Trust in On-Line Advertising

It’s no surprise that people trust online reviews from consumers more than traditional advertisements. After all, advertisements are created by the company selling a product of service, whereas third party reviews are by people with no self-interest.

Unless, of course, the reviewer has a hidden agenda, such as a competitor writing a bad review, or someone connected to the business singing its praises. The anonymous nature of online reviews make this kind of subterfuge possible. For example, it recently came to light that authors and reviewers-for-hire are leaving fake reviews about books on Amazon. [Forbes, 8/28/12]

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