Leverage authenticity and UGC to tackle fake reviews


In the past year, governing bodies including the European Commission have imposed new legislation to prevent further saturation of fake reviews across the digital marketplace. Their intentions? To empower the online consumer’s shopping experience by upholding authenticity and UGC.

Reviews heavily influence a majority of online shoppers. In fact, it’s an essential part of any buyer’s journey. Take this: 86% of consumers actually will not make a purchase unless they’ve read the product’s ratings and reviews first. 

When reviews hold that much power in swaying a purchase decision, it can be tempting for brands to either censor negative reviews or pay third parties to write positive ones without having ever tried the product. 

As smart as this loophole may sound, it is 1) completely unethical, and 2) can seriously damage the reputation of your brand by risking consumer trust. When consumers find out the real reason a brand product’s ratings are so high, chances are they will take it to social media to exploit these truths and eventually boycott the brand. If this is a possible outcome as a result of loopholing the system, then these efforts are not worth it at all. 

So what’s the best way to combat fake reviews without being unethical, dishonest, and illegal? 

The best way to achieve authenticity and UGC is through content moderation. It’s an extensive process ensuring that UGC is authentic, honest, and above all, written by real people who have tried and tested the product or service. And to keep user-submitted content credible, it requires all published forms of content to be completely unedited, even if it includes grammatical or spelling errors. 

  1. Use a fraud-detection system

Having a fraud-detection system can be extremely useful in weeding out fake reviews on your site. This technology system easily identifies the device used to submit false content including spam, duplicate reviews, promotional content, and more. It is especially useful when it prevents multiple fake reviews from the same source. 

  1. Go old-school using human moderation

As efficient as technology can be, even they have its own shortcomings. When humans become a part of the moderation process, we provide an extra layer of protection to ensure the reviews filtered by fraud-detection systems are truly legitimate. The human brain is much better suited to detect false reviews based on factors such as context and nuance. 

  1. Badge and seal display

Providing a seal of recommendation or badge of approval adds an additional layer of trust for consumers. These indicators tell readers where the reviews came from and also highlight the percentage of reviewers who would recommend the product, adding further credibility to push for likely conversions.

It can also provide other information including:

  • Whether or not the reviewer is a verified buyer
  • If the review is syndicated from external sources
  • If the review was part of a sweepstakes entry or social media contest
  • If the review came from an individual employed by the brand itself

Moderation is key 

With ratings and reviews becoming more influential than ever, the need to preserve their authenticity and transparency has become of utmost importance. Thorough content moderation is key to upholding both factors to retain consumer trust.

Stars and Stories is proud to practice all three mentioned ways of combating fake reviews. Our review community itself already solves the problem of sourcing fake reviews in the first place. With a solid team of campaign managers who comb through content submissions during every part of the campaign, authenticity and transparency is a 100% guarantee. Our Seal of Recommendation, which is downloadable from Suite, can further social proof your products to help you earn the credibility your brand deserves. 

Curious to see how we use authenticity and UGC to combat fake reviews? Contact our sales team today at sales@starsandstories.com.