Mozilla acquires review-checking service Fakespot, Firefox integration incoming

Alfonso Maruccia

Posts: 603   +228
What just happened? Fakespot provides customers with a way of filtering reviews on online stores, finding out if a review is written by a human being or it's just an unreliable piece of generated text designed to promote a fake, low-quality product. The platform will now become part of Mozilla Firefox, though it will continue to work with other browsers and web platforms as well.

Fakespot founder Saoud Khalifah has announced that the company was just acquired by Mozilla, and it will soon become part of a browser (Firefox) boasting a lineage that dates back to the origins of the internet. As a partner, Khalifah said, Mozilla shares a similar mission as to "what the future of the internet should look like," with trust, privacy and security converging to become a pivotal part of people's digital experiences.

The Fakespot service is designed to use artificial intelligence to detect fake reviews and potential scams, with support for "secure shopping" on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Bestbuy, and many more e-retailers used by millions of customers worldwide. The company provides browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome, both on desktop and mobile operating systems, which will then analyze product reviews searching for common fraudulent patterns.

Product reviews and star-based ratings can help customers quickly differentiate a high-quality, reliable product from a "cheap, unreliable alternative or an unreliable seller," Mozilla said. In the worst-case scenario, however, user reviews are actually deceptions intended to "artificially inflate reviews for an inferior product."

Fakespot provides a potential answer to the fake review issue, Mozilla said, fighting against review farmers which undermine "the trustworthiness of review systems" damaging customers and "ethically-minded sellers." Fakespot doesn't work with "an army of its own reviewers reviewing the reviews," Mozilla further highlights, as the service employs specifically-trained AI and machine learning algorithms to detect similarities between reviews in order to spot the most likely deceptive ones.

Mozilla said that Fakespot should be a "natural fit" as the Firefox Foundation is working to promote an ethical approach to AI development, empowering people and not enslaving them to the generative algorithm. Mozilla is planning to increase the investment in Fakespot, with exclusive functionalities that will be introduced to Firefox "over time."

The Fakespot service will continue to work across all major browsers providing an enhanced experience for its users, Mozilla reassured, even though there will be "unique" Fakespot integrations in Firefox. In 2017, Mozilla acquired article-saving service Pocket to provide a stricter integration of the tool into its browser.

Permalink to story.