ADDING INSULT TO INJURY:
BAD REVIEWS DURING A PANDEMIC
We’re halfway through the first month of 2021, a year that’ll go down in history as the year that came after a very dark one—globally. Last year, the world saw some really down times, and it didn’t make it any better that we had to isolate ourselves and make changes to our lifestyles almost overnight. We knew we had to do it and follow the authority’s directives as a way to do our part to flatten the curve, but the prolonged lockdowns and extended time away from friends and family inevitably took its toll on all of us. New Reader Magazine expresses its most sincere sympathies to everyone affected.
The whole spectrum took a hit one way or another, and an air of desperation loomed and eventually set in. If there’s one unfortunate thing we know, it’s that desperate times call for desperate measures.
On a normal day, most people who wish to go shopping for a certain brand of product would have first asked around about it. Before shelling out money for something, they’d first want to make sure it’s worth it, and it’s usually most assuring when hearing from someone who’s actually tried it.
With the increase in online activity due to people being stuck at home, online reviews went from being just digital extensions of word-of-mouth and face-to-face recommendations to being weapons used by businesses to take down their rivals, thinking the less competition they have, the more chances they have of getting back what they lost to the pandemic. And this is why bad reviews are not always accurate. Here are a few things to know about these fake reviews:
- The act of submitting fake reviews is known as “brushing.”
- People write fake reviews because they can cause negative publicity for the brand/product they’re brushing for. Less business for one brand means more for the other.
- Usually when a business rolls out fake negative reviews for its competitor, they’re simultaneously writing fake positive reviews for their own. It is dirty, but it works especially on those who don’t want or don’t have the time to actually research about a brand.
- There are such things as “fake review farms” that are either bots or real people!
- Fake reviews are still a problem and will probably remain to be a problem until a set of guidelines or laws that business owners and corporations can go by are produced.
By these facts alone, it is safe to say that online reviews can’t be 100% trusted because they rarely are done in good faith these days. Although some reviews are still true and correct, many positive and negative reviews are written only to benefit one party and bring down another. It’s a good practice to look into the background of a product or brand, but be sure to not stop at just reading the reviews. Take the time to really find out about it by listening to what their message is and looking at other information resources.
Ultimately, let’s all practice vigilance in not just finding out the truth, but also in making the truth fabricators responsible for the damages they inadvertently cause, especially during these times where everyone is negatively impacted. New Reader Magazine stands with victims of this act and firmly believes in a foreseeable redemption.
Carden, Teri. “Why People Give Fake Online Reviews.” 100Reviews, October 30, 2018.