I'm Tommy, I built ReviewMeta - a site that detects "fake" reviews on Amazon. AMA!
Hello Reddit, I'm Tommy Noonan. In 2015, I spent an entire day reading ALL 580 reviews for a product on Amazon. To my surprise, many reviewers admitted they had not used the product, or they got one for free, but still left 5 stars. I noticed dozens of other extremely suspicious patterns after spending the day analyzing the data.
The gears in my head started turning and I realized I could write a computer program to scrape all the reviews and perform a deep analysis in seconds rather than spending all day doing it manually. I could then point it at ANY product on Amazon and generate the same report. This is when the idea for ReviewMeta was conceived.
I launched ReviewMeta in 2016 - you may remember our video hitting the front page of /r/all - the site got the Reddit Hug-o-Death: https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/53i2wo/i_analyzed_18000000_amazon_reviews_and_prove_the/ (oh, and 3 weeks after the video, Amazon changed their TOS and banned incentivized reviews)
Or you may have listened to NPR's Planet Money podcast titled "The Fake Review Hunter" (that's me!) https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2018/06/27/623990036/episode-850-the-fake-rev
I'll be answering your questions about fake reviews detection, review hijacking and other scams from 9:30am to noon (Eastern Time), but will likely stick around and answer some more Q's if they are still trickling in.
Edit: Answering questions as fast as I can! I apologize in advance: many of the answers might have typos, not be proofread or pull info from the "top of my head" (because I don't have time to run queries or look up info).
Edit #2: Wow, the time has flown by! I've answered every new question for a few hours, but need to slow down. I'll be scanning through the top unanswered questions, but might not to be able to get to every last one.
Edit #3: I'm going to focus on some other things for the moment, but will be casually responding to anything interesting/highly upvoted the rest of the afternoon. Thanks for the great questions Reddit!