Padded Ratings: False Advertising or Aggressive Marketing?

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by orcrist_cleaver, May 15, 2020.

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  1. orcrist_cleaver

    orcrist_cleaver Meyvn (1,435) May 3, 2014 New York

    So, I first noticed this trend a few years back...a new brewery popped up with some highly rated beers. A "deep dive" into the ratings revealed that a handful of ghost accounts rated every beer a 4.75/5. That's been all their activity on BA, and they literally disappeared, last logging in 5 years ago...all 16 ratings of beer by the same brewery.

    Eventually, the law of averages may catch up for some beers. However, for other beers it took an otherwise mediocre brew with a average rating around 3.6, and turned it into a 4.02. It could've been higher except they tempered their "fluffed" ratings a bit. Instead of straight 5s, a 4.5 and a 4.2 sprinkled in.

    I haven't come across this sort of scheme until recently when I noticed a lot of beers from a 1-year old brewery in rated on the TH level. Once again a handful of one-time accounts giving beers straight 5s.

    Obviously, one can hide ratings to get a more accurate view of the big picture. I'm aware that companies on Amazon hire bots to write fake reviews for their products all the time, so this practice is fairly prevalent. You have to be a critical and scrupulous consumer of any online media these days. I'm just wondering if any of you guys have come across this during your beer advocacy? How prevalent is it on this site?
  2. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,962) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Moved to the correct forum, removed the poll and replies, and locking this one down.

    We have a system in place to handle this vs. discussing and voting on it.

    First, and only if you have proof to back it up, you can report a user or review using the provided links.

    Second, we use a truncated mean that helps to weed out this sort of behavior / greatly reduce the impact on the beer's final average and BA Score.

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