Mozilla acquires Fakespot

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Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, acquired Fakespot in May 2023. Fakespot is a startup that helps users identify fake reviews on popular online marketplaces such as Amazon, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.

Fakespot uses a sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) system to detect patterns and similarities between reviews in order to flag those that are most likely to be deceptive. The company’s Review Checker feature is scheduled to be released on Firefox version 120 for desktop and Android on November 21, 2023.

The acquisition is a significant blow to those who plan to use AI technologies, particularly generative AI tools like ChatGPT, to flood product reviews. Fakespot’s AI system is capable of detecting even the most sophisticated fake reviews, making it much more difficult to manipulate product ratings and rankings.

“Reviews are essential to keeping the e-commerce ecosystem healthy,” Fakespot founder Saoud Khalifah told Axios at the time of the acquisition. “You can’t touch the product,” he said. “You really need the reviews.”

Mozilla product chief Steve Teixeira echoed Khalifah’s sentiments, noting that Fakespot is a “natural fit” for the company’s mission to “promote open web protocols and web literacy.”

“Using Fakespot, a buyer is able to quickly see where deceptive reviews may be artificially inflating a product’s ranking in search engines,” Teixeira said in a press release. “As Mozilla continues to expand our work around ethical AI and responsible advertising, Fakespot is a natural fit.”

The sources for this piece include an article in Mashable.

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