Geetanjali Gamel's  Instablog

Geetanjali Gamel
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I am an individual, self-taught investor with a Masters in Economics. I like playing with data and mostly focus on finding companies that are undervalued and provide good opportunities for investment, but at times will also look into high growth companies with compelling stories despite their... More
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  • Perils Of The Information Age 0 comments
    Sep 24, 2013 10:50 PM

    While reading the news today I got a reminder that in our amazing world full of free information us users need to handle content with cautiousness and responsibility. The article was about the New York Attorney General imposing fines on 19 companies for posting fake reviews on websites like Yelp by hiring people to write favorable reviews. In some cases business owners may even post fake negative reviews of their competitors, harming their business. A Harvard Business school study was quoted stating that a one star increase on Yelp can lead to a 5-9% increase in revenue for a business. Whether customers are looking for a new restaurant to try out, a plumber to hire or toys for their children, they increasingly prefer to look at online reviews. Moreover with growth in e commerce people rely on opinions, ostensibly of other consumers like themselves before making purchase decisions on items they have not seen in person. No one can expect a 100 percent of reviews posted on websites to be completely genuine and impartial because there are no perfect methods to filter out the junk from the genuine. But when news reports such as these appear they are a blow to the credibility of information on review websites. It is just another reminder that users need to be careful when basing decisions on online content. Extreme opinions, particularly anonymous ones, should be taken with a large grain of salt.

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