Why Review Sites Need Blockchain, Explained | Tech News


Sometimes, because they’re being paid to.

New businesses, and those bruised by poor reviews from genuine customers, sometimes pay people to write glowing testimonials. It helps startups make it look like they have a long line of happy clients and enables badly rated companies to artificially enhance their reputation.

Despite efforts by universities to create software that can weed out phony testimonials, and a push by retailers to remove these posts, the practice is still endemic.

In part, this is because review writers don’t have to prove that they have purchased a product – and, in some cases, they don’t even need to provide their name or use an account to submit their review. Blockchain technology could confidentially keep track of a consumer’s purchases and only enable them to leave reviews for the products they have bought – plus prevent people from writing multiple posts. That’s because a tamper-proof database of their shopping history could be checked to see whether the item someone is trying to review is something they have bought in the past.

Warning signs to look out for when reading testimonials include an unusual amount of five-star reviews in quick succession, and vague language that suggests they’ve never actually laid eyes on the product. Real people who make the effort to write a review normally offer detail to back up their claims.

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