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A systematic literature review about the consumers’ side of fake review detection – Which cues do consumers use to determine the veracity of online user reviews?

  • Background Consumers rely heavily on online user reviews when shopping online and cybercriminals produce fake reviews to manipulate consumer opinion. Much prior research focuses on the automated detection of these fake reviews, which are far from perfect. Therefore, consumers must be able to detect fake reviews on their own. In this study we survey the research examining how consumers detect fake reviews online. Methods We conducted a systematic literature review over the research on fake review detection from the consumer-perspective. We included academic literature giving new empirical data. We provide a narrative synthesis comparing the theories, methods and outcomes used across studies to identify how consumers detect fake reviews online. Results We found only 15 articles that met our inclusion criteria. We classify the most often used cues identified into five categories which were (1) review characteristics (2) textual characteristics (3) reviewer characteristics (4) seller characteristics and (5) characteristics of the platform where the review is displayed. Discussion We find that theory is applied inconsistently across studies and that cues to deception are often identified in isolation without any unifying theoretical framework. Consequently, we discuss how such a theoretical framework could be developed.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Michelle Walther, Timo Jakobi, Steven James Watson, Gunnar Stevens
Parent Title (English):Computers in Human Behavior Reports
Article Number:100278
Number of pages:19
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2023/02/27
Copyright:© 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license
Keyword:Fake review cues; Fake review detection; Human review fraud detection; Opinion scam; Review scam; User-perspective
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Institut für Verbraucherinformatik (IVI)
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):0 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke / 00 Informatik, Wissen, Systeme / 005 Computerprogrammierung, Programme, Daten
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 38 Handel, Kommunikation, Verkehr / 380 Handel, Kommunikation, Verkehr
Open access funding:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg / Graduierteninstitut
Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg / Publikationsfonds / 2022 ff
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft / DFG Förderung Open Access Publikationskosten 2023 - 2025
Entry in this database:2023/03/21
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International