What the Tech? App of the Day: Fakespot

Amazon tries to spot and delete fake reviews. But sometimes products are launched, reviewed by fake accounts so fast, Amazon can’t keep up.

An investigation earlier this year found vendors and shoppers were trading 5-star reviews for products. And even savvy shoppers can fall for scams, shams, and hoaxes. The app Fakespot aims to help.

Install the Fakespot app on a smartphone and when you shop online for a product, you simply tap the share button to open up the link in the Fakespot app. If it opens, you’ll see Fakespot’s grade, A through a failing F, of legitimate reviews.

I searched for a portable projector on Amazon and found one of its recommendations. 5-star rating on Amazon, but gets an F from Fakespot for having insufficient reliable reviews, only 28% of the Amazon reviews are found to be reliable.

The problem I have with the Fakespot app is that it doesn’t work with most shopping apps we use.

Amazon petitioned Apple to prevent Fakespot from quickly verifying reviews in the Amazon app. So now you’ll need to copy the product’s URL from the Amazon desktop site and paste it into the Fakespot app.

Cumbersome.

The Fakespot app works much better on Android devices by tapping the share button Fakespot’s website is much easier to use on a computer. There are also browser extensions that add Fakespot’s Analysis whenever you look at a product on Amazon or other shopping sites.

Fakespot is free for iPhones, Android devices, and the web. If you shop online hoping to save a lot of money on off-brand tech gadgets, I wouldn’t shop with it.

 

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