How To Spot Fake Hotel Reviews

Please note that I have no affiliation with Review Skeptic, nor do I receive any commissions from them for reviewing or linking to their product. This is simply a tool that I have utilized with success that I wanted to pass along to my readers.

A lot of travelers (myself included) rely on reviews of hotels from various online sources when making decisions on which hotels to stay at during their travels. If you travel enough, you will inevitably encounter a hotel that was less than what you expected based on the reviews. Unfortunately, fake reviews are everywhere online and there has never really been a good way to weed through reviews to root out the fake ones. That is until Review Skeptic was introduced.

Review Skeptic is based on research conducted by graduate students Yejin Choi and Myle Ott, Professor Claire Cardie, and Associate Professor Jeff Hancock at Cornell University. Review Skeptic claims that its tool can spot fake hotel reviews with almost ninety percent (90%) accuracy, which is pretty impressive.

The problem that Review Skeptic aims to solve is the number of fake reviews that are available online for hotels. Some individuals offer to write fake reviews online for hotels, restaurants, stores, etc. in exchange for a few dollars, and it is apparently pretty big business (I had no idea). Unfortunately, in this day and age, any one review online could be someone’s best friend, mother, father, brother, sister, etc. posting and it is impossible to tell that in every case.

People tend to suffer from truth bias. Truth bias means that someone assumes something is true until they find evidence to the contrary. However, a non-human machine like Review Skeptic does not have to worry about truth bias. Instead, Review Skeptic analyzes the words used in a particular hotel review and identifies whether or not there is deceptive language in the review.

To use the tool, simply go to the Review Skeptic website, copy and paste the review you are skeptical of into the text box and click the “Test It” button. Review Skeptic will analyze the review and determine whether it is truthful or deceptive.

The only downside to Review Skeptic is that you have to copy and paste the review into the program yourself. That means for a hotel with hundreds of reviews it could take you some serious time. With that said, you could input some of the beaming reviews of the property to see if they are truthful or deceptive and make your determination off of that. In any case, this is a cool tool to use if you are ever on the fence about staying at a place that seems too good to be true.

Final Thoughts

I, like most travelers, use reviews all the time to make final decisions on which hotels I want to stay at. While I prefer reviews from FlyerTalk threads as I think they are more reliable, Review Skeptic seems like a great new tool to weed out some of those fake hotel reviews.

What is your favorite way to spot fake hotel reviews?

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