We take pride in our being an objective site offering authentic reviews from real users. I get asked often how we ensure our reviews are authentic, so I wanted to share it with you here. We take a number of steps to ensure authenticity:
- User Validation: We validate the registration information against our own database which includes cross checking with LinkedIn profiles, to properly categorize whether the person is a real user or works for a vendor, reseller, consultant, integrator, or media. If we cannot clearly determine from someone’s LinkedIn profile that he/she is a real user, then the person’s profile is flagged for additional follow-up, including direct contact.
- Community Policing: We enable the community to self-police itself and to flag reviews that seem suspicious. At the bottom of every review is an “Inappropriate?” link that enables the community member to flag a potentially suspect review.
- Erring on the Side of Quality: If we cannot clearly determine that the review is from a real user, then we err to the side of quality and the review is not published. We’d rather have one fewer review in our system and sleep well at night knowing that all of the reviews published on IT Central Station are authentic and relevant for our user community.
- Combating Fraud: In the event that a vendor attempts to circumvent or abuse the system, we will put a red badge on the vendor’s page saying that the vendor has been suspected of planting false reviews. I believe the risk of this happening outweighs the potential gain from a fake review.