A perfectly polished review is a sign that someone was paid to make the product sound as good as possible. Look out for dull statements that seem to come from the product description or a press release, such as “This software integrates seamlessly with the application ecosystem that my workflow requires.” An overwhelmingly positive review indicates that the person has blind loyalty to the brand or that the review has paid or benefited in some other way. A common trope in Steam reviews is simply to write OK, in contrast to the large amount of game time available to the reviewer. And while they don't always say that it's necessary to leave a positive review, people who participate in plans like this are likely to fear that they won't receive another invitation to get a free product if they leave a negative review.
About eight out of ten consumers believe that they may have read a fake review last year, and the same number indicates that they aren't sure if they know how to spot a fake review. But a lot of times, humor and sarcasm can make it difficult to tell if a review is really funny or just write a fake review to make you laugh. Most people aren't very enthusiastic about random products online, so fakers may feel the need to exaggerate their review when it's not genuine. While there are many customers who use and review the products for free immediately after their release date, this is far from normal.
Most fake critics won't respond, but real critics often look forward to opportunities to help more, Lai says.