Ensuring Open, Honest Online Discussion

by Datalytic Solutions on December 18, 2017
Ensuring Open, Honest Online Discussion

Net neutrality is a controversial and complicated topic, and we are not here to argue the merits for or against--we will leave that to others. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s April 2017 proposal to roll back net neutrality in April 2017 opened the door for an unprecedented number of comments, and many of the comments were in favor of the rollback. However, numerous studies found that many of those comments were fake. For example, 440,000 comments all came from one street in Russia and all on the same day.

Whether it’s a big decision with a significant impact such as net neutrality or something like a review that affects our business, we ask for transparency and openness. But how do we ensure an honest discussion when issues like fake comments make a complicated topic even more complicated?

Data Science To The Rescue

If you had time, patience, and Terminator-like focus, you could probably read through all the comments and spot irregularities and duplicates that could help filter out the genuine comments from the false ones. Unfortunately, most people do not have that luxury, so we have to look at other options.

This is where data science from Datalytic Solutions comes in. Using machine learning and natural language processing (NLP), our data scientists can detect fraudulent commentators. Our tools help identify repetitive language, irregularities in tone, and stilted language, all indicators of comments geared towards swaying opinion one way or another. Actual comments from real people are all that are left.

Why You Should Care

Aside from the implications these fake comments can have on policy issues such as net neutrality, fake reviews are also a problem for sites such as Amazon, Google, and Yelp. These are sites that many of us use every day to help us decide what to buy, which businesses to frequent, and where to eat. We tend to believe the reviews are genuine (or else what would be the point?). Business owners also depend on reviews to assist in word-of-mouth marketing, especially those who use it as their only source of marketing. Having the review/comment section rendered useless by misleading reviews will harm both businesses and consumers.

Unfortunately, fake commenters are a problem that won’t disappear anytime soon. Neither will the importance of online reviews for businesses. The need to be able to identify fraudulent comments and leave the genuine, relevant ones will only grow. Tools like ours are the best way to protect ourselves and our businesses from those who wish to destroy our ability to have open and honest discussions, whether it’s about a local deli or national policy.

What You Can Do

If you rely on comments and reviews to generate new customers and are concerned about fake or misleading reviews impacting your business, contact Datalytic Solutions. We have the tools to protect you and your business from those who would do it harm.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.