Fake Reviews And Fake Users; Online Trust Nears New Low

On Friday, a lawsuit that had long been rumored was brought against Match.com, which also operates Tinder, Ok Cupid and Plenty of Fish. The suit detailed the alleged extent of fakes that we see as part of the user's experience. According to the lawsuit 500,000 fake accounts were active over a two-year window on Match.com alone. The suit alleges that highly appealing fakes were being used to lure in potential users. Match for its part said that up to 95% of fakes are caught and taken down. Even that admission is revealing. Fake profiles are a thing. 

If you’ve wondered why online dating isn’t working for you the way you thought, it’s possible it’s due to this issue. Especially if you’re more successful than most. It’s kind of like a well-reviewed product or service that turns out to be different for you than every other person who has seemingly ever reviewed it online. There’s a story about the growing issue in the Wall-Street Journal right now as well. 

In an era of deep fake videos that can be confusing for many motivated fakers, reviews are child’s play. According to the FTC investigating the Match.com case, director Andrew Smith said, "We believe that Match.com conned people into paying for subscriptions via messages the company knew were from scammers". That’s not an insignificant statement. The bottom line is that it’s harder to determine fact from fiction in just about all realms of society, especially online. One trick my wife Ashley has successfully employed when it comes to reviews. Look at the poor reviews and see what the most negative people have to say. If the negatives described aren’t relevant to you, you might be able to use a successful process of elimination rather than relying on simply the glowing 5-star reviews. 

Recent analysis has suggested that up to 33% of online reviews are fakes. Furthermore, potentially as many as 10% of dating profiles are too. Hey, at least it’s not as fake as fake news.

Photo by: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

 

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