser another unique selling point, provided that Mozilla adds features to it that are not supported by the extensions or web service. The service could benefit from adding more online shopping sites, as it is limited to just a handful of major sites currently.
Mozilla is using targeted acquisitions to strengthen its portfolio and revenue generating opportunities. Fakespot looks like a good fit for the organization, as it can bring a unique experience to Firefox that sets it apart from other browsers.
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