Authentic versus fictitious online reviews: A textual analysis across luxury, budget, and mid-range hotels
Chua, Alton Yeow Kuan
Date of Issue2016
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Extant literature suggests that authentic and fictitious online reviews could be distinguished by leveraging on their textual characteristics. However, nuances in textual differences between authentic and fictitious reviews across different categories of hotels remain largely unknown. Therefore, this paper analyzes textual differences between authentic and fictitious reviews across three hotel categories, namely, luxury, budget, and mid-range. It leverages on four possible textual characteristics – comprehensibility, specificity, exaggeration, and negligence – that could offer clues to ascertain review authenticity. Using a dataset of 1800 reviews (900 authentic + 900 fictitious), the results suggest that differences between authentic and fictitious reviews are largely inconsistent across hotel categories. This generally points to the difficulties in ascertaining review authenticity, which in turn offer implications for both research and practice.
Journal of Information Science
© 2016 The author(s) (published by SAGE Publications). This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication in Journal of Information Science, published by SAGE Publications on behalf of the author(s). It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0165551515625027].