Mozilla Acquires Fakespot to Combat Counterfeit Reviews
Mozilla has announced the acquisition of Fakespot, a startup that provides a website and browser extension to help users detect fake or untrustworthy reviews. The financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. Fakespot can identify dubious reviews on a variety of online marketplaces, including Amazon, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.
Established in 2016 in New York, Fakespot employs AI and machine learning algorithms to recognize patterns and similarities in reviews, flagging those that seem deceptive. By assigning a rating or grade to a product’s reviews, Fakespot assists consumers in making more informed purchasing decisions. The company’s website and browser extension are designed to enable users to quickly identify when fraudulent reviews may be artificially boosting a product’s search engine ranking.
“Fakespot will continue to operate on all major web browsers and mobile devices, and the Mozilla team will invest in further enhancing the Fakespot experience for its numerous, loyal users,” said Mozilla Chief Product Officer Steve Teixeira in a blog post. “Additionally, there will be Fakespot integrations exclusive to Firefox in the future. Integrating Fakespot’s capabilities will ensure that Firefox users are best equipped to sift through misleading reviews and shop confidently, knowing that their purchases are of high quality and genuine.”
Mozilla states that Fakespot will provide Firefox users with a reliable shopping tool to enhance their e-commerce experience, with plans to gradually introduce Fakespot functionality to Firefox.
While AI and machine learning have long been used to identify fake reviews, the challenge is expected to become more difficult with the advent of sophisticated, commercially available AI tools. For example, recent reports suggest that individuals are using AI chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT to create reviews for products on Amazon. Such reviews, allegedly written by ChatGPT, could represent the next generation of fraudulent and misleading reviews.