Fake reviews, image manipulation and the efforts to stop it

In our discussion on the increasing importance of consumer reviews we talked about businesses’ efforts to enhance and even manipulate their image online.  A collection of carefully staged hotel pictures can be found at oyster.com. Note that most these pictures are not digitally manipulated (photoshopped) and it is unlikely that we will soon be able to develop automated tools to detect this type of manipulation.

It is easier to detect photoshopped images, which are usually employed to sell beauty and lifestyle products. A recent scientific article on the topic can be found here and a relevant funny video (that also features a well known Greek pop-star @ 1:45) is available from you tube.

Researchers also try to develop tools that will analyze the language of text reviews and spot fakes. A nice article on this was posted in the New York Times.