Marijuana dispensary review site, Weedmaps received a near failing grade after being investigated for fake reviews.
“a separate analysis looking at the text in reviews estimates that 62% of all dispensary comments on Weedmaps are fake,” Reported the Las Angeles Times.
The investigation analyzed 598 businesses on the site and found that 70% of the dispensaries listed had ‘suspicious’ reviews. Many of the reviews were from the same IP address, an internet connection associated to a single internet router or mobile device.
Out of the top 300 dispensaries, 43 of them had more than 100 suspicious reviews. Many of the reviews were duplicated or had multiple identical reviews on the same dispensary.
Other reviews were literally identical like they were written by the same user posting as different user accounts. The Times was able to investigate the reviews after the location of the reviewers was made public by Weedmaps, a big privacy flaw.
Since the news break, Weedmaps has begun to develop better tools to identify unique users posting multiple reviews for one business. Industry workers suggest that this looks like the dispensaries are paying college students to leave good reviews for their business. Weedmaps has now hidden the location of the reviewers again.
WeedShops.com – Where The Grass Is Always Greener