Comparison of Deceptive and Truthful Travel Reviews

Abstract

As the use of online reviews grows, so does the risk of providers trying to influence review postings through the submission of false reviews. It is difficult for users of online review platforms to detect deception as important cues are missing in online environments. Automatic screening technologies promise a reduction in the risk but need to be informed by research as to how to classify reviews as suspicious. Using findings from deception theory, a study was conducted to compare the language structure of deceptive and truthful hotel reviews. The results show that deceptive and truthful reviews are different in terms of lexical complexity, the use of first person pronouns, the inclusion of brand names, and their sentiment. However, the results suggest that it might be difficult to distinguish between deceptive and truthful reviews based on structural properties.