Consumers, rejoice: Mozilla Firefox is testing a feature that will detect and identify fake reviews left on products on ecommerce sites like Amazon, and automatically re-adjust scores after their exclusion.
The feature has been in the works for some time, too – Mozilla acquired the website and browser extension Fakespot, which utilizes AI to spot fraudulent and fake reviews, back in May of this year.
Now, online shoppers using Firefox will be able to purchase goods with more confidence, safe in the knowledge that they’ve been informed by product reviews from real people.
Firefox Focuses on Flushing Out Fakes
In a boon for consumers, product review lists on websites visited using the Firefox browser will soon be given an A-F grading that will signal precisely how legitimate they are.
Product pages graded A or B are considered to have reliable reviews, while a C grade denotes mixed reviews. Anything below C signals that the reviews are likely to be unreliable. The new feature will also sift out what it considers to be unreliable reviews and automatically re-adjust the star ratings of products, as seen in screenshots published by MsPowerUser.
FakeSpot – launched in 2016 and officially acquired by Mozilla several months ago – can already spot fake reviews listed on Yelp, eBay, Amazon, and Trip Advisor.
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The majority of users won’t have to wait long for the new feature to be released – reports suggest it will be packaged into Firefox version 120, which is scheduled for release in November 2023.
Others won't have to wait at all – the feature has already been rolled out to a limited audience in the United States.
How FakeSpot Spots Fakes, and Why It's Important
Although AI tools like ChatGPT can be harnessed to generate fake product reviews with ease, FakeSpot applies similar machine learning principles to identify patterns between different reviews left by “users”.
This is crucial for online shoppers, as good product reviews will send signals to Google that it’s worth surfacing a given product for related keywords users type in. In theory, the best-reviewed product is the most “useful” result users could be looking for.
Along with actually attempting to dupe users into purchases once they reach a given product page, this fact about Google's recommendation algorithm is why fake reviews are deployed so often.
Sometimes, it can be pretty easy to spot whether a review is fake – especially if it's the only one left on an account with no prior activity. But shady sellers’ tactics are getting more and more sophisticated and AI is so widely used now that a little helping hand won’t go amiss.
How to Use FireFox’s Fake Review Detector
Once it's been widely rolled out, you’ll be able to use the fake review detector by simply heading over to your favorite ecommerce platform where you’d usually make online purchases.
In Firefox 120, you’ll have a small price tag icon on the right-hand side of the address bar located at the top of your screen. If you select “yes” after Firefox asks you if you’d like to try it, the review checker will be activated.
All in all, it looks incredibly easy to use, yet it might just save your skin the next time you're looking for something online.