False Advertising or Slander? Using Location Based Tweets to Assess Online Rating-Reliability

31 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2017  

Amit Poddar

Georgia College & State University - Department of Marketing

Syagnik (Sy) Banerjee

University of Michigan Flint

Karthik Sridhar

Ashland University - Dauch College of Business and Economics

Date Written: October 10, 2017

Abstract

Online reviews have diffused into a large variety of businesses, ranging from physical goods to services. The ubiquity of the reviews and the importance given to them by potential customers makes examining their validity extremely important. While good reviews can boost companies' business, bad reviews can spell their doom. Since online reviews are anonymous, there are cases of both false advertising and slander that can create conflict. In this paper authors provide reasons for online rating bias and demonstrate a way to measure it. Authors mine consumer's location aware tweets from business locations to capture a location's pleasure score and compare the pleasure scores to Yelp ratings to determine how overrated or underrated the venue is. Foursquare and Twitter are mined to extract an emotion score from the location aware tweets using a dictionary called the Affective Norms for English Words (ANEW). Rating biases are found across cities and different types of restaurants and managerial and policy implications discussed.

Keywords: Online Review Bias, Word of Mouth, Policy, False Claims, Astroturfing, Geo-location, Tweets, Social Media

Suggested Citation

Poddar, Amit and Banerjee, Syagnik (Sy) and Sridhar, Karthik, False Advertising or Slander? Using Location Based Tweets to Assess Online Rating-Reliability (October 10, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3050901 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3050901

Amit Poddar (Contact Author)

Georgia College & State University - Department of Marketing ( email )

United States

Syagnik (Sy) Banerjee

University of Michigan Flint ( email )

303 E. Kearsley Street
Flint, MI 48502
United States

Karthik Sridhar

Ashland University - Dauch College of Business and Economics ( email )

400 College Ave
Ashland, OH 44805
United States

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